Resident Profiles

Eleanor Lastrapes, M.D.

Where are you from? Lafayette, LA

Where did you go to medical school? LSU Medical Center in New Orleans

Why did you choose psychiatry? I wanted to treat people, not diseases. I felt limited in other specialties because I wanted to hear my patient's stories and understand how the presenting pathology was impacted by their culture, family dynamic, and socioeconomic background. I never wanted to lose sight of the patient as a person or take the privilege of being their physician for granted, which is easier said than done at times, but seemed much more achievable for me in this field than any other. 

Why OU? I knew if I was going to leave Louisiana and move away from my family, I wanted the residency to be a home-away-from-home. I wanted to be a part of a community, a place where I could hang out with colleagues outside of work and develop lasting friendships. As soon as I visited, I knew this residency was where I wanted to be. The residents weren't just friendly, they wanted to get to know me as a person. It was clear by the way they interacted, they cared about each other and were happy both at work and outside of work. The faculty are also so supportive of the residents as individuals, not just as a unit. I feel like I am more than a number here. I feel home. 

Hobbies? I enjoy cuddling with my four cats in front of the TV and binge watching HGTV House Hunters pretty much nightly. Beyond that, nothing beats a strong cup of coffee/tea and a good book. My favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, and Stephen King, just to name a few.  I also enjoy napping, cooking, and trying out new restaurants in OKC with either my husband or friends.  
What do you like about Oklahoma City? It feels like home. The people are super friendly so it has a small-town feel, but there is always something to do or some new restaurant to try. Coming from New Orleans, where I lived for medical school, the traffic is way better and it's nice to have four seasons for a change. 

Theodore Brisimitzakis, M.D.

Where are you from? Olathe, Kansas

Where did you go to medical school? Kansas City University COM

Why did you choose psychiatry? I wanted to be a involved of a field where its fundamental diagnostic paradigms are still being discovered. 

Why OU? Being at an academic program in a smaller metropolitan area allowed me to be exposed to a diverse set of pathology while having a good quality of life on a resident's income.

Hobbies? I like watching sports and movies, going to the gym, drinking coffee.
What do you like about Oklahoma City? Its close proximity to Dallas and Kansas City while having an afforable cost of living.

Sarah Anwar, M.D.

Where are you from? Brooklyn, New York, but mostly Edmond, Oklahoma

Where did you go to medical school? University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Why did you choose psychiatry? The first thing that drew me to Psychiatry is the patient-physician relationship. The gravity of trust a patient places in their physician is remarkable to me. While physicians from every field of medicine collect a history while interviewing a patient, I saw psychiatrists delve further into finding the true essence of that person, especially the biopsychosocial dynamics. I related to this style of interviewing as I would want to know more and dig deeper into the story. The most impactful part of Psychiatry for me was the breadth of effects psychiatric conditions have, especially the role of mental health on a patient’s desire to participate in their medical management. I believe learning about a patient’s goals, hopes, dreams, fears, and general outlook while tailoring their treatment to best match their individual situation is one of the most essential components of medicine.

Why OU? OU was my home program, so I was blessed to get a first-hand look at the ins and outs of the program as an MS3 and as a Sub-I. I was blown away by how welcoming everyone was and how well everyone got along. There is a true family feel of the program. I was able to see firsthand how faculty take pride in and stand up for their residents. I also saw a huge commitment to a well-rounded education.

Hobbies? I love to cook, to bake, reading, spending time with my husband and kiddos, discovering new places around OKC, watching thunder basketball, yoga, weightlifting, and DIY projects! 
What do you like about Oklahoma City? It’s constantly evolving! There are great new restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues popping up everyday. Theres also a thriving art and music scene, fun events happening around downtown everyday, as well as exciting sports events!

Nancy Handler, M.D.

Where are you from? Davis, California

Where did you go to medical school? University of Nebraska

Why did you choose psychiatry? The patients, the stories, and the people who chose psychiatry as a career.

Why OU? I loved meeting all the residents on interview day! The residents seemed (and are) happy.

Hobbies? Travel, bargain-hunting, playing with my daughter

What do you like about Oklahoma City? Warm weather, Thunder basketball, affordable living

Alex Rossi, D.O.

Where are you from? Homer Glen, IL

Where did you go to medical school? Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences 

Why did you choose psychiatry? I believe psychiatry is a very dynamic and rewarding field and I enjoy being able to spend time getting to know patients and listening to their stories while treating their mental illnesses. 

Why OU? Supportive faculty, close-knit group of residents, diverse psychopathology, balance between psychopharmacology and psychotherapy  

Hobbies? Reading, traveling, cooking, running

What do you like about Oklahoma City? Minimal traffic, good food, friendly people, affordable

Erin Walling, M.D.

Where are you from? Edmond, Oklahoma

Where did you go to medical school? The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Why did you choose psychiatry? I chose Psychiatry because I felt like I was able to spend more time with patients than documenting on a computer. I also appreciate that Psychiatry is dynamic and multifactorial – every patient presents new challenges and learning opportunities. It was the only field where I always felt interested and engaged.

Why OU? I had the opportunity to rotate with OU Psychiatry as an MS3 and a Sub-I before going into the match so I felt like I had a very thorough understanding of the overall program structure and culture. I ultimately ranked OU as my top program because I felt like resident education was a priority, the faculty were all very invested in the well-being and teaching of residents, and the program as a whole cared about work/life balance for trainees. From a cultural perspective, the residents truly enjoyed one another’s company and, despite their differences, always supported one another. Having spent almost two years as a resident in this program, I can say that the kindness and support of the faculty and trainees makes all the difference. The transition from medical student to resident can be tough – enjoying the people you work with and knowing that your training is a priority sets the tone for professional and personal development. I frequently find myself feeling grateful for having the opportunity to train here.

Hobbies? Netflix, gardening, attempting to be athletic

What do you like about Oklahoma City? I think Oklahoma City is a great place to be a resident – it’s growing quickly so there’s always something to do and the cost of living is low enough that you actually have the available income to go out and enjoy the city. Also, it’s easy to afford comfortable housing within minutes of the hospital campus.

Maria Plata, M.D.

Where are you from? Eagle Pass, TX

Where did you go to medical school? Wake Forest School of Medicine

Why did you choose psychiatry? Even before medical school I knew my heart belonged in psychiatry. This field has the power to heal the body through an individual's mind and soul, which is unique in comparison to other areas of medicine.

Why OU? When I came to my interview at OU it was so different from all my other interviews across the country. The people at OU are welcoming and approachable, which is very important in a learning environment.

Hobbies? Traveling, the outdoors, learning about different cultures, yoga

What do you like about Oklahoma City? With plenty of sunshine all year round you can feel a vibrant energy as OKC keeps flourishing and expanding.

Paris Rohanni, M.D.

Where are you from? ​Arlington, Texas

Where did you go to medical school? UT Southwestern

Why did you choose psychiatry? As a medical student, I enjoyed my psychiatry rotation the most. I enjoyed talking with patients, learning their stories and treating mental illness. I also realized the importance of psychiatry in that mental illness may be underlying a lot of common medical diseases. There is also a significant shortage of psychiatrists and the demand will likely continue to grow in our lifetime. Psychiatrists have a great work life balance and there are many career and fellowship options after residency.

Why OU? I chose OU psychiatry because it ​is a university affiliated program where I could receive diverse and broad training. I also wanted to stay close to my home in Arlington, Texas. I enjoyed my interview day at OU and felt that it was different from many other programs I interviewed at in that the residents were so friendly, relaxed, and got along well with ​one another. ​The program is also very supportive of the residents, and everyone is very warm and approachable.

Hobbies? Cooking, shopping, yoga, travel, violin

What do you like about Oklahoma City? The city is diverse, quiet, and safe. The cost of living is low. People here are very friendly and there is very little traffic (compared to Dallas at least). There are many great restaurants and cafes.

Chauncey Atterberry, M.D.

Where are you from? Oklahoma City, OK

Where did you go to medical school? OU College of Medicine in Oklahoma City

Why did you choose psychiatry? I enjoy being able to spend quality time with patients, building rapport with them, and advocating for patients' mental health needs. As a physician, we have the unique opportunity of understanding the medical needs of patients and the interplay of their medical needs/medications with their mental health. Great fulfillment comes from advocating for patients and affecting change in their lives in, both, acute settings and over a longer period of time. The work-life balance is pretty awesome too!

Why OU? Having been a student at OU and rotating through the clerkship, I was impressed with the comfortable and supportive environment in the OU Department of Psychiatry. OU has diverse training experiences, preparing residents for a variety of employment opportunities. Most importantly, the "family feel" of the department is invaluable. I look forward to coming to work everyday because I know I'm going to be doing something I love with people I enjoy spending time with.

Hobbies? I enjoy spending time with my wife and son. I like to bowl when I have time and sometimes attempt to play disc golf (I'm not very good at the latter). A newer hobby for me is learning to cook different meats on my electric smoker... I make a pretty good brisket, if I must say so myself.

What do you like about Oklahoma City? Being from OKC and having never left, OKC is home for me. There is a lot to do in the ever-growing Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Cost of living and housing are quite affordable. Surprisingly, OKC has a diverse food/restaurant culture.

Kyle Smith, M.D.

Where are you from? ​Arlington, Texas

Where did you go to medical school? Texas Tech

Why did you choose psychiatry? Because you still get to spend time getting to know people.

Why OU? Good camaraderie among residents

Hobbies? Anything outdoors.

What do you like about Oklahoma City? Its still small enough to be affordable, but definitely has a lot of new stuff going on.

Anthony Morris, M.D.

Where are you from? ​Purcell, Oklahoma

Where did you go to medical school? OU College of Medicine

Why did you choose psychiatry? I enjoy talking and interacting with patients. It is amazing to get to know the patients and follow their progress. Psychiatric disorders and substance abuse treatment have always been fascinating to me, and I have wanted to help patients in these specific areas.

Why OU? I chose OU because of the excellent faculty and the ability to see a wide variety of psychiatric illnesses. The attending physicians always encourage independent thinking and discussing the individual cases. I also enjoyed the closeness and family like atmosphere between all the residents from class to class.

Hobbies? fishing, hiking, basketball, archery, and spending time with friends and family

What do you like about Oklahoma City? It is a great city that has everything you need. It is expanding with many new restaurants and businesses from year to year. The cost of living is also great as well. The OKC Thunder, Bricktown, the Riverwalk, and Lake Hefner are just a few great spots to enjoy around the city.