Welcoming the Columbia Orthopedics Residency Class of 2027

March 18, 2022

We are proud to introduce the newest members of the Columbia Orthopedics and New York Orthopaedic Hospital family. Learn more about this exceptional group of future orthopedic surgeons.

Aaron Z. Chen, MD; Sohil Desai, MD; Xavier Ferrer, MD; Joanna Kim, MD; Michael Mastroianni, MD; Cole R. Morrissette, MD; Beth G. Ashinsky, MD, PhD (2028 – Research Track)

Aaron Z. Chen, MD

Medical School: Weill Cornell Medical College

Undergraduate: University of Pennsylvania

Aaron grew up in nearby Mansfield, Connecticut.  His early life revolved around soccer and his childhood dream was to play at intercollegiate level.  He fulfilled that dream at the University of Pennsylvania, where he played defender for the Division I men’s soccer team, winners of the 2013 Ivy league championship.  In 2015 Aaron was named the John McAdams Academic Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Soccer Six. He graduated, summa cum laude, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and matriculated to Weill Cornell Medical, and was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) . As a medical student, he was actively involved with community service and extracurricular activities holding key leadership positions, including acting board member of The Science and Medicine Enhancement Program, where he was integral in both designing and teaching sessions for local middle schoolers in biology, physiology, and medicine. Currently, Aaron is finishing up a research gap year with the Division of Shoulder, Elbow and Sports Medicine, under the mentorship of Drs. William Levine and David Trofa.  During his research year he has effectively published numerous manuscripts.  More recently, he is first author on at least 2 manuscripts accepted to the American Journal of Sports Medicine.   In addition to his love for soccer, he enjoys biking, thriller tv shows and is of course, an ardent Philadelphia Eagles Fan.

Sohil Desai, MD

Research Track

Medical School: University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Undergraduate: University of Miami

Portrait of Dr. Sohil Desai
Dr. Sohil Desai

Sohil’s exposure to Orthopedics began when playing golf with an NFL team surgeon in his hometown of Saint Louis, MO, which led to shadowing him throughout high school and college.  Sohil obtained his Bachelor of Art from the University of Miami, majoring in Biology and Economics with minors in Chemistry and Psychology.  He went on to the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine where he achieved a stellar academic record.  He was selected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society as a junior and was selected as President of his AOA Chapter.  He also serves as Executive Committee Chair of the University of Miami’s Student Government and Vice President of the Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group Executive Board.  He helped create a webpage that allowed easier access to mentorship and advising opportunities, wrote an article about mentorship tips, and helped found the Resident-MS3 mentorship program. Sohil’s work has resulted in an impressive research portfolio, and he has several publications to his credit as well as several studies either submitted or in progress.  Sohil also volunteered for several COVID-19 related activities at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  He participates in the DOCS student-run organization that provides medical care to under-served populations in South Florida and he has worked as a medical missionary in Managua, Nicaragua.  Along with golf, Sohil also enjoys basketball, weightlifting and running and he’s also a bit of a foodie.  His favorite teams across sports are the NFL Steelers, the MBL Cardinals and the NHL Blues.  He also loves to read and practices meditation.

Xavier Ferrer, MD

Medical School: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Undergraduate: University of Iowa

Xavier was born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa where he grew up in a Spanish language-only home. His childhood days were filled with football games, piano recitals, boy scout camping trips and his family’s annual trip to Puerto Rico. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree, with Highest Distinction, in Neurobiology, from the University of Iowa, he enrolled in the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he has excelled both in and out of the classroom. Xavier was awarded the Dean's Research Fellowship from Columbia University VP&S, as well as the Diversity Supplement Grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin (NIAMS) diseases to pursue a research year with Dr. Steve Thomopoulos investigating the efficacy of a signaling pathway agonist in rotator cuff healing, in addition to several clinical research projects. His work has resulted in manuscripts submitted for publication to major orthopedic surgery journals and presentations and posters at subspecialty meetings. He also contributed to his medical school community mentoring underrepresented high-school students interested in healthcare through the State Pre-college Enrichment Program and is a member of the Black and Latino Student Organization. Xavier’s hobbies include basketball, scuba diving, painting, board games, reading, traveling.

Joanna Kim, MD

Medical School: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Undergraduate: Washington University

Joanna grew up in Seoul, Korea, and Englewood Cliffs, NJ. She did her undergraduate work at

Washington University in St. Louis where she received a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in

Biology. Joanna graduated summa cum laude, as the recipient of the Chancellor’s Ethan A. H.

Shepley Award, and as a member of the University Scholars Program. Joanna matriculated at Washington University School of Medicine where her remarkable record of achievements continued. For four consecutive years, Joanna was chosen by her peers as class president and is currently the leader of the Medical Student Government. At all levels of her academic career, she has received over 15 academic awards, including Outstanding Graduating Senior and the Excellence in Anthropology and the Chancellor’s award for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. Joanna received funding from the Dean’s Summer Research Program to conduct research assessing gender representation in speaker invitations for national orthopedic annual meetings, treatment approaches for patients with thumb and forearm radial longitudinal deficiency, as well as understanding the genetic influences on osteoarthritis. Joanna was also awarded the National Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society’s Kuckein Student Research Fellowship. Joanna has successfully authored and co-authored multiple publications, abstracts and given presentations at local and national conferences and meetings. She has served her medical school community through numerous leadership and volunteer roles, including working as an EMT for over 9 years. She is a passionate advocate for women, the BIPOC community and the medically underserved. Joanna is fluent in Korean and enjoys running, cycling, hiking, soccer and lacrosse, cooking Korean food, snorkeling and fostering dogs.

Michael Mastroianni, MD

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

Undergraduate: College of the Holy Cross

Michael completed his undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross where he received his B.A., majoring in Biology. As an undergraduate, he received multiple awards and honors, including the Presidential Service Award and the Remarkable Vision Award, for his extensive commitment and contributions as the founder and president of Action for Education, Inc (AcE). Mike founded this non-profit organization during his undergraduate years with the mission to create affordable, accessible, and sustainable opportunities for education and healthcare in western Honduras. Of note, AcE supports the only public school in the region that offers tuition-free education beyond the fifth grade. Mike has remained committed to their cause and continues to serve as the organization’s CEO to this day. Mike also pursued longitudinal research in the Department of Biology, where his study of the impact of high glucose diet on aging in C.elegans led to his first publication. Following graduation, he continued his studies at Tufts University School of Medicine where he received his M.S. in Biomedical Sciences. During this time, he organized a medical service trip program through AcE that offered primary care, dental and ophthalmologic care to local communities. He also established follow-up care and held health education workshops on vaccination, maternal health, and other areas of concern to community members. In addition to playing fantasy sports year-round, Michael enjoys following sports very closely, particularly the Yankees and Knicks, pickup league softball, biking alongside beaches and throughout cities and loves to mow the lawn.

Cole R. Morrissette, MD

Medical School: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Undergraduate: Wesleyan University

Cole grew up in Rhode Island and attended Wesleyan University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and earned both a BA in Neuroscience and Biology and an MA  in  Nueroscience.  While attending Wesylean, he was a 4-year varsity starter for the ice hockey team and was an Academic Honors Award recipient.  He volunteered throughout his undergraduate tenure impressively, inclusive of time at the Moses Brown School RISE Camp in Providence, Rhode Island, teaching children ages 5-14 basic science, and conducting experiments to generate exposure and excitement for STEM subjects.  He is a member of the Columbia University Graduate Council and interschool governing board.  An avid lover of teaching, he cultivates this as a tutor with Cambridge Coaching in NYC. This allows him to assist students one-on-one in several subject areas including biology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, and writing from skill levels varying between graduate-level and middle school. For his capstone research project, he lead a collaborative effort between the Orthopedic Spine Surgery Department and the Computer Science Department at Columbia University. Under the supervision of Dr. Lawrence Lenke, he helped establish an interdisciplinary investigation of surgical outcomes in spine surgery using artificial intelligence developed by the computer science department. Additionally, he has worked on research projects with Dr. Joseph Lombardi of the Spine division and Dr. Charles Popkin, one of our pediatric sports medicine specialists.  Cole’s hobbies include fitness Training & CrossFit, skiing, surfing and is a self-taught computer programming financial market analyst.

Beth G. Ashinsky, MD, PhD

Research Track, Class of 2026

Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine

Undergraduate: Carleton College

Beth hails from Chappaqua, New York. Her path and interest in orthopedics was peaked at 18, after an athletic injury that resulted in an acl repair, allowing her to complete her freshman year of college as the starting varsity goalkeeper at Carleton College. She graduated magna cum laude, obtaining her BA in Biology. In 2015 she completed a 2-year Intramural Research Training Award post Baccalaureate Fellowship with National Institutes of Health. Immediately after, she joined the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Spectroscopy lab at the National Institute on Aging at Johns Hopkins Bayview, where she investigated a novel MRI classification technique using pattern recognition to characterize osteoarthritis and was awarded the F30 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award on her first attempt. Beth completed her PhD, in Biomedical Engineering, at University of Pennsylvania in 2020, her research focused on establishing quantitative microscale and macroscale outcomes that define the spectrum of degeneration and to inform regeneration.  She is no doubt well published as first author of many high impact peer reviewed journal publications.  At Drexel, she has been selected for Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Delta Zeta Chapter and serves as the President of the Orthopaedic Surgery Interest Group. She has volunteered with the Philly Girls in Motion, an afterschool program for underserved adolescent girls in North Philadelphia, leading weekly athletic courses, including bootcamp-style workouts and Zumba classes.  This resulted in her receiving community service honors based on outstanding commitment to service by the Office of Community Education Experience at Drexel University College of Medicine. Beth is an ironman triathlon, and she enjoys weightlifting, road cycling, the food network, peloton and is a self-proclaimed sour beer enthusiast.