Chief Residents 2019-2020

IM Chief Residents 2019-2020

Internal Medicine Chief Residents 2019-2020:
Sumner Abraham, Kirsten Koons, Elizabeth Arant, Sam Oliver

Welcome! We are excited that you are considering the University of Virginia Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Training at UVA has been a great experience for us, and equipped us with the tools to become leaders in medicine. Our program provides a perfect balance between hands-on patient care, faculty dedicated to resident education, and cutting-edge research opportunities.

We are proud that our program is resident-centered and unequivocally resident run, as evidenced by the numerous current practices – including the service structures and conference schedule – that were designed and implemented by the residents.

Please explore our website to learn about our program, and feel free to email us at if you have questions.

We look forward to meeting you and personally introducing you to our residency program when you come for an interview.

Meet Sumner Abraham, MD

Sumner Abraham, MD photoI was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, and went to Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi) for college. I returned home to Jackson for medical school at the University of Mississippi and married my wife, Sarah, during the first year of medical school. When I started to apply for residency, UVA was a place that I was eager to check out.

At the conclusion of my interviews, it was obvious to me that no program was as well-rounded as UVA. There are several things that one notices on the interview that have held true throughout my time here:  it is clinically rigorous without any compromise on resident education or well-being, the atmosphere is collegial and dynamic, the people are hospitable, and the culture is live-giving. The esprit de corps is the foundation of the program and that manifests itself in a training environment where it is both fun to work and easy to learn. Additionally, the attendings are exceptional educators – and even better people. You will not find a more engaged, approachable and kind group while interviewing. As a resident, you have a healthy amount of independence that allows one to establish authentic confidence and be prepared for independent practice when graduating. On top of all that, Charlottesville is a thriving city with more to do than there is time.

To this day, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I am able to call Charlottesville and UVA home. My colleagues have become dear friends, and the community my family, and what I have found in Charlottesville has been transformative. Both of our sons were also born at UVA during residency (Harrison and Jack), and our labradoodle (Bruiser) has lived his best life in Charlottesville.

Outside of the hospital, you can find us hiking, indulging in the Charlottesville food scene, running, or taking in views at the local wineries and breweries. It is impossible to oversell the town of Charlottesville and the people who have made our experience here so special.

Meet Eli Arant, MD

Elizabeth Arant, MD photoI was born and grew up in Mississippi and then traveled “up north” to North Carolina, where I attended Davidson College. While I spent the majority of my time (well, academic time) either in the music department or English department, I somehow found myself in medical school just down the road at Wake Forest. I then came to Charlottesville for residency at UVA. I met my husband, Morgan, in college at Davidson, but we didn’t start dating until my intern year here at UVA and then got married at the beginning of my third year…which just goes to show you that the medicine residency here truly does make time for and encourages life outside the hospital!

UVA was my first residency interview of the season. I took away an incredible feeling of balance. This was a place where expectations were high and hard work, education, research, and patient care were integral, but it was also a community whose members identified resident and faculty happiness, energy, and camaraderie as key components to a strong department. Collegiality among all levels of trainees and faculty was palpable throughout my interview day here, and UVA’s reputation for consistently producing field-leading physicians was obvious. After my three years here, this energy continues to be present. I have found best friends, been under the guidance of career-shaping mentors, and learned from the most inspiring bedside teachers. I have grown so much as a clinician, educator, and person, and am so thankful to the program for supporting, challenging, and loving me during these formative years.

After chief year, I plan to apply for Infectious Disease fellowship. In my spare time, I enjoy going to exercise classes, reading, visiting the local vineyards and breweries, enjoying the surrounding mountains and hikes, and watching plenty of British television – all while dreaming of adopting a kitty.

Meet Kirsten Koons, MD

Kirsten Koons, MD photoI was born and raised in a small town in central Pennsylvania. My father, a family physician in a rural community, sparked my interest in medicine. I spent most of my high school years playing sports, which ultimately led me to Yale University where I was recruited to play field hockey. During college, I majored in psychology and neuroscience. I also had the opportunity to do medical mission work in Honduras, which confirmed my career path. I moved back to PA for medical school at Penn State. During that time, I married my husband, Dustin. We loved being close to home as we grew up together in the same town (middle school sweethearts!).

When thinking about where we wanted to end up for my residency, UVA came to the top of the list. C’ville’s small town feel with big city resources, and the relatively short driving distance from home, made it a great option. During my interview day, all of the residents were incredibly welcoming. I was impressed by the quality of the educational conferences and everyone seemed smart, but approachable. It was obvious that the residents were able to achieve work-life balance and had established a community I wanted to be part of.

The past three years at UVA have exceeded my expectations. I get to hang out with my friends at work every day and when I’m not in the hospital, I’m able to get out and enjoy all the activities C’ville has to offer. Dustin and I adopted a black lab, Juneau, after my intern year and we love spending time outside with her hiking and going to wineries and breweries. Shenandoah National Park is a short drive away with amazing views. We have also escaped several times to visit other national parks including Glacier Bay in Alaska, Acadia in Maine, and Yosemite in California. The C’ville food scene is another reason we love it here. A few of our favorites include Lampo, Tavola, Oakhart Social, and Smoked BBQ. Dustin and I love to cook together and have taken advantage of some local cooking classes to hone our skills.

While life outside the hospital is amazing, I also appreciate the work atmosphere. UVA is the friendliest place I’ve worked throughout my educational training. Residents go out of their way to help each other, including residents from other specialties! We have an incredibly diverse patient population due to UVA’s large catchment area. It is not uncommon for me to take care of people from three different states (VA, WV, TN) in a single day. I enjoy being able to care for patients from both inner city and rural populations as they each have a unique set of health needs. I feel very well prepared as a general internist. I’m so excited I get to stay for another year to give back to the program that made me the doctor I am! After chief year, I’m looking forward to pursuing a career in rheumatology.

Meet Sam Oliver, MD

Samuel Oliver, MD photoI grew up in Cambridge, a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I stayed in Maryland for undergrad, majoring in biology at the University of Maryland, College Park. In my senior year I began work as a medical scribe in a community emergency department, confirming my interest in medicine. After a few years working as a scribe, I moved to Baltimore to attend medical school at the University of Maryland. My wife, Paige, and I were married in the summer between second and third year.

When it came time to find an internal medicine program for residency, UVA was an early favorite. My highest priority was to find a residency with strong clinical training. UVA offered a supportive but intensive program with a good balance of inpatient and outpatient training. On top of this, I was drawn to the supportive environment. The residents that I met on my interview were clearly good friends and colleagues, not just co-workers. In my three plus years at UVA I have had my choice reaffirmed repeatedly. The educational experience has been everything I had hoped for, with extraordinary clinicians who are passionate about resident education. I have been able to complete the clinical educator track and a clinical skills education project with MD/PhD students. My co-residents have been the supportive and tight-knit group I was hoping they would be.

In addition to a great experience at the hospital, Charlottesville has been an amazing place to call home. The city has the perfect balance of having everything you could need, while also feeling like a small town. We’ve loved time outside hiking, eating at the many amazing restaurants in town, and visiting breweries and vineyards. We welcomed our first child during my second year of residency and our second is on the way. We could not be more grateful to be raising our family in such a wonderful community. After my chief resident year, I will be pursuing a pulmonary/critical care fellowship.