CDR Contributor Bios

Richard M. Berlin, MD is a psychiatrist who has lived and practiced in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts for twenty five years. He is the author of a collection of poetry How JKF Killed My Father, two poetry chapbooks, Code Blue, and The Prophecy, and edited a collection of essays Poets On Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment, The Creative Process and Secret Wounds. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at University of Massachusetts Medical School, he enjoys gardening, riding his mountain bike, kayaking, and pruning his apple trees. Web site:

Tom Bibey was a family physician who practiced in rural North Carolina. He died in August, 2012 after a long struggle with cancer. Bluegrass folks knew him as Dr. Tom, but Bibey was a pseudonym he used in the music world. His given name was Bobby Jones, and his medical patients knew him as Bob, Jr. His father had also been a medical doctor in western North Carolina, and Bob, Jr. continued his dad’s tradition of the “country doctor,” seeing patients outside of office hours, and treating them for what they could afford to pay. He was a regular contributor to the blog, Stories of the Bluegrass Music Road:  
His novel, The Mandolin Case, was published in 2010.

Cinnamon Bradley, MD is a medicine and pediatrics physician who practices and teaches residents at Morehouse School of Medicine. She has written poetry for over 20 years and wrote this poem as a medical student. Her work has been published in her undergraduate and medical school literary magazines. She is married with two children.

Erik Brodt, MD completed a family medicine residency in Seattle Washington and is now a hospitalist in the Department of Family Medicine in Madison Wisconsin. The experience that inspired his piece occurred during his elective in the Rural Physician Associate Program at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Darrell Carter, MD is a rural family physician who has practiced in Granite Falls, Minnesota since 1972. He is co-founder of the Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) Program, currently serving as Program Director, and is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He has served as a preceptor for third year medical students in Rural Physician Associate Program for many years.

Mitchell L. Cohen, MD practiced family medicine in rural Washington state for five years. Medical students and family medicine residents spent time at his office. He was adjunct faculty at the St. Peter Family Medicine Residency Program in Olympia, WA and on faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine. On August 14, 2010, he passed away suddenly at the age of 39. Rural medicine and writing were extremely important to him as were his wife and three children. He maintained a blog on rural medicine

Maureen Connolly, MD is a physician who worked on the Navajo Nation in the 1990s. She now practices medicine in the Midwest and writes poetry and fiction. Her work has been published in Hammers, Tomorrow, Ariel, After Hours, River Oak Review and the international anthologies Freedom’s Just Another Word andEarth Beneath, Sky Above, among others. She has read at numerous venues in the Chicago area, including Printers Row, Around the Coyote Arts Festival, and Guild Complex. Her awards include an Illinois Arts Council Award in prose, and a fiction fellowship from the Ragdale Foundation.

Cesar Ercole, MD wrote this during his Rural Physician Associate Program elective at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Cesar is specialized in urology like his sister and father.

Lyle Fagnan, MD is a family physician in the Department of Family Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University, Portland OR and director of the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network.

Kathleen Farah, MD is a family physician who has practiced in rural Western Wisconsin for over 23 years. She and her husband have four children, and three granddaughters that provide lots of entertainment. She also likes to read and spend time outdoors.

Holly Farris is Appalachian and has worked as a volunteer caregiver, an autopsy assistant, restaurant baker, and beekeeper. Farris is the fifth generation of her family to live on their farm in the mountains of southwest Virginia. Her short fiction has appeared in journals as diverse as The Greensboro Review, Lodestar Quarterly, and Frontiers. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and recently for a Lambda Literary Foundation Book Award.

Anthony Fleg, MD was a medical student in North Carolina when he wrote this poem.  He completed his family medicine residency in New Mexico and continues to write poetry about patients who inspire him.

Tara Frerks, MD has completed her residency at La Crosse Mayo Family Medicine Residency in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, pursued a sports medicine fellowship in South Carolina and practices in Wisconsin. A patient during her Rural Physician Associate Program elective inspired her piece.

Joseph Gibes, MD is a family physician who now teaches and practices at the University of Chicago (North Shore) Family medicine Residency Program. After receiving a English and almost pursuing a career as an orchestral clarinetist, he attended medical school, married a farm girl and practiced in rural southwest Wisconsin for 11 years. He and his wife Amy have three children.

Lorence Gutterman, MD is a retired hematologist/oncologist who worked in Columbus, Ohio and consulted at hospitals in the surrounding small towns of central Ohio. He writes poetry and stories, and has been published in several literary journals. Since moving with his wife to Connecticut four years ago to be closer to their children and grandchildren, he has been teaching creative writing to medical, nursing, and public health students in the Humanities in Medicine Program at Yale University School of Medicine. Also, he teaches creative writing at a prison. He is writing a book of poems about his childhood in eastern South Dakota.

Gwen Wagstrom Halaas, MD, MBA is a family physician and Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She was the director of the Rural Physician Associate Program at the University of Minnesota from 2004-2007.

Patricia J. Harman, CNM, MS is a nurse midwife, who practices with her husband Tom Harman, MD at Partners in Women’s Health Care in Morgantown WV. She holds clinical appointments in both the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine at West Virginia University and is the author of The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife’s Memoir (Beacon Press, 2008), Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey (Beacon Press, 2011) and A Midwife of Hope River (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2012) Web Site:

Donald Kollisch, MD is a family physician who practiced in rural New Hampshire for over twenty years and taught at Dartmouth Medical School. He writes fiction and is now faculty at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York.

Emily Kroening, MD is completed a family medicine residency in California. She was a medical student in the Rural Physician Associate Program at the University of Minnesota when this experience occurred.

Megan Wills Kullnat, MD is completed a pediatric residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Her piece was written during a rural rotation in medical school in Oregon.

Ann Neuser Lederer, RN has been a certified hospice nurse for many years. She has lived and worked in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kentucky. Her poems and creative nonfiction have been published in a variety of creative writing journals such as Kalliope, Diagram, Cross Connect, Brevity, Wind, and Diner; in various anthologies and in chapbooks Approaching Freeze (Foothills), The Undifferentiated, and Weaning the Babies(Pudding House). She has a number of professional publications as well and is the proud mother of a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

David Loxterkamp, MD is a family physician who has practiced in Belfast Maine for over two decades. Web page:

Deborah Lee Luskin, PhD is a regular Commentator on Vermont Public Radio, an editorial columnist, book reviewer, free-lance writer and author of Into The Wilderness, a novel. As a Visiting Scholar for the Vermont Humanities Council, Luskin has facilitated literature-based humanities seminars as part of Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare, a nationwide literature-based seminar that allows health-care workers to explore difficult issues in modern medicine outside the clinical setting. She writes about medicine for major medical centers, both as a translator of technical information for patient understanding and as a profiler of physicians and hospital services. She has taught writing to a wide variety of students of all ages and abilities, from ivy league students at Columbia College in New York City to inmates at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vermont. She lives with her husband, family physician Tim Shafer, and their three daughters in southern Vermont. Web site:

David McRay, MD is a family physician and residency faculty in Tennessee, where he grew up. He leads international education trips to the Middle East where his father was an archeologist. He enjoys teaching, writing, and traveling with his wife and three grown children.

James Mold, MD, MPH is a family physician in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City OK and president of the Oklahoma Physicians Resource/Research Network.

Ann Floreen Niedringhaus, RN, MSW wrote her piece, Early Marriage, while making home visits as a public health nurse in a federal Maternal and Infant Care Program based in Morgantown, West Virginia. She is now retired and resides in Duluth Minnesota with her oncologist husband. She has written poetry for fifteen years and has had numerous poems published in journals and anthologies, including two chapbooks: Life Suspended (Poetry Harbor); Parallel to the Horizon (Pudding House). Her work is included in an anthology with four members of her long-time poetry group: The Moon Rolls Out Of Our Mouths (Calyx Press).

Godfrey Onime, MD is an internist in Lumberton, NC. Twenty years ago, after high school in Nigeria, he immigrated to New York City. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College, medical school at the New York University, and residency training at the Presbyterian Hospital of the Columbia University Medical Center, all in New York City. After residency, he had a short stint practicing primary care in upstate New York, before moving to Durham, NC to train in gastroenterology. However, he quickly realized that his passion was in primary care and “giving voice” to his patients through writing. He returned to primary care, but chose to remain in North Carolina, settling in Lumberton, a region with a large proportion of American Indians of the Lumbee tribe. He has practice there for the past five years “as a boonies doc,” according to his medical school colleagues in the northeast. He is completing a book about the intersection of his background in Africa and his experiences in medicine at both the big and small cities of America.

William Orem, MFA, PhD worked for several years in a clinical psychobiology lab at the NIMH. His short stories and poems have appeared in over 95 journals including The Princeton Arts Review, Sou'Wester and The New Formalist. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award, formerly given to Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Richard Ford, Alice Munro and others. His collection of stories include: Zombi, You My Love (Questa Press, 1999).

Michael Perry is a nurse, emergency medical responder, and firefighter. He has written for EsquireThe New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and, and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health. His essays have been heard on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and he has performed and produced two live audience recordings (I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow). His books include: Why They Killed Big Boy…and other stories (1996), Off Main Street (Harper Perennial, 2005), Population 485, (Harper Perennial, 2007), Truck: A Love Story (Harper Perennial, 2007), Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting (Harper, 2009). Web site:

Shailendra Prasad, MD is a family physician who was educated in India and Detroit, MI. He practiced in rural Mississippi for nine years. In 2007, he left Mississippi to pursue an academic career in Minnesota. Now he teaches family medicine residents and does research in health policy to improve access and care in the rural U.S.

Michael R. Rosmann, PhD is a farmer, clinical psychologist and the Executive Director of AgriWellness, Inc., Harlan, IA, a nonprofit organization that provides behavioral health supports for the agricultural population. (www.agriwellness) He is adjunct faculty in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa and lectures at many universities throughout the US and other countries. He and his wife live in the farm house they built near Harlan. For the last 30 years he has devoted his life to working with and learning from farm and ranch people. He has been published in a wide variety of scholarly journals, literary magazines and farm publications and has participated in National Public Radio, National Geographic and other television programs.

Arne Vainio, MD is a family physician, who went to medical school in Duluth and completed his Family Practice Residency Program at the Seattle Indian Health Board and Providence Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Born to a Finnish father and a full-blood Ojibwe mother, he is an enrolled tribal member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Since 1997, he has practiced on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation in Cloquet, Minnesota and teaches with the Duluth Family Medicine Residency. He writes articles for News From Indian Country, a National Native American Newspaper: His movie Walking into the Unknown 

Abraham Verghese, MD is an internist and infectious disease specialist and the author of many essays and stories published in both the lay and medical press including the New YorkerThe Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine. He is also the author of The Tennis Partner (Harper Perennial, 1999) and his most recent book, Cutting for Stone (Knopf, 2009). Currently he is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. Web site:

John M. Westfall, MD, MPH is a family physician in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver Colorado and the director of the High Plains Research Network.