Aishwarya Rajagopalan, D.O., M.H.S.
Aishwarya Rajagopalan was born in Philadelphia, PA, and her family settled in the northern suburbs of Philly. She grew up the oldest sibling to her sister, her brother, and her four siblings. For college, Aishwarya attended Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in French Literature and Public Health, graduating with honors. She is a proud Pi Beta Phi, and volunteers as the Alumnae Advisory Committee Chair for the Dickinson College chapter. Prior to medical school, Aishwarya completed an MHS in Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a certificate in Population and Health. She completed an internship at the National Council for Behavioral Health, developing materials for congressional lobbying to increase funding for Mental Health First Aid programming, and educational materials for House and Senate staffers about behavioral health parity, funding, and related topics. For medical school, Aishwarya attended the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. While there, she was involved in research on acculturation and diabetes among South Indian populations, as well as research about perceptions of Black womanhood. She wrote for two different blogs in medical school. Aishwarya was inducted into Sigma Sigma Phi, Gold Humanism Honors Society and Omega Beta Iota, and received the Leonard Finkelstein, DO Award, an award for outstanding patient care and compassionate concern for patients. Professional interests include: transition age youth, the intersection of the justice system and behavioral health, the intersection of reproductive health and psychiatry, and lifespan perspectives on behavioral health. She hopes to be a part of policy endeavors. Outside of work, Aishwarya can be found trying new workout classes, trying to plan her next cage diving adventure with her sister and her husband, petting any pup she meets on the street, and scoping out new restaurants anywhere and everywhere.
On my interview day, I left beaming with excitement about the conversations I had with people I met. For each interest I mentioned, HSS program staff and residents either mentioned someone else with a similar interest, or offered a pathway through which I could pursue it in residency. Each resident named ways in which the constructive feedback they offered was implemented into policy, or was a topic of ongoing discussion among program staff. I love the resources offered through the affiliations with Harvard Medical School and VA Boston. I am energized by the prospect of caring for veterans, especially veterans who have or are experiencing homelessness, serious mental health challenges, or who have been justice-involved. I look forward to translating these experiences to being a part of behavioral health policy change in the future. Since joining HSS as an intern, I have absolutely loved the people I now call my co-residents. Everyone is excited to talk about each other’s interests, try new food, exercise classes, and everything in between. I feel supported and I feel like my work-life balance is a priority.
Serena Chen, M.D.
Serena Chen grew up in China and moved to Maryland during childhood. She went on to graduate from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Business and worked as a consultant before deciding to pursue medical school. While attending the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, she was interested in quality improvement and was a founding member of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement Chapter in Kalamazoo, MI. Her research work was focused on healthcare collaboration and integrated healthcare. She was also active in the American Medical Women’s Association. In her spare time, she likes hiking, dancing, and playing tennis.
I found that HSS was the perfect fit for me. The unique combination of Harvard affiliation as well as the VA affiliation meant there was a wealth of resources available to residents of the program. With my interest in integrated healthcare model, the VA gave me an interesting opportunity to work inside the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. Finally, everyone I met at the program was so genuine and caring that I knew it was a right place for me to grow and thrive.
William Olcott, M.D., M.B.A.
William Olcott was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied biology and chemistry at Duke University. After college, he spent two years at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine researching targeted therapies for breast cancer. He then earned his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. During medical school, he developed an interest in the delivery of healthcare on the level of systems and organizations, and he decided to complete a joint MBA degree at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. William hopes to use this experience to improve the delivery of community-based mental healthcare. In his free time, William enjoys playing tennis, exercising and exploring.
I chose HSS because of our vibrant community. The residents aren’t just excited about psychiatry – they are truly invested in both learning and delivering care to their patients. This enthusiasm is also shared by the faculty, who is engaged in resident education and support our career development in any way they can. Our patient population is also one of our strengths – my work with veterans has been particularly rewarding as our patients are uniquely grateful for the care they receive.
Anderson Chen, M.D.
Anderson Chen was raised in Taiwan, and came to the States to attend Mercersburg Academy. This is a boarding school where the seed of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was planted in his mind. He then completed a linkage program between Duquesne University and Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. During his college career, he graduated summa cum laude, and has presented his research at multiple conferences. His motivation to dedicate his professional career to psychiatry stems from the lives around him that have been touched either due to access or lack of access to psychiatric care. His interests in psychiatry include addiction/trauma in the child and adolescent population, as well as ways to increase access to psychiatric care. In his free time, he enjoys practicing his life motto, happy wife happy life.
I chose to join the Harvard South Shore family for 3 main reasons. First, this program helps me believe that I can achieve anything. This claim is backed up with solid education plans, access to all the resources that come along as being a part of the Harvard Physician Family, strong support systems, and the flexibility to curtail my education to my career needs. Second, having the opportunity to work with our veterans is a privilege and an incredible opportunity that I did not want to miss. I believe to become a leader, I must learn from those who have served. Lastly, Boston is an amazing city with multiple opportunities for those who want to take the field of psychiatry towards biotechnology, business, education, and all the other fields that I am still learning about.
Kevin Cates, M.D., M.P.H.
Kevin Cates grew up in Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on a scholarship for children of disabled veterans. He went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, while working in HIV treatment and prevention in Chicago’s LGBT specialty public health clinic. He went on to obtain his M.D. as a member of the inaugural class of the Western Michigan University School of Medicine on a National Health Services Corps scholarship committing him to work in primary care psychiatry. During medical school he was inducted into the Gold Humanism Society, founded a student government, and was honored at graduation with an award for leadership. In his free time he enjoys international travel, food of every kind from everywhere, the opera, public radio, and long bike rides.
My primary reason for choosing HSS was the opportunity to receive high quality training at a well-known institution (VA Boston Healthcare) affiliated with a well-respected academic program (Harvard Medical School). I also chose HSS because of the personal connection I felt to the mission, my excitement for the focus on leadership, and for the opportunity to serve and work extensively with veterans. I also really appreciated the protected day for didactics, which not all programs provide. I’ve liked everyone I’ve met here, and really feel welcomed by the faculty, co-residents, and staff. It also helped that Boston is a great place to live! I felt immediately “at home” on my interview day, and was overwhelmingly pleased on match day when I learned I would be coming to HSS.
Priya Gearin, M.D.
Priya Gearin (Maillacheruvu) grew up in Peoria, IL. She moved to Missouri to attend Truman State University for her undergraduate degree in Biology, with minors in Anthropology and Chemistry. During college, she was involved in an assortment of unrelated activities – playing on the club Ultimate Frisbee team, studying local tick population dynamics, and tutoring GED students. She attended medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where she developed her love of learning about Neurology, Neuroanatomy, and Psychiatry. She was most inspired by her encounters in psychiatry and felt energized by the growth of the field, and her potential to be a part of that. While in Nebraska, she was involved in a reflective writing group, refugee health fairs, and research on umbilical cord stem cells. Additionally, she served as Vice President of her school’s chapter of Gold Humanism Honor Society and was awarded the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Priya enjoys running (and is always looking for a new running partner), reading memoirs, exploring the great outdoors, and staying connected with her beloved family
I chose HSS for many reasons, but at the core, I knew this program would push me to become the best physician and psychiatrist I could be while also supporting me as a person. I was impressed by the diversity of academic interests of the residents and faculty, many of whom are involved in research to varying degrees. The diversity in personal backgrounds of people in this program was also important to me, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know my co-residents at work, on call, and at social events. When I interviewed I had the sense that people here were truly interested in learning and dedicated to making people’s lives better, and now that I’m here, I know that to be true. Lastly, it is an incredible opportunity to have such strong resources in both the Boston VA and Harvard. I’m specifically interested in CAP and Addictions, and I knew I would get incredible training at our various sites.
Frank Copeli, M.D.
Frank was born and raised in Queens, New York. He completed his undergraduate degree in Russian language and literature. Before medical school, Frank worked for an NGO, the City University of New York and for Metropolitan Jewish Health Hospice, where he developed an interest in Geriatrics. Frank received his M.D. at the State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine. During medical school, he conducted research in urology and the medical conditions facing older adults with schizophrenia. He was elected to Gold Humanism Honor Society. His interests in psychiatry include geriatric psychiatry, neurocognitive disorders, and bipolar disorder. In his free time, he enjoys reading, pop culture, cooking, cycling, and following boxing and the NBA.
HSS felt like the perfect fit for a number of reasons. I had always enjoyed my medical school rotations at Veterans’ Hospitals because the setting allowed for more in-depth interviews and exams. I am also proud to serve the veteran community. When I interviewed, I felt the culture and values described in HSS’ literature was strongly reflected in the program policies, the way current residents spoke about the program, and the way the curriculum was designed. The breadth of off-site rotations offered as part of the required and elective rotations appealed to me as an opportunity to learn and grow as a psychiatrist in diverse settings with a dynamic population of patients.
Stefania Buonocore, D.O., M.S.
Stefania Buonocore grew up in Westchester County, NY. She graduated from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and a minor in Italian. Stefania continued her education at Tufts University where she completed a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Science. There she performed research through the behavioral pharmacology lab investigating models for placebo effect. Curiosity in the behavioral sciences and how pathologies of the brain affect behavior sparked her initial interest in psychiatry. During medical school at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, this interest developed into a great passion for the care of the mentally ill, as she completed clerkships throughout New York City. In her third year, she was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Some of her interests outside of medicine include Italian cooking, visiting art museums, and photography. She played field hockey throughout high school and college and continues to stay active by going to yoga class, hiking, and running along the Charles River.
I already knew I loved the Boston area since I had lived here for some time prior to medical school– what’s not to love? Pair that with a supportive program that has many strong academic leaders, great mentorship, and diverse clinical experiences, and you have HSS. During interview day I felt welcomed immediately, and my interest in the program only grew. HSS is a wonderful community where all the residents are supported in their pursuit of clinical interests and growth as psychiatrists.