UM/JMH Family Medicine Residency
Behnam Djahed, MD
Inpatient Director/Residency Faculty
“It is a very different feeling to know that you were trained and continue to work in the program that started it all. Our Family Medicine program at UM/JMH was the first academic program in the country. I have been privileged enough to have known and worked with Dr. Lynn Carmichael, one of the founding fathers of Family Medicine in the United States. I am proud to say that under the leadership of Dr. Robert Schwartz, the initial mission and vision of our department continues to live today -- to provide quality care to anyone who needs it regardless of their ability to pay. For over half of a century, our UM/JMH program has existed in a large academic tertiary care center with rigorous clinical activities and a solid scholastic foundation. This affords our residents with a comprehensive experience in patient care that in many ways is unparalleled. No matter how minor and complex of a medical issue, our residents are exposed to them. This creates confident physicians who elevate and enhance the health of the communities that they live in and provide care the way it was meant to be, caring for the whole person.” Dr. Djahed is a proud Class of 1990 program graduate.
Luis Ramos Goñez, MD
"I love teaching because it is all worthwhile the moment that our residents get it...it is a great feeling for both residents and teacher." Dr. Ramos graduated from our program in 2012 and joined our faculty in 2013. Prior to joining our program, he had extensive clinical experience as a practicing physician in Cuba and South Africa. Dr. Ramos was honored with our Faculty Teaching Award by the Class of 2020.
Ashley Rojas Mehta, MD
"As a resident, I had so much fun, learned more than I ever would have imagined possible, and shared some of the most important years of my life with individuals whom I am proud to say I worked beside. Coming back after fellowship as faculty was an obvious choice. It is very rewarding working with our amazing students and residents in caring for our underserved population of patients.” Dr. Rojas was our Class of 2017 chief resident, and is currently our assistant program director.
Family Medicine Inpatient Team
Our family medicine inpatient faculty Drs. Djahed, Ramos, and Rojas (from left to right).
Each rotate on our service for 4 weeks and then 8 weeks at our Jefferson Reaves Clinic.
The key to our success is the commitment of our faculty and staff to excellence in education and patient care.
Marie Denise Gervais, MD
We do more than treat pathologies. We take care of people. That may mean educating parents about losing weight or cooking healthier foods for their children. Most of all, it means having a trusted relationship with the family.”
Dr. Gervais has been a clinician, educator, and advocate for South Florida’s Haitian community. A native of Montreal, she came to Miami in 1997 as a resident. She was Class of 2000 chief resident and joined our faculty in 2000. As a Creole speaker from a Haitian family, Dr. Gervais understands both the health care and cultural issues that impact patients and families. In addition to precepting residents at our family medicine practice and overseeing our board review sessions, Dr. Gervais is also our assistant dean for admissions and diversity and family medicine clerkship director at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Heidi Allespach, PhD
Behavioral Medicine Director
I was born and raised in Miami and this is my favorite place on Earth! My father was a gifted psychiatrist who helped to start the Department of Psychiatry at UM. I remember feeling a great sense of pride, even as a little girl, because my dad worked at such an important and revered institution. In the years since, I've lived in many places and have worked at other residency programs. Yet, I was always yearning to return to home Miami because there is, simply, no place like this in the world. I have had the great privilege of becoming faculty here at UM/Jackson and, hence, the honor of working with the most outstanding residents and faculty colleagues you could find anywhere. Our patients struggle with a wide-variety of physical, emotional, and societal challenges, and we are very blessed to be allowed into their lives because what they teach us is immeasurable. I am so proud to be a part of this amazing, top-notch program here at UM...there is truly no place else I would rather be! GO 'CANES!!!"
Ruben Colman, MD
Family medicine embraces many aspects of human health and well-being. As family medicine physicians we are trained to provide care and counseling for the gravid, newborn, children, adolescents, adults, and elderly. It is a true privilege when our patients entrust their health care to us. Our mission as physician and teacher is to instruct our patients with the best of our knowledge to help them in the prevention and management of their diseases. Humbly, as educators, we attempt to transmit not only the technical aspect of the medicine to our students and residents, but as well to inspire our young physicians in daily practice of our noble career."
Dr. Colman joined our department in 2017, after extensive experience as a family medicine physician faculty, hospitalist, urgent care, and different leadership positions during his career. He earned his medical degree from Argentina and practiced as a cardiologist there. He was awarded Faculty Teacher by the Class of 2019. Dr. Colman teaches general family medicine, dermatologic/gynecologic procedures at our Jefferson Reaves Clinic, and Practice Management to our residents at our UHealth Medical Center. He sees patients at our UHealth Professional Arts Center on our medical campus.
Antonio J. Suarez, MD
Forming a doctor into a Family Physician is a unique process. I feel indebted to this process and to my mentors who taught me by example. I enjoy teaching our residents in a clinical setting in which I feel that Family Physicians set themselves apart from other specialists. We are responsible for teaching a comprehensive approach to caring for our patients in a setting where we are being measured on quality and efficiency of care. Miami is home and it provides a unique opportunity to serve a diverse multicultural population in a renown academic environment."
Dr. Suarez teaches at our Jefferson Reaves Clinic and is the medical director at our UHealth Kendall Family Medicine Practice. He is also a proud Class of 2011 chief resident.
Katrina Ciraldo, MD
Katrina Ciraldo, MD, is a board-certified Family Physician and Addiction Medicine specialist with a focus on women’s health and pregnancy. She provides primary care for families across the lifespan and trained specifically to care for pregnant people with substance use disorders and their babies with an intradisciplinary approach. She was born and raised in Miami and then attended Columbia University in the City of New York where she studied history and anthropology. She attended medical school at Boston University School of Medicine and remained at Boston Medical Center for family medicine residency. She then completed a one-year fellowship in Obstetrics for Family Physicians in San Jose, California, and then the Primary Care Addiction Medicine Fellowship at University of California-San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). At SFGH, she provided prenatal care with Team Lily, a low-barrier clinic for pregnant or postpartum patients who were experiencing homelessness, had addiction and/or who had severe mental illness. She also worked with the Street Medicine and Shelter Health team to provide primary care and addiction services to people experiencing homelessness. She worked on inpatient addiction consult service to start medications for hospitalized patients with substance use disorders and provide linkage to care and harm reduction services. She joined University of Miami/Jackson in November 2021 and works in a variety of settings, including THRIVE prenatal clinic for human trafficking survivors and pregnant people with substance use and the IDEA Syringe Services Program Wellness Clinic. Each week, she supervises family medicine residents at Jefferson Reeves Community Health Center and on Labor and Delivery as well. She works at a community methadone clinic in order to help link patients from Jackson and UHealth to methadone for treatment of opioid use disorder. Dr Ciraldo is committed to compassionate, family-centered care for vulnerable populations, especially pregnant people with addiction and their families.
"It is a true pivilege when our patients entrust their care to us."
-Ruben H. Colman, MD