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Alumni Profiles

H. Michael Bolooki , MD

H. Michael Bolooki, MD

  • University of Minnesota
    Cardiovascular Disease Fellow
  • Medical School: University of Miami School of Medicine
  • Outside Interests: Running, Mountain Biking, Music, and Computers

The opportunities that presented themselves during my training were numerous. The diversity and complexity of patients provided me with a unique and unparalleled educational experience. Training at one of the leading academic centers in the country has distinct advantages and has definitely launched many careers both academic and non-academic alike. Herein lays one of the many beauties of Cleveland Clinic. It is an institution that can train outstanding residents for careers in Internal Medicine while also preparing the same for many different subspecialty fellowships. Graduates leaving Cleveland Clinic have many employment as well as fellowship opportunities. The program’s match success is partly due to the world renowned reputation of Cleveland Clinic and the quality of physicians it trains.

Having come from Florida, it was a daunting task at first to convince my wife that Cleveland would be a great place for both of us. After three years, she was finally convinced that I was right. We even added an additional year to our time in Cleveland for my appointment as Chief Medical Resident. Cleveland is a very livable city and has much to offer. There are a lot of neighborhoods to choose from with ample affordable housing. From the downtown nightlife to concerts in the park, we never ran out of things to do.

Even though I’ve left Cleveland Clinic for my Cardiology fellowship with the University of Minnesota, I will always look back on my time here fondly. I believe the training that I received here in Internal Medicine has laid the framework for excellence in the rest of my medical career. I hope you will join the program here at Cleveland Clinic to begin to build the foundation for your future.

Chaim Moeller, MD
Chaim Moeller, MD

Chaim Moeller, MD

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine

Rotating through the various specialties and subspecialties as a medical student, I came to realize that I wanted to be a physician who had developed at least a basic level of competence at diagnosing and treating the whole patient. While many of my rotations were fun and exciting, none afforded me the breadth and simultaneous depth of knowledge as Internal Medicine. At The University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, I was granted a host of fabulous experiences in many different fields, but the physicians who I felt were the best suited to address any medical problems were those who began their career with an Internal Medicine residency. As such, I decided to pursue a residency in Internal Medicine. While I hope to eventually specialize, I am confident that establishing my roots in Internal Medicine will allow me to be a physician of, “the whole adult,” with skills far broader than my area of expertise.

As I explored residency options and tried to tease apart the many excellent programs I interviewed at, there were a number of things that made Cleveland Clinic stand out. When I came to interview, I learned that many of the attending physicians on the various services at Cleveland Clinic are leaders in their respective fields, and are also excellent teachers who avail themselves to the house staff and are readily available to assist with clinical and research advice. The medicine services at Cleveland Clinic include a few general internal medicine services, but also include those that are specific to various subspecialty areas, such as GI, Cardiology, Hem/Onc, Nephrology, Vascular Medicine, and Palliative Medicine. This provides the medical staff with the unique opportunity to rotate on services that are being staffed by experts in the specific organ system that the patients’ chief complaints revolve around. It further ensures that the resident learns, module by module, how to best diagnose and treat diseases of the various organ systems and best address the specific needs of various patient populations. My decision to train at Cleveland Clinic was based on these facts, as well as the collegial environment, and friendly atmosphere. From the Program Director to the interns, I was impressed by the openly warm manner in which staff members interacted with one another.

I consider myself fortunate to be learning and developing my skills as a physician in one of the best hospitals in the world with one of the most complex and diverse patient populations. I have found that my expectations of collegiality, education, access to leaders in various fields, and overall growth as a physician have been surpassed in many ways. Cleveland Clinic strives to provide "World Class Care" for its patients, and I can testify that Cleveland Clinic's Internal Medicine Residency Program fulfills this goal entirely, affording its staff "World Class Training."

Vipan Nikore MD, MBA
Vipan Nikore MD

Vipan Nikore MD

Medical School: University of Illinois-Chicago
Business School: Yale University

As I approach the tail-end of my internal medicine residency, I cannot imagine a better place to train than Cleveland Clinic. Here’s why:

1) High volume hospital with extremely sick patients

Patients are transferred from all over the state, country, and world with complex cases. This is exemplified by our Medical ICU, often regarded as the highest acuity and volume MICU in the country (approx 60 beds). Hard work is required given this volume and acuity, but the reward is that by the end of residency you feel confident treating any patient in any situation.

2) An integral part of the decision making process from day 1:

Interns know the patients best, and are the heart and soul of the care team. My first week as an intern I recall a complex liver failure patient with endocarditis. Instead of just pushing paper, I found myself brainstorming ideas with a world-renowned infectious disease specialist, cardiologist, and gastroenterologist. These interactions occur daily, and before you know it you begin leading these discussions. You spend much of your day with some of the best doctors in the world, and gain incredible knowledge from them. Our program also provides plenty of autonomy to make decisions, yet a world-class support system.

3) Educational opportunities are endless:

Our academic half day gives us protected teaching time, in addition to endless lectures, case conferences, grand rounds, resident as teaching sessions, and board review sessions available to us. Ask to check out the comprehensive lecture schedule available to CCF residents, you’ll be blown away by how many opportunities there are.

4) A well designed program:

You manage patients on subspecialty wards, thus you learn cardiology from the best cardiologists in the world, nephrology from the best nephrologists, etc. You then bring that knowledge together on our general medicine rotations and night floats. This approach allows one to be a great internist at the cutting edge of medicine. Further, our newly designed primary care outpatient experience uniquely allows us to separate our inpatient and outpatient experiences and simulates working in a true medical home.

5) A diverse and knowledgeable cohort of co-residents

You will be in awe of their sheer knowledge and this will motivate and push you to learn more. Cleveland Clinic truly is a global hospital that recruits the smartest people in the world. Remarkably this group is collegial and always looks out for each other. You also learn from outstanding fellows whom you get to know well and are always open to answering questions.

6) The program supports you to pursue your unique goals within medicine:

Thanks to my program’s support, I’ve expanded my non-profit uFLOW from Chicago to Cleveland and San Francisco, take management and leadership classes at Cleveland Clinic Academy, write monthly blogs on two well known health websites, and worked in Peru and Nepal.

7) Research Opportunities:

Our research requirements exceed those required by ACGME, and you have tremendous opportunities and support to meet these expectations. I’ve had multiple attendings reach out to me after I simply expressed interest in a specific topic.

8) An efficient hospital means more time for learning and less scut work:

We have world leading technology, labs are usually back in time for rounds, and things get done overnight and generally move fast. There is a reason presidential candidates consistently sight us as the model for healthcare.

9) Cleveland! The ideal place to be a resident!

Having lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto, I admit Cleveland initially worried me. My fears quickly faded. With three major sports teams, a world renowned arts & culture scene, outstanding restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, summer festivals, the worlds highest roller coaster park, and a vast amount of outdoor greenspace I’ve found more than enough to do to keep me entertained. And its great you can enjoy these activities as a resident because of the low cost of living.

If you want to learn from the best clinicians, become an outstanding clinician, and join one of the fastest growing hospitals at the forefront of medicine, then I strongly encourage you to consider Cleveland Clinic’s Internal Medicine Residency program. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions.

Hataya Kristy Poonyagariyagorn, MD
Hataya Kristy Poonyagariyagorn, MD

Hataya Kristy Poonyagariyagorn, MD

  • Johns Hopkins
    Pulmonary Critical Care Fellow
  • Medical School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, NY
  • Outside Interests: Classic piano, Thai Classical Dance, Sports (basketball, football), NASCAR

Residency training should provide learning opportunities with the best and brightest educators, and Cleveland Clinic's Internal Medicine Residency Program has certainly exceeded all of my expectations. I was drawn to this institution because of the exceptional training the residency program could provide in the setting of a truly special hospital consistently regarded as one of the best in the country. The training I have received here has been unparalleled as I have been able to treat diverse and complex patients while seeing a spectrum of common and rare diseases. Furthermore, the learning environment is enriched by staff physicians who are leaders in their respective fields and dedicated to the education of residents. Needless to say, research opportunities are bountiful and residents are easily able to avail themselves of this resource. The camaraderie amongst the residents along with a collegial work environment was a treasure I happily encountered and I know will continue.

Residents at Cleveland Clinic not only receive superior medical training but are also involved in research at the forefront of medicine. Researchers are always welcoming new resident ideas and including us in novel projects, ranging from basic science to clinical trials. In an environment with the most cutting-edge technology available, many residents have published as first authors in leading journals as well as presented at national conferences. Such achievements have not only strengthened a resident's application for future academic positions but have also helped advance them for fellowship training.

Residents will continue to be an integral component of the special health care that Cleveland Clinic provides. All graduates of our residency program are fully prepared to be invaluable members of the medical community. Learning at this institution takes place in a uniquely challenging yet comfortable environment, and I am confident that my internal medicine training has prepared me well for my future pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship.


Haala Rokadia, MD

Haala Rokadia, MD

Medical School: George Washington University School of Medicine

I started my time at Cleveland Clinic as a prelim medicine intern with the anticipation of going to an Ivy League Anesthesiology program after one year. The beginning of my intern year was full of nervousness, excitement, and insecurity. My aim over the course of the following twelve months was to master medicine by the book, build confidence in my capacity as a physician, and shed the nervousness of medical school. The year brought more than I expected and asked for. In fact, despite an anesthesiology future that I had spent time and effort to acquire and the distance from my family, I decided to return to Cleveland Clinic to complete my training in Internal Medicine. Now in retrospect, in comparing notes with my medical school friends, I am proud to say that I carry more responsibility, do more procedures, and see more bread-and-butter AND “zebra” medicine than any of my friends at other medicine programs. But do not let one person’s narrative bias you; the Cleveland Clinic medicine program speaks for itself:

The Patients

Our patient population is made up of the local Clevelander who frequents the emergency room, the international political figure that flew in for the hospital stay, the patient transferred from a community hospital for advanced care, and everyone in between. Needless to say, this gamut of patients seeks care at Cleveland Clinic based on our physicians’ expertise and world-renowned reputation. This diversity in our patient population equates to large patient volumes, diversity of disease processes, and high acuity of care – all integral aspects of learning for an internal medicine resident.

The Program

First and foremost, as a Cleveland Clinic resident, you will feel respected and heard by the administration and your colleagues. Your career goals will be accommodated: ensuring scheduling preferences, streamlining fellowship applications, and supporting research ambitions. Your transition into residency will be smooth. Administrative paperwork will be kept to a minimum to allow you to focus and thrive as a resident. Most importantly, you will always feel that you have an advocate in the Internal Medicine residency program office.

The Attendings

As a Cleveland Clinic resident, you have access to some of the most brilliant minds in medicine. You will pick their minds about nuances in medicine. You will join them in research endeavors. They will give you autonomy and offer supervision. Most importantly, they remember you, they appreciate you, and they trust you.

The Co-residents

The overarching feeling among co-residents is that of cooperation rather than competition. Your Cleveland Clinic co-residents will act as a genuine support system in moments of weakness, a source of motivation and inspiration in both career and personal development, and a champion for your accomplishments. Here, you will meet some lifelong friends.

The Hospital

The reputation of the hospital speaks for itself. The facilities are state-of-the-art, there is space dedicated to teaching and research, and there are well-kept resident work areas. By navigating the systems based practice of medicine, patient care is managed in an efficient manner. Residents and staff of other disciplines are friendly and they contribute to your education.

The details above set the stage for a wealth of opportunities that a Cleveland Clinic resident has access to. As a Cleveland Clinic resident, it is your responsibility to take advantage of this place: learn medicine from experts in their fields, engage in research opportunities with world-renowned staff, and establish strong professional relationships for your future.