Class of 2021

Sylvia Akauola, MD

Hi! My name is Sylvia. I was born and raised in Charlottesville, VA. I completed my undergrad here at UVA and then went to medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin. My interests in medicine consist of rural health and reproductive health care. I was drawn to UVA because it offered a diverse mix of inpatient, psychiatry, and clinical care to the underserved. Charlottesville is surrounded by beautiful mountains, fun trails. Great food was also a plus! I enjoy spending time with family and friends, working out, going to the beach (or any body of water), driving, trying new restaurants and foods, and superhero marvel movies.





Zachary Blom, MD

Hello! I’m Zach. I grew up in Burlington, North Carolina. I went to undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill where I studied Biology and continued to swim on the club team.  After some career exploration, I finally figured out I wanted to be a physician when I grew up. I then went to Brody school of Medicine (ECU) in Greenville, NC where I fell in love with family medicine, and have come to enjoy sports medicine and urgent care specifically. I enjoy all things active and love spending time outside, whether it be hiking, any given sport, or just going on a walk. I also try to get to the gym at least a few times per week. I’ve been weightlifting for a number of years and does not see myself stopping any time soon.  I also enjoy meditation and cooking, and although I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m always looking to get better. I’ve also been known to play video games and board games during my free time! I’m so excited to be at UVA to complete my Family Medicine training! The area is beautiful and the program is outstanding. The people are caring and passionate in a way that makes me feel so welcome.  I’ve expressed that I would not want to be anywhere else and look forward to growing as a family physician and as a person during my time here!

Cassandra Dishman, DO

Hi, I’m Cassie! I grew up in a small town in northern Indiana called Warsaw. I went to Indiana University in Bloomington, IN and majored in biology, but my favorite part of college was actually getting a minor in Human Development and Family Studies and being a part of two dance teams, a tap dance company and pom/jazz team. I knew I wanted to become a DO, so I attended Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Indianapolis, IN where I was a part of their second graduating class! My interests within Family Medicine are adolescent medicine, patient education/preventive medicine, sexual and reproductive health, and LGBTQIA+ healthcare! Outside of medicine, I am passionate about any and all forms of dance, especially tap! As far as sedentary activities, my other half and I love craft beer, board games (Gloomhaven, Mansions of Madness, Catan & too many more), Netflix, and hanging out with our 3 awesome cats Minx, Magnolia, and Matilda. I have also recently picked up hobbies of amigurumi (crocheting small animals) and macramé. We are beyond thrilled to make Charlottesville our new home! Why UVA? My husband Kevin (Neurology) and I were overwhelmed with the sense of support and community during our couples’ match process. We couldn’t have chosen a better place to complete our training.

Aviva Friedman, MD

Hello, my name is Aviva (she/hers). I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Humanistic Studies at McGill University followed by postbac premed at UVA. I attended medical school at Ben-Gurion University/Medical School for International Health in the sunny desert of Israel. I have varied interests in medicine, including reproductive health care, refugee and global health, public health and advocacy, and much more. I chose UVA Family Medicine for a variety of reasons: The International Family Medicine Clinic (a one-of-a-kind clinic dedicated to the care of refugees), the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, a lively city with loads of restaurants and events, and proximity to other big cities. I guess the people were pretty okay too. For fun, I love to bake, sometimes competitively, and I maintain a popular instagram account of my cat, Earl Grey.




Molly Grover, MD

Hi, I’m Molly! I’m from Herndon, Virginia a town about 45 minutes west of Washington D.C. I went to college and medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University, but finally decided to take my talent down the road to Charlottesville for UVA Family Medicine. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my family (especially my dog!), cooking and baking just about anything, and being outdoors. Having lived in Richmond for eight years, I would often come to Charlottesville to go hiking and visit the beautiful wineries around the area. I’m excited to call this place home for the next few years! My interests within Family Medicine are reproductive health care, global health, working with underserved populations, and academic Family Medicine.




Benjamin Neltner, MD

Hello! My name is Ben. I grew up in Lakeside Park Kentucky, ten minutes away from Cincinnati as the oldest of five siblings. I majored in Biology at the University of Louisville, and continued my education at University of Louisville for medical school (go cardinals!). I’m interested in palliative, geriatric, urban under served and healthcare policy. In my free time I enjoy distance running, the outdoors, podcasts, politics, and hanging out with my fiancé, Caitlyn (a new UVA peds intern!)






Nadia Saif, MD

Hi, I’m Nadia! I born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia. I attended Georgetown University for undergrad and then University of Miami for medical school. My interests in medicine include access to care for under served populations, environmental health, infectious disease, maternal and child health. In my free time, I love to bake, play with any type of furry 4-legged animal, read, go running, and exploring new places.






Allison Yeaman, MD

Hi, I’m Allison (pronouns: she/her/hers). I was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia. I went to Virginia Commonwealth University for undergrad, and stayed for another 4 years for medical school (fun fact, I’ve been friends with my co-resident Molly since college freshman year!). I was drawn to UVA for its impressive clinical training, focus on evidence based medicine, diverse patient population, and the amazing culture. My interests in medicine include working with underserved populations, palliative care, preventative care, sports medicine, and all things procedural. In my free time, I love spending quality time with my husband, Clint (a UVA urology resident!) and our dog daughter, Stella, being with our friends, hanging out at the beach, visiting restaurants and breweries, rewatching The Office, and playing pretty much any team sport, but especially volleyball!