As part of the residency “family,” our residents build close relationships with each other and with faculty and staff as they blend into dynamic teams. They find time to appreciate each other as individuals and frequently bond over outdoor adventures. Billings is a family-friendly city with lots to do for young families from outdoor adventures and fun runs to concerts and theater performances.

Class of 2019

Heather Calvert

Hometown: Vine Grove, Ky.

College: US Naval Academy, Annapolis Md.

Medical School: University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville Ky.

Outside Interests: Music, travel, animals, anything outdoors

Medical Interests: Wilderness medicine, palliative care, geriatrics, rural medicine

Life before Medicine: Odd jobs and international travel

Favorite Music: TAB, folk, indie/alternative, bluegrass, classical

Favorite Movies: Action/adventure, foreign

Why you chose MFMR: Not only is MFMR a recognized patient-centered medical home, but it also has an eclectic house staff.  I was also looking for full-spectrum training with a focus on rural medicine and the opportunity to participate in some form of international medicine.  As a bonus, Montana is a beautiful state with countless opportunities for outdoor activities.

Natalie Halapin

Hometown: New Orleans, La.

College: Tulane University, New Orleans, La.

Medical School: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, La.

Outside Interests: Trail and ultra running, writing, my two dogs, hiking, skiing, music festivals, travel, mindfulness, new experiences

Medical Interests: Wilderness medicine and sports medicine

Life before Medicine: Neuroscientist, radio DJ

Favorite Music: Anything but pop music

Favorite Movies: “Jurassic Park,” “Titus Andronicus,” “Death Becomes Her,” “Beetlejuice,” “The Good The Bad and The Ugly.”

James Hickey     

Hometown: Savage, Minn.

College: University of Minnesota Duluth

Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colo.

Outside Interests: Hunting, camping, hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding and photography.

Medical Interests: Sports medicine, nutrition, and wilderness medicine.

Life before Medicine: Before pursuing medical school I was studying business with the intent of managing or owning health club facilities. I love seeing people take a health, wellness, or fitness goal, and turn it into reality. Becoming a family medicine physician was a clear choice, since it allows me to have the full spectrum of healthcare delivery available to meet my patient’s health goals.

Favorite Music: A variety, depending on my activity, but mostly indie rock, hip-hop, and country.

Favorite Movies: Space movies, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Why you chose MFMR:  I wanted a variety of training experiences in an unopposed setting, which was close to family. After interviewing with MFMR, it was apparent that the program offered more than my expectations. Montana is a beautiful state with healthcare shortages, and I find it very rewarding that I’ll be involved with both.


Daniela Mestre

Hometown: Irvine, Calif.

Medical School: Universidad de la Republica Facultad de Medicina, Montevideo, Uruguay

Outside Interests: Dancing, going to amusement parks, hiking, traveling.  I’m also a big soccer fan, especially when Uruguay plays.

Medical Interests: Full-spectrum family medicine, preventive medicine.

Life before Medicine: I moved to Uruguay when I was 11 years old.   I have wanted to be a doctor ever since I was 13.  Growing up there was a wonderful experience.  I made lots of friends and became very close to my family.  I was fortunate to travel frequently and was exposed to many different cultures.  Now I’m so happy to be living here, especially in Montana.

Favorite Music: Pretty much everything, pop, hip hop, oldies rock.  Since moving to Montana, I started liking country music.

Favorite Movies: “Titanic,” “Dirty Dancing,” “The Hangover” and Disney movies in general.

Why you chose MFMR: When I moved to Billings, I fell in love with it.  It’s so beautiful and the people here are the nicest I’ve ever met.  MFMR has an excellent reputation for training full-spectrum family medicine physicians and the people are very friendly and content.

Thomas O’Brien

Hometown: Villanova, PA

College: University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Va.

Medical School: Medical School for International Health, Beersheva, Israel

Outside Interests: Mountaineering, humming, animals and plants, meditation

Medical Interests: Sports and emergency medicine

Life before Medicine: Lived in Israel, vacationed in Iraq, climbing in Alaska and Wyoming, proficient ear wiggler

Favorite Music: Alternative, classical, progressive, multicultural

Favorite Movies: “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Great Escape,” “Princess Mononoke,” “La Belle Verte,” “The Seventh Seal”

Why you chose MFMR:  The people I’ve met here, especially the residents and faculty are warm, welcoming, and prodigious instructors. I’ve wanted to live and work in the Rockies for a long time with access to as much wilderness as one can be enveloped by. As this is my goal, I seek to support others’ life adventures in exploring/appreciating nature and themselves.

Joe Pummer

Hometown: Firestone, Colo.

College: University of Northern Colorado – Greeley

Medical School: University of Queensland School of Medicine, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Outside Interests: Running, wanderlust, sampling all kinds of food

Medical Interests:  International aid, full-spectrum family medicine

Life before Medicine: I could have starred as the football jock in any high school coming of age movie

Favorite Music: Alternative rock, reggaeton, K-pop

Favorite Movies: Romantic comedies, “Forrest Gump,” and “Dumb and Dumber”

Why you chose MFMR:  All of the residents were super chill and seemed genuinely happy. Billings has the perfect mix of having access to specialists of all types, yet allowing family medicine physicians to practice the full scope of their specialty. And of course, having five mountain ranges within sight of the city is a huge plus.

Jarryd Rossignol

Hometown: New Sweden, Maine

College: University of New England, Biddeford, ME

Medical School: University of New England COM

Outside Interests: Fly fishing, basketball, collecting basketball sneakers

Medical Interests: Rural Family Medicine, Sports Medicine

Life before Medicine: Pretty simple, sports and fly fishing. Played basketball and soccer in college, trained varsity soccer and basketball teams. Fished anytime in between. Always dreamed of being a rural family doc.

Favorite Music: Prog-rock, ambient, writing my own on guitar

Favorite Movies: “Ace Ventura,”  “Shawshank Redemption”

Why you chose MFMR: The people were great, the residents were awesome and down to Earth. Instructors were top notch. Always wanted to be in Montana, as I have lived on the East Coast my entire life. And oh yeah, the Bighorn, Yellowstone, and the Missouri rivers run through here…

Rebecca Slingwine

Hometowns: Duvall, Wash., and Jacksonville, Fla.

College: University of Washington, Seattle

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine – Bradenton, Bradenton, Fla.

Outside Interests: Horseback riding, gardening, fiber arts, dancing, video games, and spending time with my husband and our pets.

Medical Interests: Women’s health, obstetrics, osteopathic manipulative medicine, preventative medicine, psychiatry, wilderness medicine

Life before Medicine: Before I started med school, I spent a bit over a year doing research in developmental biology

Favorite Music: Alternative rock, world music, and anything else that sounds good

Favorite Movies: If it has a lightsaber or a dragon, I’m probably interested.

Why you chose MFMR: It teaches what I want to learn around people I want to work with and get to know. I’ve always wanted to practice rural full-spectrum family medicine, and MFMR has a history of training physicians who are prepared to do just that.  The residents seem like happy, interesting, well-balanced people and physicians, and the faculty and staff seemed dedicated to providing the best education to their residents and the best healthcare to the people of Montana.

Class of 2018

Lisa Antonio

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

College: University Of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Medical School: University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque

Outside Interests: Climbing, running/hiking with Duke, my husky dog; kickboxing/Mixed Martial Arts; soccer; basketball; traveling, including international travel; family; learning new languages; journaling; and napping

Medical Interests: Rural, full-spectrum Family Medicine; wilderness/austere medicine; global health; sports medicine; neurology

Life before Medicine: School.  I was first interested in virology starting in middle school after reading “The Hot Zone.”  I got into a BA/MD program, the first of its kind in New Mexico, meant to increase the number of rural physicians in New Mexico. In medical school, I traveled to Panama, Kenya and Nepal for research and global health courses.

Favorite Music: EDM, a broad range from hip-hop/rap and alternative to folk, etc.

Favorite Movies: Comedies and Rom-coms. anything by Hayao Miyazaki, Hunger Games

Why you chose MFMR: MFMR is one of the few programs that is recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home – which is important to me; the opportunity to pursue a Wilderness Medicine Fellowship during the residency; everyone shares a passion for  quality health care and bring unique skills and experiences to the residency; the plethora of outdoor activities available just a walk or drive away – and being close to Yellowstone National Park isn’t so bad either.

Abi Ashcraft

Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.
College: Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Outside Interests: Running marathons, hot yoga, snowshoeing, baking, singing a cappella
Life before Medicine: Liberal arts fiends and study abroad fanatic!
Favorite Music: Bluegrass, folk, Tay Swift
Favorite Movies: Romantic comedies and Quentin Tarantino films
Why you chose MFMR: Full-spectrum rural medicine training, close to family in Montana and Wyoming, ability to work with a Native American population, and being able to drive to Yellowstone

Medina Culver

Hometown: Billings, Mont.

College: Montana State University, Bozeman

Medical School: Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine, Henderson, Nev.

Outside Interests: Pilates, hiking, yoga, playing with my bulldog Chuck

Medical Interests: Sports medicine, preventative medicine, diet

Life before Medicine: Involved a lot more time watching Sports Center, playing basketball, and I spent a lot more on time with household chores

Favorite Music: Country

Favorite Movies: Avengers, Iron Man, Batman (before Ben Affleck), and Pitch Perfect

Why you chose MFMR: To come home, be close to my family, and help make Billings a better city in health and wellness

Kelsey Hoffman

Hometown: Warsaw, Ind.

College: Loyola University Chicago, Ill.

Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine- Midwestern University, Ill.

Outside Interests: Rock climbing, yoga, biking, cooking and baking, fishing, hunting

Medical Interests: Osteopathic manipulations, sports medicine, preventative medicine

Life before Medicine: Grew up in small town Indiana, playing soccer and hunting or fishing with my dad. Went to college in the big city of Chicago, where I continued to play soccer and discovered I really didn’t like living in a big city. Met my husband in high school (he was my senior prom date). We dated long distance while I was in Chicago for college and med school. He went to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York and now sails as a Marine Engineer.

Favorite Music: Bluegrass, especially when it is my husband playing the upright bass, and Irish music

Favorite Movies: X-Men, Avengers, Green Mile, Pride & Prejudice

Why you chose MFMR: I chose MFMR for several reasons. My husband and I love Montana. We got married just outside Missoula in 2014. I did an audition rotation with the program as a fourth year medical student and fell in love with it. The attending physicians are great teachers. The residents are fun, hard-working and close friends. The program offers great, unopposed training that is a beautiful combination of rural issues in a “metropolitan” setting. I know Montana has a great need for health care providers and I want to help fill that need. Plus, Montana fits my outdoorsy nature and my husband’s.

Erik Nevatt

Hometown: Sonora, CA

College: Pacific Union College, Angwin, Calif.

Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Calif.

Outside Interests: Fishing, snowboarding, skateboarding, barbecue

Medical Interests: Rural family medicine and emergency medicine

Life before Medicine: Construction

Favorite Music: Folk, Bluegrass, Punk

Favorite Movies: Safety Not Guaranteed, Dedication

Why you chose MFMR: Excellent training in a location with access to wilderness and fishing.

Alexander Nutt

Hometown: Marblehead, Mass.

College: University of Vermont, Burlington

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica, West Indies

Outside Interests: Anything outdoors

Medical Interests: Sports medicine, Wilderness medicine, obstetrics, rural medicine, research

Life before Medicine: Vail Mountain ski patroller, NOLS mountain instructor

Favorite Music: Anything that sounds good to me… reggae, rock, jam bands, metal

Favorite Movies: Scrapple the Movie

Why you chose MFMR: Lifestyle, education, great people, to be in Montana

Andy Owenreay

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

College: Texas Tech University, Lubbock

Medical School: Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Vallejo, Calif.

Outside Interests: Playing music; social, environmental and economic justice; hiking; karaoke; permaculture

Medical Interests: Rural medicine, wilderness medicine, Health at Every Size

Life before Medicine: I studied chemical engineering in college but had qualms about participating in the industries for which my degree prepared me. I moved with my wife, Kristen, to Laramie, Wyoming, where she went to grad school for three years. In Laramie, I worked for the disability support services at the University of Wyoming and played guitar in a country/classic rock band.

Favorite Music: Rock, country, bluegrass, hip-hop, folk, Broadway

Favorite Movies: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Hobbit (the cartoon from the 80s), Rocky Horror Picture Show

Why you chose MFMR: After living in Wyoming, Kristen and I were very excited to return to the beautiful Mountain West. I was particularly excited about the wilderness medicine fellowship available at MFMR as well as its status as a community health center and Billings as a referral center for the larger region.

Richard Payden

Hometown: Moline, Illinois

College: Western Illinois University, Moline

Medical School: American University of the Caribbean, St. Maarten

Outside Interests: I enjoy being physically active; whether it is hiking, biking, lifting weights, or running. I also enjoy reading and cooking quite a bit.

Medical Interests: I have interests in rural medicine, wilderness medicine, emergency medicine. I hope to practice in a smaller town.

Life before Medicine: My life before medicine involved working as a personal trainer for a few years as well as a tech in the emergency department for a couple of years. I also have had the opportunity to live overseas in Japan and Germany and in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado and Montana.

Favorite Music: I mainly listen to heavier rock music, but do enjoy most other music as well.

Favorite Movies: This is a hard question, I would say that I tend to like action movies and comedies the most, but will watch almost anything.

Why you chose MFMR: I chose to do my residency in Montana for numerous reasons, at the top of the list being the people that are here. When I interviewed here, I had never felt so at ease in an interview. Another aspect was the program’s reputation for producing well-rounded physicians that were comfortable in rural settings. Lastly, the wilderness medicine fellowship and the chance to spend my off time outdoors were also big draws.

Class of 2017

Dawn Corso

Hometown: Massapequa Park, New York

College: State University of New York at Binghamton

Medical School: American University of the Caribbean, St. Maarten

Outside Interests: Running, hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, mountain biking, rafting, photography, cooking, rock hounding, watching movies… I hope to add fly fishing and Folf to the list soon.

Medical Interests: I am interested in practicing broad scope family medicine, and am excited about the wilderness medicine program.

Life before Medicine: I pursued a Master’s degree in physical anthropology.

Favorite Books: Desert Solitaire, Theodore Rex, Watership Down, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Favorite Music: My taste in music is all over the place

Favorite Movies: Dances with Wolves, Steel Magnolias, A River Runs Through It, The Goonies

Why you chose MFMR: When I came to Montana in 2003, I quickly grew to love the state. I was very impressed by the MFMR Program and people, so it all worked out.

Eric Farmer

Hometown: Mountain View, California

College: Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu

Medical School: Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill.

Outside Interests: Swimming, surfing, yoga, hiking, trying to cook. I’m really hoping that I’ll enjoy skiing.

Medical Interests: Rural medicine, full spectrum family medicine with an emphasis on preventative medicine.

Life before Medicine: Right after high school I enlisted in the Marine Corps infantry and had the honor of serving overseas in Southeast Asia and Iraq. After leaving the Corps, I became a dedicated student and surf bum: first in San Diego, then in Hawaii. During that time I found an interest in science and chemistry which led me to Chicago for medical school.

Favorite Books: So many… I’ve been re-reading and enjoying White Fang, Call of the Wild, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In general, I enjoy pretty much anything by Robert Heinlein.

Favorite Music: Jack Johnson, Flogging Molly, Mumford and Sons. Pretty much whatever is on.

Favorite Movie: Bottle Shock, the Band of Brothers series, Tombstone

Why you chose MFMR: Montana has always had an air of mystery and adventure (when you’re from California) that I wanted to be a part of. The program has an excellent reputation for producing physicians that are capable in any situation, and most importantly, the people that I met in the program and in town during my interview were completely friendly and made me want to be a part of this community.

Katrina Maher

Hometown: Helena, Mont.

College: Willamette University, Salem, Ore.

Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Mich.

Outside Interests: Traveling, art history, reading, listening to music, exploring new areas and hanging out with friends and family

Medical Interests: Preventative and sports medicine

Life before Medicine: I graduated from Helena High School and decided to leave to explore something new. At Willamette, I pursued a degree in biology in preparation for a career in medicine, but I also completed a degree in art history. I love the way history and past cultures come to life while studying their art and architecture. My love for art has morphed into a lifetime love of travel. After undergrad, I lived and worked in London for a few months. This provided me ample opportunity to explore the numerous museums in that city. It also solidified my desire to pursue medicine as a career. I worked with the wellness department at the hospital in Helena, making me realize how much I wanted to be able to practice medicine in Montana.

Favorite Books: Harry Potter, The Name of the Wind, The Historian, and A Discovery of Witches

Favorite Music: Adele, Josh Groban, most Country music, and anything you can sing to.

Favorite Movie: It depends on my mood, but the top contenders include Casanova, The Queen, The 300, Pride and Prejudice and Moulin Rouge.

Why you chose MFMR: I have always wanted to return home to Montana to practice medicine. I love being close to the outdoors and working with like-minded people.

Tiffany Mitchell

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

College: Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Mo.

Medical School: Saint Louis University, Mo.

Outside Interests: Soccer, rock climbing, traveling, snowboarding/skiing, hiking, reading, anything outdoors

Medical Interests: Full-Spectrum Family Medicine, Wilderness Medicine, Women’s Health, Adolescent Medicine, Sports Medicine

Life before Medicine: I have played soccer my entire life and played in college. I also coached high school girls’ soccer in college. I’ve worked many jobs including retail, as a farmhand, tutor, and as a physiology supplemental instructor at my college. I also love to travel and spent a few weeks in Europe by myself the summer between finishing college and starting medical school.

Favorite Books: Harry Potter series, The Divine Comedy (Dante), anything that catches my eye.

Favorite Music: The Avett Brothers, The Shins, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Band of Horses…I love music and try not to limit myself.

Favorite Movie: How can anyone choose?

Why you chose MFMR: Everything about Montana drew me in. The residency has an incredible reputation for training exceptional physicians, the program is broad spectrum, and offers an integrated Wilderness Medicine Fellowship. But what really makes a place is the people and the people in Billings are fantastic. Everyone is so happy and genuinely kind you can’t help but be happy too.

Dorothy Sizemore

Hometown: Whitehall, Mont.

College: Montana State University, Bozeman

Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colo.

Outside Interests: Reading, hiking, baking, playing Auntie, filling my National Parks passport

Medical Interests: Rural medicine, public health, disaster medicine

Life before Medicine: My mom said she knew I would be a physician when I was about 4, and my favorite activity was listening to her heart with my toy stethoscope and giving her M&M’s as medicine. So, most of my life has been spent in pursuit of becoming Dr. Sizemore. Through undergrad and then grad school in Bozeman, I spent time enjoying my family, volunteering with Montana Women Vote and Bridger Clinic, hiking through Montana’s beautiful mountains, and dreaming of med school.

Favorite Books: The BFG by Roald Dahl, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, most Dan Brown novels, Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Favorite Music: The Clintons, traditional Bluegrass, Dirty Art Club, Kacey Musgraves, The Black Keys, a little bit of everything…

Favorite Movie: The Wizard of Oz…for obvious reasons

Why you chose residency MFMR: After four years away, I realized that coming home was very important to me. I get to be close to my family, and the people of Montana are the most genuine, kind people I’ve met in my travels. MFMR has a great full spectrum program, and I can continue my training for rural practice with opportunities in public health, as well.

Brendon Smith

Hometown: Choteau, Mont.

College: Montana State University, Bozeman; Carroll College, Helena, Mont.

Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences, Mo.

Outside Interests: Farming/ranching, skiing, hiking, camping, traveling, football

Medical Interests: Broad-spectrum medicine, wilderness medicine, mobile healthcare

Life before Medicine: I grew up on a family farm & ranch where we raised cattle, wheat, and malt barley. I studied psychology at Carroll College and cell biology & neuroscience at Montana State University. I also spent several years between and amongst my college years working as a truck driver primarily in the van-line moving and petroleum industries which allowed me to extensively travel the USA and gain great experiences.

Favorite Books: Einstein’s Biography

Favorite Music: Country, rock, grunge/post-grunge, many others

Favorite Movie: Comedies of any kind, any movie that is thought-provoking

Why you chose MFMR: After doing a rotation in Billings during my fourth year, I was very impressed with the education and the people at MFMR. The program and Billings are a great fit and I’m very excited to be back home in Montana.

Chardonnay Vance

Hometown: Minnetonka, Minn.

College: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Medical School: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Outside Interests: Hiking and camping, keeping up with friends and family, cooking, reading

Medical Interests: Preventative medicine, nutrition and health, fetal origins of adult disease, obstetrics
Life before Medicine: Full of interesting people, places, and ideas: as it is now

Favorite Books: I keep coming back to A. A. Milne…

Favorite Music: Classical to country, depending on the mood

Favorite Movie: Anything by Wes Anderson

Why you chose MFMR: I chose MFMR because of the amazing, grounded people in the program, the inspiring landscapes of the area, and the rigorous, full-spectrum training.

Joy Welty

Hometown: Harrisburg, Pa.

College: Millersville University, Millersville, Pa.

Medical School: Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa.

Outside Interests: My son Mason, daughter Bryn, and  Australian cattle dog, Riker; Army National Guard, hiking, camping, biking, designing & making stained glass, sewing, playing flute, singing

Medical Interests: Field surgical procedures, wilderness response & disaster relief, critical access hospitals

Life before Medicine:  Prior to med school, I worked as a swimsuit and fitness model for 11 years, and held jobs in surgical pathology, cancer research and research on GU tract oxytocin receptors. I currently serve in the Army National Guard and have served in Active Army and Army Reserve since 1997.

Favorite Books: Anything by Stephen King, chillers and thrillers.

Favorite Music: I appreciate every genre from hard rock to hip-hop to country to oldies.

Favorite Movie: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy;  any epic adventure movie

Why you chose MFMR: I was looking for a program with an emphasis on rural and wilderness medicine and found that MFMR program had a unique Wilderness Fellowship that could be completed concurrently with the residency. I wanted to learn things that would dovetail with my National Guard service. It was important to move somewhere my kids would be happy. With the gorgeous landscapes, small towns, plenty of space, and unlimited outdoor activities, I knew Montana would be perfect for us.