Class of 2026

Garrett Boggs, MD (He/Him)

Garrett Boggs, MD, was raised in Charleston, West Virginia with two brothers and two cockatiels. As a kid, his favorite hobbies were reading and playing his Nintendo 64. He learned his first lessons as an…

outdoorsman in the woods at the end of his street that stretched into the Appalachian Mountains.

He started track and field in 6th grade and was immediately hooked. Though he wasn’t the best, he stuck with it and ended up running cross country and track for Wheaton College in Illinois, where he ran anything from the 800m to the steeplechase.

In college, he was a budding fantasy writer, and decided to major in English. His senior year, he published his first short story, Yellow Wood, in a literary journal. He next published a short novel, Warscapia, a few months after college, and it sold like 12 copies. Stubborn, he wrote a second book–Dragon Mastery: Daybreak. It sold a few more copies, probably because people like dragons.

While writing, Garrett also worked in tech because he needed a real job. He didn’t like the cubicle too much, so he switched to teaching Computer Science at a small high school in Peoria, Illinois. Garrett liked working with kids because kids are funny, but he also wanted to pursue more education, so he applied to medical school.

In a quest for more medical knowledge, Garrett journeyed to Cusco, Peru for a month to assist a local OB/GYN. Despite his broken Spanish, Garrett loved this experience, which confirmed his decision to go into medicine. Later that year, Garrett was accepted into Marshall medical school in his home state of West Virginia. Go Herd!

With six months remaining until medical school, Garrett found a job at a hostel in the Netherlands, where he operated the reception desk. He fondly recalls biking to work next to the beautiful canals of Amsterdam and hanging out with his European co-workers.

Before moving to St. Paul, Garrett took a little over a month to complete the French route of the Camino de Santiago–a 500-mile pilgrimage in Northern Spain. With that final adventure completed, he is now eager to start as Dr. Boggs, and he hopes to help as many people as possible in his new role!

Matthew Burgstahler, MD (He/Him)

Matthew Burgstahler, MD, was born and raised in the panhandle of Idaho (the really skinny part up near Canada), in the small ski/lake town of Sandpoint. His parents, an internal medicine physician and a…

physical therapist, discussed medical cases over dinner. In fact, Matthew is a total copycat. His grandfather was a family medicine doctor in rural Minnesota. Grandpa Doc made home calls via snowmobile and delivered babies in exchange for eggs. Matthew’s “family medicine” connections do not stop there. Both Matthew’s grandmothers were nurses. His sister is an occupational therapist. His fiancé is a physician assistant, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

In the beautiful, mountainous town of Sandpoint, Matthew grew up without TV (which is why he is terrible with pop culture today) and learned to enjoy an outdoor adventure. With age came organized sports and activities, including soccer, basketball, track and field, and band (trumpet). Matthew went against his parents’ advice to pick a warm weather state for school and instead went back to the family promised land of Minnesota and attended St. John’s University. Here, Matthew ran cross-country and steeplechase on the track. He met his fiancé, Alli, who… wait for it… went to the sister school St. Ben’s.

In college, Matthew focused on studying the sciences; however, an early peace studies course encouraged him to think about health equity, social injustice, and public health. During the summers, he worked at two non-profits in Minneapolis/St. Paul: Wellshare International and Citizens League. Matthew was delighted to study abroad in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where his longstanding appreciation of medicine met with his growing passion for public health. Working in the township clinics made him think about the impact systems have on the health of a community. He realized medications help, yet clean water, nutritious food, and sanitation help even more. When applied in the US, Matthew sees prevention, including, healthy food, sleep, exercise, social connection, and stress management as pillars to healthy individuals and communities.

At St. John’s University, Matthew became a member of a ridiculously fun (and sometimes funny) improv comedy group, appropriately called “Attention-Starved Children”. He enrolled at the University of Washington for medical school, returning to his beloved mountains in the West. Here, he realized his improv experience was great training for talking openly, honestly, and personally with patients. Matthew saw family medicine as the most relational of all the specialties and loved growing together with families.

He chose United Family Medicine because of its connection to a wonderful, diverse community of patients with passionate fellow residents and faculty. He loves the difficult rewarding conversations around addiction medicine and palliative care. He also thrives on the joy that comes from treating a 2-year-old and learning from a 96-year-old. Outside of medicine, Matthew can be found running, reading, or playing board games (self-identifying as a sore loser). Alli and Matthew are planning on getting married in September 2024. In preparation for a future family, they are raising “Bo," the golden retriever, who they hope might also join the medical community as a therapy dog, when he calms down.

Sibel Dikmen, MD (She/Her)

Sibel Dikmen, MD, was born in St. Paul, MN but split her childhood between The Sunshine State, Florida, and The Land of 10,000 Lakes. Despite moving back to Minnesota at the age of 11, she quickly…

adopted the lifestyle of casseroles, cabins, and long goodbyes as if it had been her own all along. Winter even became her favorite season after realizing that a white Christmas tree wasn’t just a sad department store special.

From Belle Plaine High School, she moved to St. Paul to attend the University of St. Thomas (a selection partially motivated by an overlap between the school’s colors and her favorite color, purple). Established in the pre-med track from day one, she studied intensely between Juicy Lucy meals (living next to Blue Door Pub) and amassing an impressive collection of Tommie-Johnnie shirts. 

On the days not in class, Sibel began working as a medical scribe in various clinical settings. Still, the post-graduation opportunity offered by her boss would set her career trajectory in Family Medicine. Establishing the first family medicine scribe program in Minnesota was a fully immersive experience, where she followed the physician between clinical and hospital as she practiced nearly full-scope FM. During this year of scribing, Sibel realized she could not picture herself practicing any other type of medicine.

After a brief break from higher education, Sibel packed her bags (not forgetting her SPF or swimsuit) and headed to St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. Living on an island was the best possible backdrop to medical school, and Sibel could routinely be found on Grand Anse Beach following exams or on a run through Lance Aux Epines in the mornings before class. While in medical school, Sibel also discovered her passion for teaching and education, participating in peer tutoring programs and question writing workshops. During her clinical clerkships at a community hospital in downtown Brooklyn, she began to see the intersection between being an educator and practicing excellent family medicine.

Sibel entered medical school intent on becoming a Family Medicine physician, and every experience, small and large, reaffirmed this decision. She was thrilled to find out she matched at United Health (her number one choice), a place that will allow her to continue working at an urban community hospital that also provides a curriculum to reflect the dynamic nature of FM and the current needs of the populations we serve. In her free time, Sibel can be found riding her Peloton bike, trying new NYT recipes, traveling, playing board games with her family, or exploring the local dining scene with her significant other.

Shai Farhi, MD (He/Him)

Shai Farhi, MD, grew up in Riverwoods IL, a beautiful, wooded village-suburb nestled into the Northshore of Chicago. There, with five rambunctious brothers in tow, Shai developed his competitive…

nature and honed his conflict management skills, and occasionally dipped into the realm of conflict initiation. Born into a family with an Israeli rock n' roll musician, he was raised on a steady diet of classic rock, fostering his love for music.

A pivotal moment came when his father, in a daring move without consulting Shai's mother, embarked on an after-school guitar center field trip with the brothers and spontaneously purchased a full drum kit. What began as a passion for listening to music transformed into a love for playing it, sparking a lifelong connection to music.

In high school, Shai joined the cross country and track teams, where he played a pivotal role in leading the Deerfield Distance Crew to their first state championship appearance in over two decades. These experiences not only fueled his enduring love for exercise and long-distance running but also instilled within him an appreciation for the power of community and camaraderie.

Driven by his curiosity and love for the outdoors, Shai completed his undergraduate studies in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology at the University of Minnesota. After graduating Shai found himself uncertain about his future career path. With a family background in healthcare, it was a natural consideration, but he felt compelled to explore other avenues first. Teaching beckoned, and he embarked on an AmeriCorps program, teaching English and supporting ESL students in Minneapolis. While he cherished the teaching experience and the relationships he built with his students, Shai's thirst for learning and being immersed in an academic environment remained unquenched. It was then that he turned his gaze towards medicine and began scribing in an emergency department in Minneapolis.

Shai’s experiences scribing, teaching in Minneapolis public schools, and participation in a medical brigade in rural Panama exposed him to the harsh realities of economic and health inequity that afflict our local and global community. This awakening propelled him to enroll in Rush University Medical College in Chicago where he dedicated himself to volunteering extensively with the unhoused/unstably housed population of Chicago via the Rush Street Medicine program, and student run shelter clinics. As a second-year medical student he founded the Community Harm Reduction Outreach program focusing on opioid overdose education and distribution of naloxone in communities disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic which raged in Chicago during the pandemic. These poignant encounters and personal anecdotes solidified Shai's passion for community-based interventions, addiction medicine, harm reduction, and preventative healthcare.

Now, as Shai embarks on his residency, he eagerly anticipates bringing his unwavering commitment to community-based care and patient education back to Minneapolis, where he will be joining United Family Medicine. When Shai isn’t at the hospital or clinic he can be found running or biking along the river road, bird watching, playing League of Legends with his brothers, jamming with friends, or attempting to persuade them to partake in what some mistakenly call “overly complicated” board games.

Rachel Newinski, MD (She/Her)

Rachel Newinski, MD, proudly hails from the North Star State and comes from a long line of Minnesotans who have supported the state in everything from farming to policy to healthcare. She was born and raised in…

the East Metro of the Twin Cities and calls Cottage Grove her hometown. Her youth was spent alternating between summers full of lakeshores and softball diamonds to icy winters on skis and skates. Always a curious kid, her lifelong love of trivia began while competing in Academic Triathlon. Her eventual decision to study medicine was informed by early exposure to the field volunteering at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and her completion of the Project Lead the Way biomedical sciences curriculum at her alma mater, East Ridge High School.

Rachel’s undergraduate education had her following in her parents’ footsteps to Mankato, Minnesota at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she studied Biomedical Sciences. Her official degree minor is Chemistry, but it would more accurately be college hockey as she spent nearly every Friday and Saturday cheering on her beloved Mavericks. Rachel completed the Honors Program at MSU which provided her with a wonderful liberal arts education along with the chutzpah to pursue a variety of leadership, community service, and research opportunities. Her time at MSU included membership in Alpha Chi Omega where she served in two executive positions, a term as a student senator practicing advocacy skills, and time as a volunteer adaptive ski instructor. 

After collecting a menagerie of odd jobs which ranged from Halloween store sign-spinner to golf course beverage cart driver to ski salesman, Rachel decided to get serious about the medicine thing and found a job as a medical scribe in the emergency department in Owatonna, Minnesota which she held throughout her time as a college student. This exposure to medicine paired nicely with her studies and propelled her into the next phase of her education.

For medical school, Rachel headed east to Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Six months into medical school, she along with her entire cohort had to brave the unknown waters of online medical school in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges of social distancing, Rachel with her lifelong love of community service was able to find opportunities to embed herself in the Kalamazoo community.  She spent many days vaccinating citizens against COVID-19 at student run clinics and providing primary care to the unhoused residents through her time with Street Medicine Kalamazoo. She was a leader in the group at WMed which founded the 3 Wishes Project, who completed projects to honor patients and provide comfort to families facing end of life care in the ICU. Rachel found kinship in the wider Kalamazoo community through her involvement in the Kalamazoo Film Society and competing with her esteemed trivia team, the Medical Unprofessionals.

With her passion for community and affinity to wanting to know everything, she was drawn to a career in Family Medicine. Rachel is ecstatic to be joining United Family Medicine to continue to learn community medicine in her adored city of Saint Paul. When not in scrubs, you can find Rachel out on the biking trails, taking in a concert or movie, and sharing many laughs in the sunshine with family and friends.

Kirsten Robinett, DO (She/Her)

Kirsten Robinett, DO, grew up in Northfield, Minnesota. As a child, Kirsten had an intense fear of blood which led her parents to believe she would likely choose a career far from healthcare. Despite this early aversion…

to gore, Kirsten found herself fascinated by biology, anatomy and physiology classes in high school and ultimately decided to study neurobiology and psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 2016.

After graduation, Kirsten was fairly confident she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, but she needed a little time and experience to make sure it was the right fit. She returned to Minnesota and worked as a medical scribe in a family practice clinic in Shakopee for 6 months and went on to scribe in the cancer center at Hennepin Healthcare for nearly 2 years. She also spent time volunteering with AmeriCorps and the Minnesota Literacy Council, tutoring elementary school students who were struggling with reading skills one summer in Northfield and later working with adult English learners in Minneapolis. With these clinical and service experiences under her belt, she felt reassured that medical school was the right path for her and decided to begin her medical education at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in the summer of 2019.

During medical school, Kirsten’s third- and fourth-year clinical rotations brought her to Sheboygan, Wisconsin where she and her fiancé Tory enjoyed sampling all the cheese, bratwurst, and brews the badger state had to offer on the beautiful coast of Lake Michigan. While they adapted well to life in Wisconsin, they remained loyal (and long-suffering) Minnesota sports fans and are excited to be back from Packer territory. 

Kirsten’s experiences prior to and during medical school drove her to a career in primary care. She had the opportunity to complete a sub-internship rotation with the United Family Medicine Residency during her fourth year of medical school which solidified her desire to train with the program and serve the west 7th community alongside our excellent residents and faculty. She enjoys caring for patients of all ages and backgrounds and is looking forward to providing cradle to grave care as a well-rounded family physician.

In her free time, Kirsten enjoys spending time with her fiancé Tory, their dog Ruby, and cat Richie. She loves hiking, camping, reading, gardening, and traveling whenever she gets the chance. Kirsten and Tory are thrilled to be back in the Twin Cities where they are close to lifelong friends and both of their families after four years away.

Alexander Wooner, MD (He/Him)

Alexander Wooner, MD, grew up on the south side of the iron range where hockey is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life in Grand Rapids, MN. Ironically, he could never skate very well but…

found joy in lesser-known sports such as soccer and tennis. It is also well known that fishing and watersports come in as a close second for acceptable pastimes and he loved partaking in these with his family and friends. He grew up loving the north woods where the short summer months were filled with bonfires, s‘mores, sports, and fun. The astounding fall colors signaled the start of Minnesota’s most known season: cold. Luckily, he enjoyed snowshoeing and the outdoors too much to let this slow him down. School, band, and sports took up much of his free time and he loved every bit of it.

After graduating from Grand Rapids Senior High School, Alex attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, becoming a diehard Bulldogs fan and supported the best division one hockey team in the nation as a member of the UMD pep band. During his first year in Duluth, he also found the love of his life (he just didn’t know it yet), and unfortunately, she was from Wisconsin, we’ll see how that one turns out for him. He loved music, but also learning in general, and especially asking and answering questions. He could not decide whether to put his efforts towards music, math, physics, biology, or chemistry and changed his major multiple times. After talking to fellow students interested in science and after learning more about the pre-medicine pathway Alex decided to dive headfirst into medicine majoring in biomedical sciences with minors in math and music and never looked back.

He was interested in finding out more about the medical field and found his answers in the form of experiences. He worked as a personal care attendant at a local nursing home in Duluth and shadowed a few family physicians to learn more about healthcare and medicine. After seeing firsthand the impact that compassionate medical care and building relationships can have on individuals, he knew he was on the right path. He fell in love with the prospect of family medicine as a career due to the lifelong relationships he would be able to form with his patients, and the ability to help make the community he lived in a healthier place. So, he applied to UMD’s early admissions scholar program, and was accepted to start as a medical student a year early after only 3 years in undergraduate. Alex finished his first 2 years of medical school at the Duluth campus and completed his clinical rotations in Duluth as well.

To his surprise, during the beginning of his fourth year of med school, the previously mentioned love of his life was still around and was also a medical student in her third year. To avoid the possibility of splitting up for residency, Alex decided to extend his education by a year so they could couples match, and during the fall of their last year of medical school they got married! It is said that he is still working to slowly transform her into a Vikings fan to this very day.

Alex is extremely excited and grateful to have the opportunity to train as a Family Physician at the United Family Medicine Residency with an amazing group of dedicated faculty, staff, and co-residents by his side. The core values of community engagement and health advocacy directly align with his goals as a physician. In his free time, Alex enjoys hiking mountains, playing and writing music, amateur cooking, amateur photography, and mastering new board games as a self-proclaimed board game aficionado. Alex and his wife also have a very energetic mini-Australian shepherd that they love taking on many adventures.