Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Current Residents


Eva Chava Bernfeld

Eva Chava Bernfeld, MD

Child Neurology Residency (transfer to Iowa): Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center/Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH
Pediatric Residency: Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center/Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH
Medical School: MD, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev/ Medical School for International Health, Beer Sheva, Israel

Spoorthi Jagadish, portrait

Spoorthi Jagadish, MD, MBBS

Pediatric Residency: University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa
Pediatric Residency: Grant Government Medical College and Sir J. J. Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, India
Pediatric Neurology Fellowship: P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai, India
Medical School: Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, India

After completing my medical school training, I did my residency in pediatrics in India and worked as an Assistant Professor at Grant Medical College, Mumbai for a year. Afterwards, I completed a two-year fellowship in pediatric neurology in Mumbai, India. In late 2016, I moved to Rochester, Minnesota and worked as a research coordinator in pediatric epilepsy clinical trials at Mayo Clinic for a year and a half before I matched at University of Iowa! I found my interest in pediatric neurology towards the end of my residency training in India and absolutely love neurology and epilepsy.

I had heard such wonderful things about the Child Neurology Residency Program at University of Iowa from so many pediatricians and neurologists that I met here in the U.S. It was on the top of my list and I was very excited to match here!

I love reading novels–mainly fiction, playing badminton, cooking, and watching some of my favorite shows when I find the time–Frasier, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, etc.



Karen Villarroel, MD

Karen Villarroel Gomez, MD

Pediatric Residency: University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, IA
Medical School: Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

I was born in La Paz, Bolivia (about a 20 hr flight from Iowa counting layovers). When I was 8, my parents and I moved to the suburbs of Washington DC in Virginia where I learned English and developed my love for the sciences. I loved Virginia so much I decided to stay and attend Washington and Lee University where I received my BS in Chemistry and met my husband. I moved to Chicago after graduation where I attended the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. During interview season, my husband Austin Walker and I both loved Iowa - both from a work/co-workers perspective as well as a buy a home and raise a dog perspective. It was surprisingly easy to make a rank list that would allow for couples matching after our Iowa interview, the rest is history.

From a young a age, I loved the sciences and while I thought about being a chemist, it was ultimately my passion for helping people that drew me into medicine. During medical school, I noticed that working with children made me the happiest. In neurology I found eternal interesting reading material and a way to help a diverse group of patients of various abilities and ages.

I hope to practice general neurology with a special interest in advocacy, mentorship, and global health. I would also like to work with underserved immigrant populations as I grew up undocumented and later with DACA status. I love to spend time outdoors and with my family to include my dog Baxter. My favorite hikes include the rim-to-rim Grand Canyon as well as the Kalalau trail in Kauai. I am always up for camping and hiking!



PGY1 Photo of Verónica Ramírez Altamirano

Verónica Ramírez Altamirano, MC

Pediatric Residency: University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, IA
Medical School: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico

I’m from Mexico, I was born in Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala, and spent most of my childhood and teenage years in Veracruz, a beautiful but poor area in southern Mexico. After growing up watching my mom practice medicine and changing lots of lives I fell in love with the profession and decided to become a doctor.

I received a scholarship at one of the best medical schools in my country, Tecnológico de Monterrey, and I started this journey knowing that I wanted to get into pediatrics, as through the years I have realized that working with children was a joy for me. During my last year of medical school, I had the opportunity to come to the US and experience what Child Neurology was during a clerkship, and I just knew that it was for me, the perfect merge of Neurology, a beautiful but challenging specialty merged with my passion for pediatrics.

I was happy beyond words when I received my Match results! I still can remember at the end of my interview day, I told myself “This is it, I want to go to Iowa!”, I felt welcomed and appreciated from the first moment, and everyone from the residents to the faculty I interviewed was really honest, supportive, and truly committed to the respect and pursuit of Equity and Diversity in Medicine. As a Latina woman in Medicine, this last point was particularly important for me. And the program at the UI is nationally ranked and offers all you need to build exceptional clinical skills and a depth of knowledge while working in a collaborative and supportive environment where doctors are not only valued as professionals but as unique and valued individuals.

After finishing my training as Child Neurologist, I would like to do research and academics. Neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and other areas such as Neuroimmunology and Neuropsychiatry are, for now, my main interests.

I enjoy the outdoors and can’t wait to explore Iowa!; I love running with my dog Lily, practicing yoga, playing the ukulele, and painting. I'm also interested in activities and projects that are related to animal rescue and protection.

I truly believe being different is a strength to a team when all are propelled by the same motor. A passion for learning, growth, and achieving the best healthcare results to serve children, and the University of Iowa confirms it!


Laura Varan - PGY1

Laura Varan, MD

Pediatric Residency: University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, IA
Medical School: Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie Victor Babes, Romania

I grew up in Ghiroda, a small village from Romania. I attended medical school at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Victor Babes” from Timisoara, Romania. During medical school I started volunteering at one orphanage. These children have a special place in my heart. While helping these orphans, I realized that I have a passion for working with children. 

I did two years of pediatrics residency in Romania, and during the child neurology rotation I found myself amazed at how complex neurologic pathologies are.

In 2019 I got married and then I immigrated with my husband to the United States. 

During the interview season, I was very impressed by the Child Neurology Residency Program from the University of Iowa and the people I met there. I knew I wanted to grow here as a child neurologist. I was so happy to match here. 

I would like to practice general child neurology. In the future, I want to advocate for children, and also continue to work with orphans and underserved families. 

In my free time, I love to spend time with my husband and my daughter. We love to cook,  explore new places in the nature and try new restaurants. 



Katie Lambeth

Katherine "Katie" Lambeth, DO, MS

Pediatric Residency: University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, IA
Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA [M.S.Ed. Dual Degree through Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD]


Natalie Ramsy

Natalie Ramsy, MD

Pediatric Residency: University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, Iowa City, IA
Medical School: Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Champaign, IL

I grew up in Dayton, Ohio and moved to Irvine, California with my family in high school. I attended the University of Southern California where I studied biomedical engineering and developed an interest in neuroimaging. While I loved engineering, I also knew I wanted to work with kids after working extensively with kids in my Egyptian community and through working at after school programs and summer camps. With the hope of becoming a pediatrician, I attended Carle Illinois College of Medicine, a medical school with an integrated engineering curriculum. During medical school I was able to apply my biomedical engineering background through research in functional MRI in infants. I discovered that child neurology satisfies both my proverbial left and right brain by combining analytical puzzles with fun and creativity with kids. I am certain I’m in the absolute best field! 

Last summer, my husband came to the University of Iowa for a research fellowship. He loved his experience so much that he began trying to convince me that we should come to Iowa City. It didn’t take long for me to become equally smitten by this hidden gem, with its beautiful outdoors, strong medical system, and kind people. We’re grateful to have couples matched here and look forward to the years to come. In my free time you can find me watching or playing soccer (or any sport really), exploring local trails, or knitting.