Class of 2025
Stacey Elizabeth Benben, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
A lot of my colleagues know that I was a professional musician before I decided to completely change my life and try a career in medicine. (Cello is my primary and most-mastered instrument, though I do play several others and sing!) However, my other interests and hobbies are no less interesting (to me) and quite vast. I love being outside - hiking in the woods, walking along the beach (especially in the autumn after all the tourists have left), kayaking, biking, and of course my absolute favorite - outdoor roller skating!
I adore my two little kitties Hazel and Henry - rescued off the streets of DC - now, totally unapologetically spoiled! I have a mini jungle of plants growing in my apt and I enjoy experimenting with kitchen chemistry. I sew, crochet, cross stitch, embroider, make jewelry, paint, and draw - I love making things. I like to read and I like to write - I’m a published poet. I rarely ever tire of listening to podcasts, but I also enjoy chilling out with some good music or a movie now and then.
I feel very fortunate to have been matched in my residency here in DC, not only because DC gifted me with my 2 precious little fuzzy kitty loves, but because DC has some of the most amazing museums, and I plan to visit them all! Boredom is not a concept I will ever understand. Lastly, I hate social media and refuse to participate.
Sach Desai, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Born and raised in nearby Fairfax, VA, DC is a special place to me and is part of who I am. I am a person of many interests. I like sports, video games, nature, history, and exploring new places and things. Kicking back with TV and movies is another way I love to relax.
I love pets, and my cat Tinker and dog Buckley always keep me entertained.
Daniel Gatazka, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
I was born and spent most of my formative years in the suburbs of the northeastern United States, and my interests in everything from athletics (golf, soccer) to food (clam chowder and cheesecake) were informed by that background. I completed my undergraduate studies in Connecticut at Fairfield University, and my outlook on the world is inexorably shaped by the concepts of Ignatian spirituality and the core Jesuit value of service to others.
I first moved to the DMV region to be with my wife, an active-duty officer in the medical corps of the US Navy as well as a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis (where we were married!). We have made a home for ourselves here, and love the cultural and culinary attractions the area offers. When not taking care of patients or catching up on clinical paperwork I enjoy spending time with her and the rest of my extended family in the area, exploring and camping in National Parks, and attending various classical music concerts and performances (Handel’s Messiah at the Kennedy Center is a particular favorite)..
Hope Hardy, DO
University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine
I grew up in small-town East Texas, went to TCU in Fort Worth (GO FROGS!) for undergrad, and UIWSOM in San Antonio for medical school. Outside of healthcare, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and dog.
I love traveling, hiking, camping, and pretty much any outdoor activity. I'm also looking forward to exploring the museums here in DC!
Urvi Pandit, DO
Rowan Univerity School of Osteopathic Medicine
I was born and raised in New Jersey and completed my undergraduate, graduate, and medical schooling at New Jersey state institutions. Since then, I have had the pleasure of living in warm and sunny Phoenix, Arizona for several years serving as a Medical Epidemiologist at a public health entity before moving to historic Washington, DC for residency. When I am not working, I enjoy developing my yoga practice and spending time outdoors with my husband, dog, and infant son.
As a new transplant to the DMV, I am looking forward to teaching yoga and exploring the local wineries and hiking terrain. I'm passionate about traveling the world and learning about new cultures; and with the many airports nearby, DC is a great location for continued adventures both locally and abroad!
Evan Smith, DO
Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine
I’m a Midwesterner at heart, growing up in SE Michigan and completing undergrad at Michigan State. I then spent a year teaching English in Taiwan and backpacking SE Asia before attending medical school in South Florida. I’m thrilled to be a part of this program where I feel welcomed and supported and am able to work with caring and passionate individuals.
I’m new to the DC area but knew I would love it here already – there really is something going on for any interest you might have! Personally, I enjoy running at any of the various parks throughout the city and exploring the streets for new restaurants and bars. At the moment, I’m revitalizing my plant collection (some of them didn’t make the journey here:-/) and have been on a Super Smash Bros and Pokemon kick.