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Second-Year Fellows

Mark McPherson photoMark McPherson, D.O.

Medical School: Arizona College, Midwestern University
Residency: Maricopa Integrated Health System, AZ

I’m from Arizona, my family and I came to Kansas City for fellowship! 

My favorite thing about Kansas City is the green grass and the variety of stylish homes here.  My wife and I like to take road trips and travel together. My 2 year-old enjoys anything outdoors. I enjoy spending time with family, going on road trips, playing basketball, and exercising.  

I chose ID because I’ve always thought how our immune systems discriminate between the harmful and harmless was fascinating, as well as its mechanisms to deal with a perceived threat. On a practical level, being able to help a patient to overcome an infectious disease through identification of the pathogen and effective treatment is very satisfying. 

Austin Price photoAustin Price, M.D.

Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Residency: Columbia Pacific Medical Center, CA

I went to medical school at KU Med, and then to a residency I loved at a major medical center in San Francisco. KU ultimately became my #1 choice in The Match, and I’m still glad every day that I chose KU.

I have always loved Kansas City. It offers the benefit of so much culture that comes with a bigger city, while still having that small-town feel, which reminds me of home. Since moving back here, I have had the opportunity to make it home to Girard more often, which is so comforting since my parents and older sister still live there. I enjoy time with friends, experiencing new restaurants, and going to concerts. I also love to travel, and I try to take a major international trip every year. My partner, Micheal, lives in Chicago, so I’m often traveling back and forth from there.

 I thoroughly enjoy the patient populations we serve as ID physicians, which is vibrant and ever-changing. As a specialist in a field without its own body system, you’re constantly challenged to keep learning, reading, and exploring medicine in order to hone your skills.

Kenneth Villareal portraitKenneth Villareal, D.O.

Medical School:  Kansas City University
Residency: HCA Overland Park Regional Medical Center, KS

I’m originally from St. Louis MO, but most of my family is in Texas. I went to medical school at KCU and residency in Overland Park, so I have been in the area for several years now. The best thing about Kansas City is definitely the BBQ. My family loves hosting boardgame nights with our friends, fellows, and old residency classmates. In my free time, I am a bit of a hobbyist in electronics. I take a lot of effort and time design aspects of my workplace at home. 

 There are a number of reasons I chose to study Infectious Diseases. The investigative process of diagnosing an infection or the cause of one, and the satisfaction in treating a disease with relatively quick recovery is very rewarding.  I like that the job is both slow thoughtful and intellectual and ultimately gratifying.

First-Year Fellows

Alex Belote photoAlex Belote, D.O.

Medical School: William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - Northwest

I was born in Blue Springs, MO and am thrilled to be returning to my hometown! For me, my favorite thing about Kansas City is the fun childhood memories I have with my family. Going to Union Station around Christmas is always enjoyable. I come from a very active family. We love to play tennis, golf and do anything outdoors at the Lake of the Ozarks. Tennis is by far my favorite leisurely activity. I'd play every day if I could.

Shadowing an ID specialist in my hometown was my first exposure to medicine, and I immediately fell in love. ID has so many perks, it's tough to list them all. I love the variety, microbiology, ID pharmacology, and balance between inpatient and outpatient environments. I can't imagine doing anything different.

Liz Savage photoLiz Savage, D.O.

Medical School: Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Internal Medicine Residency, Spokane, WA

I am from Overland Park, KS. After completing residency in Washington, we decided to move back to Kansas City.

I think Kansas City is the perfect mix of friendly people, activities, and accessibility to everything the city has to offer. I am married and have two young kids. My family enjoys being outside, and we are always on the lookout for new adventures. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, trying new restaurants or breweries, cheering on the KC sports teams, and baking treats.

ID is the intersection of my strengths and interests within medicine. It satisfies my curious nature as the presentations require understanding of the whole human body and the field is constantly evolving. I also look forward to incorporating my interest in bioethics.

Charles Walde portraitCharles Walde, M.D.

Medical School:  University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO
Residency: University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS

I'm from Washington, MO. I chose KU for residency 3 years ago, and have never left. I enjoy calling Kansas City home. My favorite thing about Kansas City is certainly the Barbecue. When I have free time, I enjoy outdoor running and fly fishing.

I chose ID for many reasons, but I'd say first and foremost is because the specialty focuses on high value care. This is something that I care deeply about.

Incoming Fellows

Headshot of Phani Akella, MBBSPhani Akella, MBBS

Medical School: MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Residency: Mclaren, Flint, MSU-Flint, MI

I am born and raised in India, moved to Kentucky for a master’s in public health (MPH). I finished my residency in Michigan, worked in Louisiana for a couple of years, and then moved to Kansas City for my wife’s training to be an endocrinologist.

I would consider myself relatively new to Kansas City but thoroughly enjoyed it so far. It has everything a big city has to offer. Lots of parks, greenery, and good food. I love spending time outdoors with my son and daughter, we are mostly on our bikes in the evening. We all love to travel.

The fascinating spectrum of problems caused by microorganisms involving every organ system and the challenge of identifying and connecting these dots to make the right diagnosis is what attracted me to ID. The best part is the satisfaction obtained from curing someone of their infection.

Headshot of Tori Kunkel, MDTori Kunkel, MD

Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Residency: University of Tennessee Health Science Center

I am from Overland Park, KS, and I am so excited to come back to Kansas City after finishing residency in Memphis! My parents and younger sister still live in Kansas. You can always catch us at a Chiefs home game or a Train concert at Starlight.

What I love about KC is that there’s something for everyone, from football to BBQ to breweries. Most of my free time is spent reading, taking care of my collection of houseplants, and experimenting with new latte recipes.

I chose ID because it is so rewarding to be able to cure and control infections that range from minor to life-threatening. I love the mix of seeing patients in the hospital and the clinic, and there is great continuity that allows me to establish long-term relationships with my patients.

Headshot of Jason Sakizadeh, MDJason Sakizadeh, MD

Medical School: University of Minnesota Medical School
Residency: University of Minnesota

I grew up in Minnesota, and I’m a triple-Gopher- doing undergrad, medical school, and residency at the University of Minnesota. I like KU’s clinical opportunities, program culture, and collaboration with faculty.

I enjoy the social aspect of the specialty from having to fully learn details of patient’s lives and collaborate, and I like the detective work of having to use all diagnostic tools at your disposal (history, exam, tests) to come up with an appropriate plan. I have an interest in antimicrobial and diagnostic stewardship.

I enjoy outdoor activities in my free time hiking and biking. I root for the Twins in baseball (I’ll of course root for the Royals when they aren’t playing the Twins). I also play saxophone in a community band, so I will be looking for a band to join in Kansas City.

Internal Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Internal Medicine
Infectious Diseases Division
Mailstop 1028
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-4045
Fax: 913-588-3995