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Chief Residents

Department of Medicine Residency Program


2017-2018 Chief Residents


Khwaja Fahad Haq, M.D.



Katherine Linder, M.D.

Dr. Katherine Linder was born and raised in Albany, New York. After completing her undergraduate studies at SUNY Albany, she took up residence in Hoboken, New Jersey. Soon after, she took a position as a clinical trials research coordinator at the former St. Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Manhattan. While there, she found a deep love and appreciation for medical oncology, which inspired her to pursue medical school. Dr. Linder graduated from Ross University School of Medicine in 2014 and took up her internal medicine training at New York Medical College-Westchester Medical Center. After a robust 3-year appointment in clinical and academic medicine she elected to take a position as chief medical resident. Under the new leadership she made it a point to focus on resident wellbeing and success. She has been involved in organizing Grand Rounds for the Department of Medicine for the academic year 2017-2018 and has been a preceptor for NYMC students’ Foundations of Clinical Medicine for nearly 4 years. She continues to be involved in oncology research with several publications throughout her training. Dr. Linder will take the invaluable experience gained at Westchester Medical Center to Houston as she pages the next chapter in her career with a hematology-oncology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine.



Srikanth Yandrapalli, M.D.

Dr. Yandrapalli comes from Vijayawada, a city in the state of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India. While in medical school at Andhra Medical College, he visited the US for elective rotations at Northwestern University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. During this time he participated in basic sciences research at the University of Michigan where he coauthored a publication “Singular Value Decomposition of Optically-Mapped Cardiac Rotors and Fibrillatory Activity”. While at Andhra Medical College, Dr. Yandrapalli excelled in social and preventative aspects of medicine for which he was awarded a medal of proficiency. He was involved in numerous public health projects, and volunteered to provide basic medical care to underserved tribal populations. Since the beginning of his residency at New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center, Dr. Yandrapalli consistently excelled in the clinical and academic aspects of medicine and was awarded “Best Teaching Award” as an intern. He demonstrated strong leadership qualities as a resident and was very well liked, qualities which led to him being chosen a chief resident for the academic year 2017-2018. Dr. Yandrapalli precepted many 1st and 2nd year medical students and mentored them on research projects. He continued to build upon his interest in cardiovascular medicine and published numerous peer-reviewed articles and presented case and research abstracts at ACP, ACC, AHA, Chest, SCAI among other meeting. He considers himself fortunate to be working and learning form renowned experts like Dr. William Frishman and Dr. Wilbert Aronow. As a chief resident, his responsibilities were inpatient and ambulatory resident rotation and assignments scheduling, quality improvement and patient safety projects, resuscitation committee council etc. He will continue his educational journey in New York starting his cardiovascular disease fellowship at NYMC-WMC program in July 2018. Dr. “Y” enjoys playing the guitar and singing.


Past Chief Residents



Dennis Roarke, M.D.

Dr. Dennis Roarke is a native of Long Island, NY. He completed his undergraduate education at Binghamton University and Hunter College. Prior to entering medical school, he worked for 3 years with Dr. Louis Aronne at Weill-Cornell Medical College, New York NY coordinating clinical trials for anti-obesity medications. While there he co-authored a chapter on “Therapeutic options for modifying obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors” for the Johns Hopkins textbook of Dyslipidemia. He then entered medical school at New York Medical College, Valhalla NY. While there he was involved in several extracurricular activities including the Cancer Education and Awareness Program, La Casita de la Salud a student-run medical clinic, and volunteering at Woodfield Cottage a juvenile detention center. Dr. Roarke then began residency training in Internal Medicine at New York Medical College-Westchester Medical Center. During his residency he was actively involved in ways to improve the hospital and residency including the GME Housestaff Quality Council, the DNR process group, and as a delegate for the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) housestaff union. Dr. Roarke enjoys teaching and has served as a preceptor for 1st and 2nd year medical students throughout his residency. As a chief resident, he is in-charge of organizing Grand Rounds for the Department of Medicine for the academic year 2016-2017. He plans to continue serving in an academic medical setting in the future. 


Rahul Sao, M.D.

Dr. Sao attended medical school at prestigious University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. After completing his MBBS degree, he volunteered as a research assistant at Boston University before joining Westchester Medical Center for his Internal Medicine residency training. He was a standout performer throughout the residency and was awarded the ‘Best Teaching PGY-I and PGY-II’ and the ‘Best Ambulatory Care PGY-I’ awards by the Department of Medicine. Dr. Sao enjoys teaching medical students and he has mentored multiple medical students during his residency as well as participated in “Transition to Residency” course as an instructor. His research interests lay in the field of gastroenterology. His research work focused on low-cost intervention to improve the quality of screening colonoscopies and epidemiology of various gastrointestinal pathologies. He has also co-authored multiple peer-reviewed articles and presented multiple abstracts including an oral presentation at national conferences during the course of his residency. As a chief resident, he is in-charge of resident assignment scheduling for the Department of Medicine for the academic year 2016-2017. His immediate goal is to obtain the highest level of clinical training in a gastroenterology fellowship program and subsequently establish himself as an academic gastroenterologist and a researcher working to improve the quality of care and outcomes in gastrointestinal pathologies. Outside of work, he is a huge soccer fan and enjoys travelling. 


John Savooji, M.D. 

A graduate from St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore; one of the finest medical institutions in India. While in medical school, John got the unique opportunity to visit United States as an international exchange student at the University of Minnesota. As a result of this experience, he decided to come to the US for post-graduate studies and chose NYMC/ Westchester Medical Center for residency. His journey at WMC has been fabulous with great support from faculty, exposure to a diverse mix of cases and strong teaching. John considers himself fortunate to have been designated as a chief resident at WMC. In addition to being a chief resident, John is also an Instructor of Medicine for NYMC and looks forward to a year of teaching medicine. He plans a career in academic oncology and has a keen interest in molecular targets in NSCLC. Outside Medicine, he loves to swim, go on hikes and explore new places.

Recent Publications

  1. ABT-199 (venetoclax) and BCL-2 inhibitors in clinical development. Cang S, Iragavarapu C, Savooji J, Song Y, Liu D. J Hematol Oncol. 2015 Nov DOI: 10.1186/s13045-015-0224-3
  2. Second- and third-generation ALK inhibitors for non-small cell lung cancer. Wu J, Savooji J, Liu D. J Hematol Oncol. 2016 Mar. DOI: 10.1186/s13045-016-0251-8.
  3. CD34(+) therapy-related acute promyelocytic leukemia in a patient previously treated for breast cancer. Savooji J, Shakil F, Islam H, Liu D, Seiter K. Stem Cell Investig. 2016 Mar DOI: 10.21037/sci.2016.03.03.

Our chief residents are currently involved in a variety of projects designed to enhance patient safety on the internal medicine service. They provide a vital service of support and coordination not only to our residents but the faculty and staff.