Resident Testimonials

Jeff Salomon, M.D.

Class 2016

I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face. Why, you ask? Because I get to go to work at a place both welcoming and supportive of my goals as a physician. Driscoll Children's Hospital as proven to be all I expected and hoped for in a residency program; promoting learning in a myriad of forms. The clinical exposure on the floor and autonomy we are given is amazing. If there are any questions, senior residents and attending physicians are always available. Driscoll also has a large amount of protected time for learning with daily morning and noon lectures, Nelson's Book Club and Grand Rounds weekly and a monthly Journal Club. In addition, the morning lecture is student-led, promoting an environment of both learning and teaching.

There is an intimacy at this program I have truly enjoyed. Small enough where all the attending physicians know the residents by name, and large enough to cover virtually all specialties. The attending physicians are always willing to teach and spend extra time to promote further understanding of diseases and their management. Medicine is an art form, and having daily teaching rounds on the floor from a variety of Attendings helps you form your own unique combination of best practices and personal plan of care. The unique location of Driscoll allows for a large diversity of diseases and syndromes many other programs do not have the luxury of experiencing. I have often heard the phrase, "If there are 100 people with a disease in the world, Driscoll will have two." Due to this, many opportunities for research exist to further advance one's education.

The residents have become like a family. Many other programs mentioned they get together for birthdays and baby showers, etc. These feel like obligated engagements. Our residents plan trips together, weekend adventures, concerts, beach activities, movies and dinners often. Corpus Christi is a big/small city with lots to do, but the people act like it is a small city. Crime is low and this coastal city has a ton of surprises to offer. We work hard and play hard. This is evident by our program having many years of 100% pass rates, which few other programs can boast such a statistic. I knew, despite the fun times I would have here, I would get more than ample time for education and studying, and this has been just as expected. In my short time here, I feel my knowledge base has grown by leaps and bounds!

All in all, Driscoll has been an excellent choice and I could not think of a better program to nurture my knowledge and skills to become a great pediatrician.

Erin Brennan, D.O.

Class 2016

Hello all, (or y'all, now that I'm a Texan). I absolutely love what I do! I'm sure some of that is because Pediatrics is a "happy" specialty. However, I think most of it has to do with receiving my training at Driscoll.

First, I am lucky to work with such a great group of residents. We might come from all over the world and from all different backgrounds, but there are some things that my fellow residents all have in common. They are the type to celebrate your birthday, your upcoming wedding, or your family's new addition. They are also the type to make sure you have something fun and relaxing to do on your night off. They are the type who embrace your crazy idea to have a Residents' Winter Olympics. Most importantly, they are the type to make sure you feel supported. Even on days where it seems the entire ER is being admitted, you know there is someone who has your back. And, in turn, I would do the same for any of my fellow residents.

Second, I enjoy being in a children's hospital. The atmosphere at Driscoll is so friendly. It is nice being greeted by smiles everywhere you go in the hospital. That's not to say that there are days I would love to hit the snooze button. But getting out of bed each morning is worth it. Having a patient call me "Bones" because I'm also Dr. Brennan or getting a high five from a patient who is finally healthy enough to go home reminds me why I'm in Pediatrics and why I chose Driscoll.

Third, I appreciate the opportunities at Driscoll. The program at Driscoll is always trying to look forward and to provide the best experience for the residents. It is nice knowing that I have a voice in the program, and that my opinions are encouraged and appreciated. This open environment has given me the confidence to take an active role in our program's advocacy efforts. When we chose to team up with Head Start's 10K challenge, I finally took the initiative to put all of my reading and studying about healthy habits to use by creating a parent newsletter. It was even more exciting seeing the participants receive the first newsletter and respond with enthusiasm.

I hope you find a place that makes you feel happy, supported, welcome, and accomplished. I am grateful that I have because it makes this learning process so much richer. Best wishes!

Hari Gourabathini, M.D.

Class 2015

I am an international medical graduate, from India. I am pursuing my dream to be a pediatrician at a great pediatric residency program, Driscoll Children's Hospital. In my view, I see this institution in following terms: academics, community outreach family and hard work.

The program's academics are interesting and exciting. This program draws its strong academics from well-balanced didactics integrated in to your daily routine at the hospital. The diverse pathology at this hospital gives you great knowledge and skills, yet you have time to think and manage your patients. The faculty are friendly and academically driven and help you in every step of your way. Throughout this remarkable journey, I have been showered with opportunities, skills and knowledge to shine in my Pediatric career, and also in the subspecialties I intend to master for future.

Community Outreach:
Ever since medical school, I always wanted to give back to the community. When I think of Driscoll Children's Hospital, I look at it as a trust worthy and consistent care provider for the children of South Texas. This hospital has an impressive and successful record of 60 years of Pediatric care catered to all sections of communities in South Texas. This program has been always been involved in community outreach. As a resident, it has given me the experience and training to mold me into a great primary care physician for the community. Driscoll has increased my awareness to community health concerns, such as obesity, and has helped me to sharpen my skills. It offers me an opportunity to give back to the community.

Every resident is part of the big Driscoll family. This is a close-knit family with great qualities, like cooperation, strong work ethic, honesty, perseverance and integrity. These practices and cultures have been assimilated into the residents lives from the program director himself. With all my colleagues, I cherish the joyful experience of working, learning and being part of a diversified family, and you will too. The program director is easily approachable at anytime and helps you with any situations you think you need help with.

Hard Work:
This is a wonderful community program that has earned a high level of respect through hard work. Over the past 60 years, achieving this respect was only possible through the Driscoll Children's Hospital commitment to excellence. I feel that Driscoll Children's Hospital and residency program helps you to incorporate their great strengths and ethics into your personal life and practice.

In short, Driscoll is an institution, a family of residents, and a pediatric community that is continually there for you and your future. "It can't get any better than this."

Eric Purifoy, M.D.

Class 2015

Matching with Driscoll Children's Hospital has proven to be one of biggest blessings of my life. It not only has given me an opportunity to pursue a dream, but it also feels as if I have joined a family. The residents are treated with respect and our hard work is appreciated by the staff. Driscoll has faculty in almost every conceivable specialty, and they all take time to teach and will supprort you in your felllowship journey, if that is a personal goal. Attendings know each resident by name and are receptive to suggestions and questions.

Corpus Christi has a surprising amount of fun activities and attractions. For dining, one can choose from different cuisines, including tasty seafood and Mexican food. Those who like to socialize or enjoy some live music have enough night life options. With a location directly on the water, there's a "salt life" attitude personified by sailboats, famous fishing locales, as well as surf spots and serene beaches.

A residency should provide a quality learning evironment combined with exposure to a variety of pathology, along with a sufficient amount of general pediatrics, and DCH provides both. Driscoll, in conjunction with Texas A&M University, acts as an unopposed facility that serves over 2 milllion South Texans with high quality health care. It has been an honor to have been chosen to be a part of this exemplary institution.

Fiona Tagari, M.D.

Class 2015

In real estate it's all about "location, location, location," and in a residency program, it's all about "learning, learning ,learning." At Driscoll you get both. DCH is located in Corpus Christi, Texas, which has been described as a hidden treasure of the Gulf Coast. It's a big enough city where you can enjoy all the amenities of a city, without the hassles of a large city. The commute is easy, crime is not a problem and most importantly, people are friendly and helpful. I know this because I have lived in Corpus for many years. As a resident at DCH, you are part of a family. A family who is extremely welcoming, supportive and encouraging. A family who will provide all the help and resources you need on your way to becoming a great pediatrician. You work with and are taught directly by both general pediatricians and specialist attendings (no fellows in between). It's a place "where everybody knows your name." In Corpus and at Driscoll, you will find a home away from home, or even better yet, it will become your new permanent home.

Avery Wright, D.O.

Class 2014

Driscoll is the type of place where people enjoy coming to work. They show up with a smile on their face and a bounce in their step. I get at least 5 cheery "good morning" wishes every day. It is a lovely way to start my day. For this reason, the people I work with are the #1 reason I came to Driscoll.

I also like that it is a relatively small program. The good thing about that is attending physicians know us by name, the residents become a close-knit group, and nobody becomes another face in the crowd. We start out doing procedures as interns. I did things as an intern that I know other programs only let fellows do. This does not mean, however, that it is too small. The program is big enough to never feel alone or abandoned. If I have a question or need help there is always someone to talk to. There are also enough residents to have some flexibility. Residents frequently help each other with schedule conflicts or the hospital workload.

I believe our lecture series is superior to that of other programs. We have a resident-led morning lecture which features topics that are interesting and pertinent to patients that have recently been seen at Driscoll. During lunch residents are able to breathe a sigh of relief as we are off the hook for presenting and instead taught about the newest and greatest topics in the respective fields of our amazing specialists. That is 10 hours of lecture a week, 40 hours per month, or more than 500 hours per year. It adds up surprisingly fast.

In short, I think Driscoll is a great place to work. It is a place with a cheery and laid-back atmosphere, wonderful residents, and great academic achievement.

Jennifer Potonia, D.O.

Class 2015

Coming from Pittsburgh, I had tons of other nearby choices in a pediatrics residency, but after carefully weighing different programs and considering what I truly wanted out of my residency; Driscoll was at the top of my list. The teaching and learning opportunities at Driscoll are top-notch. Not only are residents given several different resources for self-guided learning, we also attend Morning Report, Nelson's Club, and Journal Club, among other conferences, for group-learning with active discussions between residents and attendings. Driscoll has several incredibly knowledgeable attendings that are very hands-on with a natural love of teaching.

Another aspect of Driscoll that drew me to this program was the size of the program and the quality of people that Driscoll attracts. We are large enough, yet small enough. Not only do the residents work well together, we also find time to relax away from the hospital as well. Bon fires on the beach, game nights, and pot luck dinners are all regular occurrences. I cannot stress enough how well all of the residents get along and the mutual respect we have here for each other.

Choosing a residency is a big decision and I chose what meant most to me: a high-quality education complemented by a team of encouraging and respectful attendings and residents. I hope you choose the same!

Eric Baggerman M.D.

Class 2014

Driscoll has proven to be the amazing opportunity I had sought in order to develop as a pediatrician. When looking for a residency program I prioritized teaching, volume, and variety. For teaching, I have appreciated the focus that the program places on ensuring a system that affords residents with an education second to none. The well-focused curriculum is a good balance of patient experiences, teaching rounds, organized lectures, and focused reading. Importantly, the attending physicians and specialist offer up to date information through personal relationships. For patient experiences, the patient volume and variety offers me more than ample opportunity to work with numerous cases presenting with both the common and uncommon conditions. With this I have no doubt in my ability to complete the program fully capable in general pediatrics and prepared for fellowship should I choose.

In addition to these items that I looked for in my personal selection of a residency program, Driscoll has other attractive attributes. One special characteristic is the involvement of community pediatricians in hospitalized patient care. Such a system has allowed me to pull strengths from a large number of pediatricians in relationships where I am treated with a great deal of respect. It has been wonderful to be in my position at Driscoll where with ample support and guidance residents are a key element in delivering great care to children.

Another attribute that I cannot leave unmentioned is the warm family atmosphere I enjoy working within. I benefit from being surrounded by talented, hard working, and supportive residents that I share my education and work with. They are selected from the best around the world for their character as well as their abilities. I cannot imagine a better opportunity anywhere.

Sanjeet Panda M.D.

Class 2014

"Hello Friends !!! Warm Greetings from the Residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital. It has been a great journey for me till now; warm and thankful patients, always ready to help staff, ever approachable Attendings and then, not to forget the icing on the cake, is Dr. Dirksen, our Program director. Although an IMG, I never felt aloof or away from home. We call it the Driscoll Family and you can feel it as soon as you visit our Program, making it distinct from others. No scutwork, a lot of teaching and adequate exposure to varied pathology, due to the location of Program, is what you will be getting here. A lot of flexibility in rotations and continuous support from our dedicated consultants, helps you steer ahead in regards to research work and needs for your required fellowship, which is well proved by the percentage of our residents matching their first preference for fellowships. I have no doubts about my choice. Hope you find the right place for yourself. All the Best !! "

Shaye Tegeler, D.O.

Class 2013

Driscoll is a great place to work. Not only do you get to meet and learn from outstanding attendings from all over the world, but many of your fellow residents are a melting pot of various cultures and backgrounds as well. It is an amazing place to not only learn medicine, but also to learn about the world as a whole, all right here in local Corpus Christi. Another wonderful aspect of Driscoll is the Driscoll Foundation, which has been serving the children of South Texas since the hospital began. Not many hospitals have such a strong background supporting them daily like Driscoll does. Both the hospital and the community work hand in hand every day, week, month, and year to make sure every child gets what they deserve, the best health care around from the most caring people you can find.

Santiago Encalada, M.D.

Class 2013

In one word my personal experience in Driscoll has been "amazing". It has the perfect blend of hands on clinical experience and didactics. The program offers enough flexibility for me to choose subspecialty rotations based on my interest. But what I value most in the program is the relationship that residents have with each other. We treat each other like family.

Devasena Iyer, M.D.

Class 2012

Things I like about being in Driscoll -- The attendings who are very approachable and who know all of the residents by first name, and the nurses who help us at every turn, teaching us on the job and sometimes with tough love. It is the respiratory therapists who help us watch our patients when the floors routinely explode with RSV patients each winter, and the pharmacists who will help with adjusting a drug dosage in the middle of the night and end the conversation with, "have a great call". It is the 41 other residents with whom we all take the 3 year long test of fire together. We've seen each other at our highest and our lowest. We've seen each other grow, and we've got each other's backs. So what makes Driscoll stand above many other Pediatrics programs in the country? It's definitely the people.

Sonia Mathew, M.D.

Class 2012

A visiting resident once asked me, "Why is everybody smiling here?" That was exactly what struck me when I visited Driscoll for the first time. The security guards, the cafeteria personnel, housekeeping staff, nurses and doctors, all have a smile or an encouraging word for you. There is an always a helping hand when in need. If you are gone a few days, you are missed. They welcome you like a long lost friend upon return. Strangers strike up conversations in the elevator or the hallways. You make a new friend everyday. Perhaps it's the leadership, or the spirit of Clara Driscoll, or just the joy of being around children. It's a happy place and we are reminded of it everyday.
You will see it and experience it too.

Sheshashree Seshadri, M.D.

Class 2013

You start your day with warm greetings of, "Hola que paso?" People at Driscoll and Corpus are as warm as the weather. Formal morning report with teaching case serves as cappuccino for the brain and teaching rounds add more caffeine. A myriad of pathology, not just therapeutic but evidence based, and preventive medicine with a balance of clinic based and inpatient setting prepares you to face the world after residency. Add a beach for the kids, swimming for all, and surfing for the dangerous ? - and you have it all.

Contact Information

Driscoll Children's Hospital
3533 S. Alameda Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

For further information, please call us at (361) 694-5465

Medical Education Contacts
Last NameFirst NamePhone
DirksenWilliam(361) 694-5464
AraujoKarla(361) 694-5463
KoonerGagan(361) 694-5463
MedinaDolores(361) 694-5463
LucasGrace(361) 694-5463
RosalesDedie(361) 694-4069
TurnerDarleen(361) 694-5465
VijjeswarapuDaniel(361) 694-5465
DulaneyMichael(361) 694-4069
ScottYvonne "Bunny"(361) 694-5444

For TTY Deaf Messaging Connect to TTY Interpretation by dialing
(800) 735-2989

Healthcare Professionals


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