Family
Medicine

The Family Medicine Residency Program at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center prepares residents to care for the whole family in an environment that respects their needs and interests, while preparing them for extraordinary careers. We train outstanding Family Medicine physicians to practice and lead high-quality, patient-centered, team-based care.

The program is characterized by a diverse patient population, engaged physician/nurse teams, robust quality improvement initiatives, a successful population health enterprise, as well as simulation and skills labs. Every element is aligned with our vision—to provide world-class healthcare.

Caring for the whole family

Cobb County offers a diverse patient population whose needs reflect the many medical specialties a practicing family physician encounters on a daily basis. From pediatrics to obstetrics and geriatrics, residents will experience a rewarding opportunity to learn and grow as physicians and as people, gaining invaluable skills and experience.

Curriculum

Acceptance to the WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center Residency Program in Family Medicine is based on medical school performance, board exam results, letters of recommendation and in-person interviews. We especially encourage applicants who are committed to improving the health of Georgia residents. WellStar Health System is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Family Medicine curriculum is designed to comply with requirements to train residents to practice independently and to take and pass the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) specialty board certification exam. The educational plan is designed to meet/exceed the educational requirements of the ACGME, Family Medicine Residency Review Committee (RRC-FM) and the ABFM. The program’s structure gives residents the flexibility to configure learning opportunities to meet professional interests and to help them achieve their goals.

Residents provide continuity of care for their panel of patients in diverse settings, including inpatient, outpatient, labor and delivery, and long-term care.

Residents typically spend seven months on the inpatient family medicine service. The continuity clinic is an ongoing part of Family Medicine training.

Whether instruction takes place in the state-of-the-art Family Medicine Clinic or our 633-bed regional hospital, faculty members guide residents in the art and science of medicine. They challenge them to grow and develop, and nurture their ability to improve patient care and quality of life.

Core Rotations

Interns spend vital time on rotational services, building their knowledge in areas including ICU, OB/GYN, surgery, inpatient pediatric and the emergency department, both adult and pediatric.

The Family Medicine boot camp/orientation rotation is a unique opportunity that takes place during the first month of the PGY-1 year. During this innovative and memorable rotation, residents complete didactics and online modules focusing on documentation training, coding, billing, electronic health record (EHR) training, practice improvement and HIPAA compliance training.

In their third year, Kennestone Family Medicine residents continue to hone their patient-care skills, while demonstrating leadership in family medicine. Year 3 residents have the opportunity to precept medical students and junior residents, which helps them develop bedside teaching and supervisory skills. Leadership development plays an essential role during year 3 as senior residents oversee the management of patients while precepting junior residents.Second year residents learn from sub-specialty physicians and spend more time with continuity patients in our state-of-the-art outpatient clinic.

In recognition of the ever-increasing importance of ultrasound-guided procedures, Family Medicine residents learn about ultrasound from faculty experts.

Residents have the opportunity to see patients longitudinally within the sports medicine field, treating college athletes under the supervision of a board-certified physician in family and sports medicine.

Family Medicine faculty with obstetrical care privileges directly supervise residents in the complete care of pregnant women.

Longitudinal Experiences

Family Medicine residents participate in a variety of longitudinal care experiences. They:

  • Provide ongoing continuity outpatient care during half-day sessions in the Family Medicine Clinic.
  • Deliver ongoing prenatal and inpatient labor and delivery care to continuity maternity patients.
  • Provide continuity care to nursing home patients.

Residents receive didactic and tutorial instruction in health system management experiences during their Family Medicine COPC tutorial sessions and during grand rounds.

Didactic Curriculum

While we firmly believe that the practice of Family Medicine is best learned through hands-on clinical care, we also recognize the importance of a high quality didactic curriculum to supplement clinical learning.

During monthly Journal Clubs, residents learn research methodology and literature review. Other learning opportunities include a weekly Grand Rounds series, Morbidity and Mortality, a longitudinal board review program, and a Wellness and Longevity curriculum.

Training also includes simulation sessions, procedure labs and interactive didactics to help residents prepare to manage highly complex medical patients. We provide certification in ACLS and PALS.

Elective Rotations

Additional elective experiences are included but not limited to:  allergy/immunology, psychiatry, psychology/behavioral medicine, dermatology, medical oncology, women’s health/GYN, ENT, orthopedics/sports medicine, palliative care, geriatrics, pathology, sleep medicine, rehabilitation medicine and medical ophthalmology.

Novel Elective Rotation Options

Leveraging the strengths of the WellStar Health System, Family Medicine curriculum and clinical experiences are available in areas including community health, student health, research, population health, health policy/advocacy, urgent care, international health, complex care and bariatric medicine.

Conferences

Resident education is enhanced by a variety of learning experiences. Conferences address learning needs traditionally identified by residents including: Family Medicine Grand Rounds, Ambulatory Morning Report, Inpatient Report, Journal Club, Quality Improvement, a board review course and Morbidity/Mortality Improvement. We also offer workshops and educational sessions related to leadership development.

Join a winning team

Kennestone Regional Medical Center is one of the busiest hospitals in Georgia. Our Emergency Department is the second busiest in the state. By joining our exceptional program you’ll have the chance to:

  • Hone your skills in research, teaching and scholarship through innovative, rotating educational conferences.
  • Teach and learn from other healthcare professionals in an exciting interdisciplinary environment.
  • Learn and perfect skills using state-of-the art simulation systems.
  • Explore the possibility of customizing a curriculum to match your interests.
Leadership & House Staff
Viktoria Nurpeisov
MD, FAAFP
Program Director, Family Medicine
Dr. Nurpeisov earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. Shortly after graduating she pursued her master's degrees at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University while starting her career in the development of the FDA-approved drugs at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Five compounds developed by this group have gone on to advanced clinical studies, and three of those have already been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of HIV-1 and HBV infections. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. She completed her residency at Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta, GA. She completed her Geriatric Medicine Fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Viktoria Nurpeisov is a Board Certified Geriatrician and Certified Medical Director of Cobb AG Rhodes Nursing Home. She is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and she is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Nurpeisov also is a member of The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Nurpeisov is currently in practice at WellStar Concord Family Medicine Clinic, a service of Kennestone Hospital. She is honored to be part of the Kennestone family as the Program Director of Kennestone Family Medicine Residency Program. Her areas of special interest include stress management, group facilitation, and educational programming about physician well-being. Dr. Nurpeisov enjoys fishing and gardening. She enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and her adorable daughter.
Tammy Hamm
C-TAGME
Program Coordinator, Family Medicine
Tammy comes to WellStar with 20 years of Graduate Medical Education experience. She previously worked as a Family Medicine Coordinator at Atlanta Medical Center and more recently Floyd Medical Center. She is excited to bring her experience to the WellStar Kennestone Family Medicine Residency.
Michael Kraft
MD
Associate Program Director, Family Medicine
Dr. Kraft graduated from Alvernia University, in Reading, PA, with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. Shortly after graduating he pursued his Master’s at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, in Biochemical Engineering while starting his career in the pharmaceutical industry managing clinical trials. He quickly realized he wanted more patient interaction and decided to go back to medical school. He graduated from Ross University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Drexel University, in his native state of Pennsylvania. After finishing residency he stayed on as faculty, worked part-time in the ER/Urgent Care setting, while establishing a practice at a federally qualified health center. He went on to complete a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Christiana Care in Delaware. During his fellowship he was fortunate enough to work with several professional and NCAA division 1 teams. After completing the fellowship he and his family decided it was time to go back his wife’s native city, Atlanta, GA. Dr. Kraft joined as core faculty within the residency at Atlanta Medical Center. Once the opportunity arose to join the budding Kennestone Family Medicine program he jumped at the chance. He serves as the associate program director and as one of the team physicians for Kennesaw State University. Lastly, he serves our country as a Major in the Air Force reserve, specializing in Aerospace Space Medicine. He enjoys spending as much family time as he can get with his wonderful wife, Jackie also a physician, and his adorable son Christian.
Sabine Barlatt
DO
Family Medicine Core Faculty
Dr. Barlatt grew up in New York City and graduated from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her family medicine residency at St Joseph Hospital in Warren, Ohio. Following residency she worked and became the medical director at the St. Joseph Tod Minor ER. There, she also worked as a preceptor for both medical students and Residents at the family medicine residency clinic. Dr Sabine M Barlatt is in currently in practice working alongside residents at the WellStar Family Medicine Clinic. Dr Barlatt has a strong passion for community outreach. She believes in promoting a healthy lifestyle and well-being for her patients. She has taken part in several community events. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her two children.
G. E. Alan Dever
MD, PhD
Director of Population Based Medicine and Research
Dr. Dever was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and grew up in the hockey crazed city of Belleville, Ontario. Hence, his continued passion for ice hockey and broken bones. After happily relocating to the USA and between varsity hockey for SUNY Buffalo he has managed to run a couple of mini marathons and earn several academic degrees in medicine, public health, epidemiology, nutrition and medical laboratory technology. He has written thirteen well-received text books published in the USA, Japan, China, Brazil and Spain. All of which did not impress his children one iota. They, however, continue to impress and amaze him…all twelve of them plus one great grandson named Dever, who will surely be a hockey player. His research passion continues to be evidence based medicine, population-based medicine coupled with his quest to promote passionate faculty research and scholarly activity. At Mercer University School of Medicine, he was the Founding Chair for Community Medicine, creator of the Master of Public Health Program and a Dean. He is proud to be recognized as Professor and Dean Emeritus at Mercer University. He is even more proud and honored and indeed, humbled to be associated with the Kennestone family as the Director of Medical Research for the Family Medicine Residency Program.
Samina Fakhr
MD
Inpatient Hospital, Family Medicine Core Faculty
Dr. Samina Fakhr earned her medical degree from DOW University of Health Sciences in Karachi, Pakistan. She completed her internship and residency at Louisiana State University Health Science Center Shreveport in the Department of Family Medicine. She is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Fakhr is also a member of the Georgia Academy of Family Practice. Dr. Fakhr is currently in practice at WellStar Kennestone Hospital as a Hospitalist. She will be an inpatient attending for the Family Medicine Residency Program at Kennestone Hospital. She has worked in both outpatient and inpatient settings but decided to be a hospitalist due to her special interest with the acute management of patients. She has a lot of teaching experience as she was a part of university health systems during her residency. Dr. Fakhr enjoys cooking and reading. She is happily married to a very nice and cooperative gentleman. She enjoys spending time with her beautiful and smart kids.
Rachel Feit
Psy.D
Behavioral Health, Family Medicine Core Faculty
Dr. Feit began her passion for health, medicine and psychology in high school when she began volunteering for Gilda’s Club. A native to South Florida, she completed her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and specialized in Health Psychology. Dr. Feit completed her residency and fellowship in Detroit, Michigan at Henry Ford Hospital. Since completing her fellowship in transplant and health psychology, Dr. Feit has worked in private practice, and became the behavioral medicine faculty for family medicine residency programs in Michigan at Beaumont Hospital, and then in Indiana at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center. Dr. Feit has served on hospital and community committees focused on mental health awareness, and intervention. When presented with the opportunity to move to Atlanta and join the WellStar family, Dr. Feit had no hesitation to leave winter behind and join this amazing team. Her interests are in: wellness, chronic illness, oncology, adolescent health, geriatrics, grief and loss. Rachel is married to the wonderful and funny Matthew Earley. She enjoys spending lots of time with her very close family and dog, baking, exercising, any and all things Disney, and raising awareness for pancreatic cancer research.
Omari Hodge
MD
Family Medicine Core Faculty
Dr. Hodge is originally from Brooklyn New York. He attended Medical School at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and later residency at Self Memorial Hospital in Greenwood South Carolina. He has worked in several departments within Wellstar such as urgent care, student health and most recently GME. He enjoys international medicine and currently leads mission trips to Africa and Central America for the purposes of humanitarian aid. He is board certified in Family Medicine and on the advisory board for both CMDA Atlanta and Good Samaritan Gwinnett. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kiera Hodge and their four children.
Paul Mathieu
MD
Inpatient Hospital, Family Medicine Core Faculty
Dr. Mathieu received his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. He completed his family medicine residency at Mercer University School of Medicine as well as a fellowship in geriatric medicine. Dr. Mathieu is board certified in family medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Mathieu enjoys teaching residents, keeping him a true academic. He is always looking to learn and keep up to date with the most recent developments in medicine. Dr. Mathieu is one of the inpatient hospitalists within the family medicine residency. He loves spending time with his wife and their beautiful daughter. He enjoys traveling; his favorite place is the Caribbean.
Vaidehi Ambai, DO
PGY-1
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Sandeep Dhaliwal, MD
PGY-1
Mata Gujri Memorial Medical College
Ibraheem Innab, MD
PGY-1
University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts
Puja Mehta, MD
PGY-1
American University of Antigua College of Medicine
Aileen Polanco Ramos, MD
PGY-1
Universidad Iberoamericana School of Medicine, Santo Domingo
Christine Sipple, MD
PGY-1
University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts
Lucy Triana, MD
PGY-1
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Bogota Facultad de Medicina, Columbia
Unique Features

Relevant Research Experience

Gain high-valuable exposure in trending areas like population health, quality of care and medical ethics. Learn patient care best practices from our Accountable Care Organization (ACO), recognized nationally for cost-savings and improved patient outcomes.

Participate in longitudinal follow-up by following a panel of clinic patients throughout your training. You’ll also develop in-depth quality of care initiatives that keep patients safe and improve health outcomes.

Sub-specialty Immersion

A Family Medicine faculty member with obstetrical care privileges supervises and mentors residents in labor and delivery. All core faculty members supervise residents in treating pregnant women within the Family Medicine clinic.

Residents gain pediatric exposure through inpatient rotation, outpatient clinic and newborn service. Residents see continuing/long-term patients at a local skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, where they interact with PT/OT/ speech therapists. Behavioral science is taught years 1, 2, and 3. Residents participate in Balint, Wellness curriculum, case presentations, behavioral medicine skill development, didactic, video review and direct patient observation. Faculty members and colleagues participate in didactic and hands-on learning.

Imaging Excellence

Residents benefit from immediate faculty involvement on interpretation of all X-rays taken at the Family Medicine outpatient clinic at the point of care. Family Medicine preceptors assist the residents in interpreting X-rays and give immediate feedback while the patient is being evaluated in clinic. In addition, residents benefit from immediate faculty involvement in interpretation of some ultrasound-guided sports medicine procedures taken at Family Medicine outpatient clinic at the point of care.

Focus on Wellness

Maintaining personal wellness, developing resiliency and combating burnout through awareness and healthy lifestyles is a consistent focus during the residency program. It is a group priority for all faculty members, who receive specific guidance from the behavioral medicine faculty.

At Kennestone, we want our residents to take care of themselves and their colleagues, have fun and be mindful of the pitfalls. In this way, they can best serve patients and the community, during residency and throughout their careers.

Salary & Benefits

Our salary and benefits program reflects our concern for the resident who has a life, not just a medical degree. Residents enjoy the same top-tier benefits offered to other WellStar Health System employees, and your health and wellness is a top priority. We’ve got people and programs to help you stay healthy, stay focused and not get overwhelmed.

Singular Concierge Services

  • Let our professional concierge team take your car for an oil change, restock your groceries or simply pick up a birthday gift for your loved ones while you stay focused on providing great care.
  • From simple errand running to event and travel planning, if you can dream it, our team can do it!
  • Residents can place concierge requests via phone, fax, email or in-person. Once a request has been made, a concierge team member will process and fulfill the request, then follow up with the resident to ensure everything is perfect.

Vacation and Incidental Sick Time

  • 20 paid work days per contract year. To be granted at the discretion of the Program Director.
  • Time not taken will not carry over to next contract year.

Illness

  • Five paid days per contract year. Unused days will not carry over to next contract year.

Maternity/Paternity/Adoption

  • Eligible for 120 hours of paid time off after six months of employment if full-time; 60 hours if part-time.
  • Paid time off will be applied before Illness pay or Vacation pay.

Malpractice Coverage

  • WellStar provided coverage at no cost to Resident.

Reimbursements

  • Up to $1,000 PGY-1, $1,400 PGY-2, $1,500 PGY-3, and $1,600 PGY-4-8 per contract year for professional dues, journal and subscription fees.
  • Board Certification/Recertification, DEA, Georgia medical license and city/county business license.

Group Long Term Disability (LTD)

  • Eligible after 30 days of continuous employment. No enrollment required.
  • Provided at no cost to Resident.
  • Payable on the 91st day of disability if approved by LTD Insurance Carrier.
  • Benefits equal 60 percent of monthly base pay (maximum $16,000 per month).

Supplemental Individual Disability Insurance

  • Eligible after one month of employment. Premiums paid by Resident.
  • Requires approval from Supplemental LTD company after completion of enrollment form.
  • Pays in addition to Group LTD plan providing a benefit up to 75% of total compensation.

Short Term Disability (STD)

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment.
  • Enrollment Required.
  • Premiums paid by Resident.
  • Benefit coverage equal to 60 percent of your base pay up to a maximum weekly benefit of $1,500.

Life Insurance

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment as Resident.
  • Basic Life and AD&D provided at no cost to Resident. Coverage amount equals 1.5 times annual base pay (not to exceed $500,000).  No enrollment necessary.  Will need to complete beneficiary information on web enrollment portal.
  • Optional Life provided at group rates. Can purchase up to four times annual base pay (not to exceed $500,000).  Spouse and child coverage available at group rates.  Imputed income recognized.

Qualified Pension Plan (defined benefit plan)

  • Generally, automatically enrolled in plan on first of month following age 21 and 12 consecutive months of WellStar employment with 1,000 hours from date of employment.
  • Will earn a year of credited service for each pension payroll plan year you are credited with at least 1,000 hours.
  • In most cases, you become fully vested after five years of service (i.e., paid at least 1,000 hours for five plan years). Vested benefit is payable once you reach normal retirement age.  Several payment options available.
  • May retire as early as age 55 (with a reduced benefit) as long as you have at least ten years of vesting service. Alternatively, you may elect to receive your benefit while working through the In-Service Distribution Option as early as age 62, provided you have completed at least ten years of vesting service.

Supplemental Retirement Savings Plan (403(b) defined contribution plan)

  • Eligible on first day of employment.
  • Resident directed investments.
  • Maximum contribution — $18,000 (age 50 and older $24,000). Limits subject to change according to IRS Regulations.
  • Resident contributions matched each pay period with a “true up” option at year end. For every $1 contributed, up to 4 percent of eligible earnings, WellStar will contribute $.50.
  • May contribute a percentage of bi-weekly salary or flat dollar amount each pay period.
  • Contributions taken from all taxable income throughout the payroll calendar year.
  • Roth and pre-tax options available.
    100 percent vested in WellStar contributions after three years of service.

Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan (457b)

  • Eligible to enroll on first day of employment, however deductions will not start until the month following the election.
  • Maximum annual Resident contribution $18,000. Limits subject to change according to IRS Regulations.
  • No WellStar matching contributions.
  • May contribute a percentage of bi-weekly salary or flat dollar amount each pay period.
  • Pre-tax contributions taken from all eligible taxable income throughout the payroll calendar year.
  • Investment options identical to 403(b) investments.

Medical Plan (High Deductible Health Plan Options)

Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment.
  • Three plan options — WellShare Premium, WellShare Select and Minimum Basic. Two WellShare plan options with access to Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), if not qualified for HSA.
  • HSA includes pro-rated WellStar lump sum contribution with optional Resident per pay period contribution up to annual IRS limit.
  • HRA includes pro-rated WellStar lump sum contribution. No Resident contribution allowed.
  • Resident and WellStar share in cost of medical plan option selected. Resident premiums deducted each pay period on pre-tax basis.

Dental, Flexible Spending Accounts, Vision, Accident, Critical Illness and Permanent Life Insurance

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment. Enrollment required. Premiums deducted each pay period.
Application Requirements & How to Apply

The Family Medicine Residency Program at WellStar Kennestone Regional welcomes applications from California List medical school graduates who are U.S. citizens, who hold a valid Green Card or who already have a J-1 Visa. Acceptance is based on medical school performance, board exam results, letters of recommendation and in-person interviews. We especially encourage applicants who are committed to improving the health of Georgia residents.

Below please find a brief summary of the key items, which are used as a part of the process for candidate selection.

  • Recent graduation from US or non-US medical school (within 5 years)
  • Clinical experience, as evidenced by letters of recommendation, from within the United States during externships/rotations
  • USMLE scores ≥ 225 on both Part I and Part II; no history of prior failures and passage of the CSA examination
  • Fluency in English and good written language skills
  • ECFMG certification if applicable
  • VISA status: J-1 visa holders only.

We invite you to submit your application through ERAS. Applications may be submitted through December 31, but early applications are given preference.  In the past several years, we have received over 3,500 applicants yearly and therefore are not able to respond individually. We will notify you should we select your application for an interview.

Our interview schedule begins in early October and continues through January. Please note that interviews are by invitation and will be scheduled on Thursdays only during the time period listed. We welcome your interest in the Family Medicine Residency Program at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center.

Questions? Contact Program Coordinator Tammy Hamm.