Education Fellowship People

Welcome our new fellows!

Four new fellowship trainees recently started in the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University. We connected with them to learn a little more about why they chose WashU to continue their training, their impressions of St. Louis, and what they like to do in their spare time.

head shot of Ian Newberry

Ian Newberry, MD, fellow in pediatric otolaryngology

Why WashU?

WashU is a big name within the field of otolaryngology and medicine in general. Between this, my family being local, and the welcoming pediatric attendings, the Pediatric Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery fellowship at WashU was an easy choice. Some fellowships are known for being geared toward specific interests, such as craniofacial or airway. Particularly for me, where I like everything but unsure of an exact niche, the St. Louis Children’s Fellowship offered me all aspects of pediatrics without a commitment prior to fellowship.

Ian Newberry, MD, and wife Nicole enjoyed some time sailing with friends in the Boston Harbor.

The otology experience is amazing with the perfect amount of autonomy for an abundance of complex chronic ear cases and three providers running a high-volume cochlear implant program.

The environment is also very collegial. If you have a large interest in craniofacial, you have a close relationship with the teams through the well-established cleft-craniofacial clinic, and you are encouraged to work with the pediatric plastics attendings in addition to the pediatric ENT attendings that do palatal/VPI surgery.

How is St. Louis?

The accessibility of such a great park right at the doorsteps of WashU medical center. From the vast trail and lake systems to the free zoo, Forest Park has something for everyone. Also, you can’t forget to mention the great sports culture of St. Louis. 

Any outside interests or hobbies?

I am big into anything sports or outdoors related. I am always down to ski, hike, paddleboard, mountain bike or play in any intramural sports league. 

head shot of Hillary Newsome, MD

Hillary Newsome, MD, fellow in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery

Why WashU?

Having been born and raised in St. Louis, I always knew about the reputation of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. So, when I found out WashU had a fellowship in what I was pursuing, I couldn’t wait for a chance to finish my training at home and at a prestigious institution!

Hillary Newsome, MD, and husband Jerry Xia, PhD, at Horseshoe Bend (east rim of the Grand Canyon) last year.

What do you enjoy outside of the fellowship?

I love traveling and exploring the national parks. I am an avid shopper and pet lover. I played on the women’s ultimate Frisbee team as an undergraduate at WashU.

Sepehr Shabani, MD, fellow in head and neck oncology and microvascular reconstruction

head shot of Sepehr Shabani, MD

Why WashU?

High operative volume, dedicated mentors with strong research interest, and great clinical experience covering all aspects for head and neck surgical oncology/microvascular reconstruction including robotic surgery, advanced endocrine surgery, and cutaneous malignancies.

Sepehr Shabani, MD, and wife Diba in Los Angeles.

How is St. Louis?

I moved to St. Louis with my wife and so far, we have been very pleased.  St. Louis is a vibrant city that offers many things such as outdoor activities, museums, and many great restaurants. 

Any outside interests or hobbies?

Hiking and traveling.

head shot of Kevin Zhan, MD

Kevin Zhan, MD, fellow in neurotology

Why WashU?

WashU was my very top choice for numerous reasons so I’m incredibly lucky and grateful to be here. The immense surgical volume, clinical variety, and degree of intracranial dissection is exactly what I am looking for.

I learn from exceptionally skilled surgeons who teach me multiple schools of surgical technique. These same mentors, as well as my amazing fellowship coordinator Kristin, are sincerely invested in my education, career, and personal growth and wellness.

The world class research infrastructure here is essential to cultivating research skills and success for a future academic career. I simply couldn’t ask for a better place to be.

Kevin Zhan falls
Kevin Zhan, MD, in front of the Dynjandi Waterfall in the Westfjords of Iceland.

How is St. Louis?

Due to the pandemic, my fellowship interviews were virtual, and I had never been to St. Louis prior to moving in. Fortunately, I’ve loved it here so far! The parks, museums, restaurants, gardens, activities are outstanding and there’s a great city feel. And even though I had a great sense from my fellowship interviews, it’s always energizing to be reminded daily of how great it feels to be a fellow here.

Any outside interests or hobbies?

I used to work as a professional photographer and I’ve recently taken a deep dive into cooking as a hobby. The marriage of the two results in an embarrassing amount of iPhone pictures, Instagram, and sometimes cold food at the end. I appreciate how cooking is an educational gateway into other cultures and histories. I also really enjoy outdoors activities of all kinds, reading, museums, and exploring all the great food & drink options out there in St. Louis!