From the Residents

Richard Zhang, M.D.

Richard Zhang - PGY1

I am thrilled to be a psychiatry resident at UConn. I was born in Singapore and grew up in Long Island, New York. Early on, my immigrant identity advanced my curiosity about how cultural heritage can impact people’s worldviews and life experiences. This led to my passion for the humanities and understanding what motivates people, which developed in parallel with my also early desire to become a physician.

After high school, I completed a six-year B.S./M.D. program between Penn State and Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Between my third and fourth years of medical school, I also spent a year completing an M.A. in History of Science and Medicine at Yale. I saw in psychiatry the medical future that I most wanted: applying my fascination with the human condition and past to improve people’s health, and serving an often misunderstood and vulnerable patient population.

My elation on Match Day for residency was well-justified. Across our cohorts, the psychiatry residents at UConn enjoy a collegial and collaborative culture. Moving to Connecticut has allowed me to see longtime friends as well as create friendships in a new setting. Furthermore, the program’s position within the broader UConn community allows me to pursue a humanities-oriented, secondary appointment as affiliated faculty at UConn’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. I look forward to the coming years of patient care, scholarly work, and exploring Connecticut with friends.

Michael Dang, M.D.

Michael Dang - PGY2

My name is Michael Dang and I am thrilled to be doing psychiatry residency here at UConn. I was born in Tampa, Florida to wonderful immigrant parents who instilled in me a curiosity of life and the love of caring for others. I attend the University of South Florida in the 7-year B.S./M.D. program where I rowed crew and majored in Biology and minored in Philosophy. The latter of which allowed me to contemplate human agency/dignity and how one’s experiences come to form a sense of subjective well-being.

Here at UConn, I have been impressed in terms of how supportive everyone is ranging from faculty to my co-residents to the ancillary staff. Our program provides exposure to a variety of treatment settings including academic facilities, private practice, Department of Correction, and Veteran Affairs. The program also works to strike the perfect balance between the psychotherapeutic and the psychopharmacological focuses of psychiatry. The location in New England is perfect. There is easy access to nature experiences while being close to both Boston and New York.

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Eric Gambardella - PGY3

Hello! My name is Eric Gambardella and I am a third year resident in UConn’s Psychiatry Residency. I am originally from the great state of Connecticut, and grew up not too far from UConn in Killingworth, a small shoreline town. I attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY for my undergraduate education where I studied biomedical science. I moved down to City of Brotherly Love for medical school where I attended the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am so excited to be back home doing my training at UConn, and can finally consider myself a true CT resident, now that I am officially a Husky.

The program here at UConn really stood out to me on the interview trail as a place that where I wanted to train. My interactions with faculty were genuine and the time I spent with the residents showed a tight knit community. The quality of the education both clinically and didactically has been robust and comprehensive. In my short time here at UConn thus far I am still so happy to have matched here and can’t wait to learn the fascinating world of psychiatry from my colleagues over the next few years.

As a Connecticut native who has lived in a few different states, I can tell you that Connecticut has tons to offer. Around UConn there are endless restaurants of any type of cuisine you could want to eat. There are tons of local breweries, wineries, and even a few distilleries in the area. If you like the outdoors and adventure, there are endless hiking trails, places to kayak, trail run, and bike. In a short drive you can find yourself in any of the amazing shoreline towns where you can enjoy the beach or a lobster roll. If you are looking for a busier scene it is an easy trip to NYC or Boston. And here at UConn there is plenty of time to enjoy everything the area has to offer.

I hope you seriously consider UConn in your search for the right residency for you, we’d love to have you!

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Benjamin Jacobi - PGY3

My name is Benjamin Jacobi and I'm a PGY3 here at UConn. Originally I'm from Frankfurt, Germany, grew up outside of Zurich, Switzerland before moving to sunny Florida in 2003. I was fortunate to do my undergrad and medical school at Florida State but I knew I needed a change. Residency is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone, experience something new, and do some growing in the process. I knew that I wanted to be on the East Coast, have full seasons, and I wanted to be close to a big city, minus its cost of living, which didn't make the choice a whole lot easier.

Eventually the choice came down to the people and track record. I wanted to train at a place where I felt comfortable, which would allow me to grow as a physician and a place with a track record of matching graduates into competitive fellowships. In addition, rotating through four hospitals and exposure to the Department of Corrections was the diversity I wanted. Not to mention the perks of living in charming West Hartford. It has amazing restaurants, bars, and shops; plus being in the middle of New England means picture perfect seasons and just two hours to Boston or NYC.

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Kevin Santos - PGY3

Growing up in New England, I was thrilled to match into UConn for psychiatry. I grew up in neighboring Rhode Island and went to undergrad at Boston College where I studied biology and philosophy. After a brief couple of years working as a research technician, I then moved across the country to Sacramento, California for medical school as part of the inaugural class of California Northstate University College of Medicine. After 4 years in the Golden State learning medicine and enjoying visits to Napa and Lake Tahoe, I was ready to come home to New England for the next step in my medical education.

On interview day at UConn, I was very impressed with variety of professional expertise held by the faculty members as well as the glowing assessments given by current residents. I am looking forward to growing as a physician over the next four years and feel assured knowing that I’ll be well prepared to practice as a psychiatrist thanks to the excellent training at UConn.