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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Rajiv Rajani

Dr. Rajiv Rajani


Welcome to the Rockwood Society! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UTHSCSA. Education has been the key focus in my life, whether it be mentoring undergraduates to residents in the operating room. I grew up in the great state of Michigan and yes, I love visiting Detroit! I spent 4 years in Ann Arbor, MI earning a BS in Economics and Biology then followed it up with 5 years to earn an MD with Distinction in Research at the University of Michigan. After that, I decided to work on my tan and headed to Atlanta, Georgia where I completed my Orthopaedic Surgery training at Emory University. After that, I realized I was still pretty pasty, so I finished a fellowship in Musculoskeletal Oncology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Most people don’t even know that doctors such as myself exist!

My wife and I moved to San Antonio in 2011 and along the way, we had the great fortune of having a daughter and son born here. My hobbies include anything related to Michigan football, college football, relaxing, running, reading, while learning the best ways to educate future physicians!

Mentors in Medicine/MiMs (MSIV)

Max Cadena

Max Cadena


Howdy! I'm Max Cadena and I'm one of the Co-Head MiMs for Veritas 2017-2018. I grew up in Friendswood, TX, went to Clear Brook HS, and graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. I'll be applying to OB/GYN residencies in the Fall and am interested in patient education and high-risk obstetrics. In my free time, I like to play guitar, workout, and hangout with friends. I volunteer at my church, St. Luke Catholic Church, in the high school youth ministry group and the RCIA program. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about Veritas or any other questions about your journey in medical school!

Helen Heymann

Helen Heymann


Hi everyone, my name is Helen Heymann and I am looking forward to being one of your MIMs! I’m originally from Austin and went to college/a masters program at Stanford, where I studied biology. I’ve loved being back in Texas for medical school, from the people to the breakfast tacos. Outside of medicine I enjoy cooking, going to museums, swimming, hiking, and travel: I’m always drawn to new places and cultures. Currently I am doing a yearlong research fellowship at Stanford, where I am studying the role of the TRPV1 channel in endothelial dysfunction in diabetes mellitus. This fall I’ll be applying to residency in anesthesiology. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have.

Matt Koller

Matthew Koller


I've spent pretty much my entire life in Texas, from being raised in Houston, attending undergrad in Austin, working in Dallas, and now crawling through medical school in San Antonio. I majored in communications and worked for a PR Agency for a couple of years before returning to pursue medicine, so I definitely know what it's like to take a little bit of time to figure out your calling in life! Sports and outdoor activity is what keeps me sane when studying loses its appeal, and you can often find me at the gym, on the fields outside or watching my Houston sports teams with friends. As I've gotten older, I've definitely learned to appreciate the finer side of a Saturday full of Netflix, napping and sitting on my porch outside just reading a book. These first 3 years of medical school have been a difficult but rewarding journey, and I'd love to share my own struggles and success stories with whoever would like to hear them, so please don't hesitate to let me know if you'd like to chat or just learn a little bit more of my story!

Phil Palmer

Phil Palmer


I am originally from Fort Worth but have since lived in Baltimore, Vermont, and Tulsa before coming to San Antonio. At Middlebury College, I majored in ethics and minored in dance. After college, I taught 2nd grade in Tulsa, OK while also acting as my school's athletic director, coaching the soccer, basketball, and baseball teams. I spend much of my free time staying active through sports and dancing, reading, writing, and exploring the greater San Antonio area. I plan to pursue a career in Internal Medicine.

Yayu Zhong

Yayu Zhong


Hi everybody! Welcome to UT Health San Antonio.

I was born in China before eventually moving to Atlanta, GA, where I spent the rest of my childhood. I then went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and majored in Biology with a Neurobiology concentration. I have always had an interest in the medical field and knew that is what I wanted to pursue. After graduation, I took a year off where I worked as a Research Assistant and an Emergency Room scribe so that I can get some job experience, take a break from school, and prepare for my future medical career. I will be applying to Neurology for residency this fall and am interested in possibly doing a Neuro-Oncology fellowship. I am also currently working on getting my MD with Distinction in Research. Other activities that I have been involved in are the Student Faculty Collaborative Clinics, global health trip to Guatemala, Recruitment Committee, and Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics Student Advisory Council.

Some of my hobbies include baking, exercising, trying out new restaurants, and going to anime conventions. I am excited to be a MiM next year and cannot wait to meet everyone! Please do not hesitant to contact me with any questions, whether it is related to medical school or not.

Veritas Peer Advisors/VPAs (MSII)

Veronica Riggs

Veronica Riggs


Hi guys! My name is Veronica. Although I grew up in the Midwest (Kansas City/St. Louis), my family moved to Keller (outside of Fort Worth) for high school and I have grown to love it here in Texas! I majored in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Rice University, where I spent my free time playing powderpuff football and women’s rugby, and then moved to San Antonio after graduating in May 2016. I’m so thrilled to be in med school and I feel so lucky to be here! I have no idea what I want to specialize in, but at this point, I am thinking about primary care specialties, particularly pediatrics.

When I’m not studying, I like to stay active by trying out the classes at Gold’s Gym or going on hikes in the Hill Country. I love travelling and photography – ask me about my spring break road trip in the Southwest! I’m always down for some Netflix & knitting (yes I am an old lady at heart). Please feel free to approach me anytime. I can’t wait to meet you and welcome you to the med school family!

Meredith Furst

Meredith Furst


Hi y'all! I'm Meredith Furst. I grew up in Austin, TX and also went to UT Austin for undergrad (Hook 'Em!) where I majored in Nutrition. After college, I worked as a pre-op assistant at a surgery center in Austin for a year, traveled with friends, and spent time with my family. I was very thankful for a break after school, but couldn't wait to get started on my medical school journey here at UTHSA. In my free time, I love to travel, watch movies, try new restaurants, enjoy the outdoors, cheer on my Texas Longhorns and just hang out with friends and family. I've always enjoyed being involved in mentorship groups and would love to answer any questions you have. Can't wait to meet you all and welcome you to the UTHSA family!

Blake Seeker

Blake Seeker


Hello everyone! My name is Blake Seeker. I was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and I graduated from SMU in 2016. In undergrad, I studied Psychology and Health & Society, performed on SMU's cheer and dance teams, and led tours for prospective students. At UTHSA, I am involved in powderpuff, IMs and the Global Health program. When I'm not studying, I love being outside, laughing, listening to good music, and spending time with friends and family. I'm so excited to meet all of you, and I'm happy to help you through first year in any way I can!