Emily Kleiman, MD


Emily was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and loved the town of Bloomington, Indiana so much that she chose to spend her first two years of medical school there on the Bloomington campus. During the summer between her first and second years, Emily worked at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, which not only allowed her to live with her sister/BFF and brother-in-law, but it also showed her the incredible family and learning environment that exists within the Vanderbilt Pediatric Residency Program. She was hooked from the start.

In her spare time, Emily loves to run and bike, practice yoga, watch Parks and Recreation, sweat/cry from exhaustion in OrangeTheory classes, play with her dog Luna, cook/eat Thai and Indian food, and try out new breweries with friends. She enjoys live country music and lazy Sunday mornings.

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
College: Indiana University

Olivia Kammegne Simo, MD


Olivia was born and raised in Cameroon. She moved to the United States, specifically Nashville, during her junior year of high school. She then attended East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee where she earned a degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology. After college, Olivia returned to Nashville to work for Saint Thomas Health as a Biomedical Engineering Technician. About three years later, she moved to Indianapolis, Indiana to attend medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine where she developed an interest in pediatrics.

During her spare time, Olivia enjoys running, watching comedy shows, writing and reading, attending her younger cousins’ hockey games, and spending time with family (including her twin sister) and friends.

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
College: East Tennessee State University

Deidre "Didi" Higareda, MD


Didi was born and raised in the culturally-enriched Mexican-American border town Brownsville, Texas. She attended Texas A&M University where she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering. Following undergraduate school, she attended the University of Texas Health at San Antonio’s Lozano Long School of Medicine. Throughout her undergraduate and medical school career, she has contributed to multiple initiatives dedicated to providing equitable healthcare for all, particularly those with lower income and those who identify as LGBTQ. She chose to move to Nashville after witnessing the camaraderie, joy, and commitment to healthcare expressed by Vanderbilt residents and employees when she visited during residency interviews.  When she’s not serving her patients, Didi loves spending time with her two adopted “fur-babies”, Bambi and Lily, as well as exploring local parks and enjoying Zumba.

Medical School: University of Texas School of Medicine, San Antonio
College: Texas A&M University

Carol Marie Fraley, MD


Carol Marie was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and majored in Microbiology. Then, Carol Marie ventured further south to attend medical school at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami. In her free time, she enjoys tennis, watching Marvel superhero movies, eating her Puerto Rican grandmother’s pernil, and re-reading her favorite Jane Austen books. She is patiently waiting for the Gators to win another football national championship.

Medical School: Florida International University College of Medicine
College: University of Florida

Kimberly "Kimmie" Ferguson, MD


Kimberly "Kimmie" Ferguson was born in Iowa, but grew up in Jacksonville, Florida with her parents and three siblings. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!!) before returning to Florida to complete medical school at the University of Florida (Go Gators, too!).  Outside of medicine, Kimmie's greatest interests include singing praise and worship music, eating good food, jogging, Alabama football, and tracking down the perfect chocolate chip cookie. She loves doing anything and everything with her husband, Tyler, an electrical engineer.

Medical School: University of Florida College of Medicine
College: University of Alabama

James Clegg, DO


James was born and raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from the University of Utah. James married his wife, Chelsey, during their undergraduate studies. In between undergraduate and medical school, James did breast cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute.  He and his wife then traded the white snow mountains of northern Utah for the white sand beaches of southern Florida while James attended medical school at LECOM-Bradenton.  Outside of medicine, James enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, playing soccer, running, being involved in his church, and doing crossword puzzles. James is currently interested in specializing in hematology/oncology.

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Bradenton
College: University of Utah

Kristina Chung, MD


Kristina was born and raised in South Florida with her two younger brothers, although her family is from the beautiful island of Jamaica. She attended the University of Miami where she majored in Neuroscience, minored in Exercise Physiology and Chemistry, and studied abroad for a semester in Hong Kong. She then attended medical school at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami. Kristina loves to travel and frequently visits family and friends in Jamaica and Sint Maarten in the Caribbean. She adores animals and has two rescue golden retrievers and two parrots who reside with her family in “SoFlo.” She loves to try anything new and especially enjoys rock climbing, going to the beach, diving, reading, and listening to a wide genre music.

Medical School: Florida International University College of Medicine
College: University of Miami

Ferdinand Cacho, MD


Ferdinand was born in Quezon City, Philippines before his family moved to El Paso, Texas where they lived for 10 years. His family eventually settled in Salida, California where he still visits whenever he can. Ferdinand attended UC Berkeley where he earned a degree in Microbial Biology. After college, he spent a year with AmeriCorps working with underserved communities throughout California’s Central Valley. His pursuit of a career in medicine brought him to Omaha, Nebraska where he found his passion for pediatrics and is proud to be a Creighton-trained physician.  Outside of medicine, Ferdinand enjoys the outdoors, making delicious baked goods, and keeping up with the latest superhero movies. He is beyond excited to start this next chapter in Nashville with his partner, a postdoctoral research fellow at Vanderbilt, and their two pets.

Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine
College: University of California, Berkeley

Ryan Bolotte, MD


Ryan was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and spent his high school years in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, a small town 45 minutes north of New Orleans. Ryan was frequently spotted at the Ponchatoula Sonic Drive-in, because this is where he worked as a carhop, bringing tater tots and slushies to eager customers. Ryan went to LSU for undergrad and majored in Biological Sciences. Outside of the classroom, Ryan spent the majority of his time as an orientation leader, tour guide, and tutor which led him to discover passions for both leadership and education. Ryan returned to New Orleans for medical school at LSU. As a medical student, Ryan gained a huge appreciation for medical education, and he hopes to incorporate academic medicine into his future career. The most important things in Ryan’s life are (in no particular order) his friends and family, breakfast, LSU sports, pop music, volleyball, exercising, and sleep.

Medical School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine
College: Louisiana State University

Jacob Basham, MD


Jacob was born and raised in Portland, Tennessee, a small town about 45 minutes north of Nashville. He attended Middle Tennessee State University where he obtained bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and General Science. He remained in Tennessee for his medical education attending the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine in Memphis. Always very interested in science, Jacob conducted two years of independent laboratory research on the immune system and leukemia at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in between his 2nd and 3rd years of medical school under the support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and their Medical Research Fellows program. He is currently interested in pursuing a physician-scientist’s career as a pediatric hematologist/oncologist.

Outside of medicine and science, Jacob is an avid player of his beloved guitars. Even more than the guitars, however, he enjoys watching his daughter grow and spending time with her mother, his fiancé.

Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC)
College: Middle Tennessee State University