Message From Our Chief Residents

Dhaval Rana, DO

Dhaval Rana, DO

Greetings everyone! My name is Dhaval Rana, and I am honored to serve as one of the co-chief residents alongside my colleague and close friend, Andrea Villa. I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and spent most of my childhood there before moving to Central New Jersey with my family for a more suburban lifestyle. For my undergraduate studies, I attended Rutgers University, where I initially pursued engineering. However, after taking science courses, I realized my true passion lay elsewhere. To confirm my passion, I enrolled in a one-year Master’s Program at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, which exposed me to subjects like anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology. Following the completion of my Master’s, I continued my medical education at TouroCOM. During my time at TouroCOM, I was actively involved in many educational opportunities. I served as a tutor for Anatomy, Physiology, and OMM subjects, and organized the local health fair for the Harlem community. Moreover, I was an active member of Med Achieve, which was an after-school medical science enrichment program serving high school students in the Harlem community who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or healthcare.

I found anesthesia to be the best medical specialty for me because it provides a balance of exhilaration and focuses on subjects I enjoyed in medical school, such as physiology and anatomy. I was fortunate enough to get into my top choice, Cooper University. Our residency program offers five categorical positions each year at a busy level 1 trauma center located in Camden, New Jersey. Our program provides access to a diverse range of cases and patients, offering an excellent learning opportunity. Our staff is dedicated to our academic growth and development, and our small class size within a large institution allows us to choose cases first and provide relevant educational experiences. Our program is tailored to meet the needs and interests of each student. The CA-1 year focuses on building basic foundations, the CA-2 year strengthens these foundations and explores specialties, and the CA-3 year prepares students for their future careers with leadership opportunities and exposure to cases relevant to their goals. Moreover, Cooper residents receive a comprehensive education in pediatric anesthesia at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), which is ranked among the top pediatric hospitals worldwide. This education equips our residents with the necessary skills to become anesthesiologists who provide patient-centered care.

Our small class size within a large institution not only offers educational benefits but also allows us to form lifelong friendships with our classmates. Outside of the hospital, we pursue our shared interests together. At work, we function as a close-knit family, collaborating and helping each other to improve. The anesthesiology resident environment is truly unique and fosters a positive learning experience, enabling us to become capable physicians. I am grateful for my time at Cooper University Hospital. If I had to choose again, I would pick Cooper for my residency without any hesitation. Thank you for considering our residency! We look forward to meeting you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at


Andrea Villa, MD

Andrea Villa, MD

Hi, everyone! Thank you for taking an interest in the Cooper Anesthesiology Residency Program! My name is Andrea Villa and I am one of the two Chief Residents with my close friend and fellow CA3, Dhaval Rana. I’m originally from Cali, Colombia and moved to Weston, Florida during my childhood. I received my bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida where I was pre-med and participated in many research projects as well as community outreach programs focusing on minorities. My biggest accomplishment was starting a student-run healthcare clinic that provided free medical care services to the underserved community which still stands to this day.

Upon graduating, I worked as a research assistant in the Genetics Department at UF and within a few months started working at a private biopharmaceutical company as Quality Control Supervisor for 3 years. During those years, I also obtained a Master’s degree in the health sciences. I knew I wanted to pursue medicine, but it wasn’t until I was working on clinical trials, that I realized my passion was working with patients directly and so in the span of 6 months, I applied and got accepted to St. George’s University, I found and trained my replacement for the QC department, and I moved to Grenada to start my medical training.

I did my clinical rotations at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey where I was exposed to anesthesiology and realized it was the specialty I wanted to pursue. I was lucky enough to match at Cooper which was my top choice and being here has only solidified my love for anesthesia and for this program. We currently have 5 categorical positions and are in the process of being approved for 7 due to the high caseload that we have which affords us the ability to easily expand our program.

PGY1 year is what I consider to be a transitional year due to the variety of rotations and ends with 1 month of anesthesia which effortlessly transitions you into CA1 year. CA1 year overall is meant to allow you to build a strong foundation and set you up for success in CA2 year when you are exposed to all the subspecialties. CA3 year offers you the flexibility to pursue more elective rotations meant to prime you for fellowship, an attending job, or simply to refine your skills in whatever interests you such as regional, outpatient services, TEE, difficult airway, etc. In addition to excellent training at Cooper, we also go to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for 2 months CA2 year, and 1 month in CA3 year where we are exposed to truly unique cases and become very comfortable managing children with life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Cooper is a Level 1 Trauma Center and the only tertiary care hospital of its size in the area and is ranked among the top hospitals both regionally and nationally in nine specialties. Thus, you will experience a wide diversity of cases and take care of a medically complex patient population. Learning opportunities are also abundant as there are monthly M&Ms, weekly didactic lectures, journal clubs, and simulation sessions.

Besides the incredible training and academic/research opportunities, I love the attendings and my co-residents at Cooper! The attendings care about our education and encourage a positive learning environment. And all the residents work to help each other grow professionally and given our program size, we all become close through the years and have formed lifelong friendships. I am beyond grateful and honored to be a part of this program and I am more than happy to answer any questions! My email is: