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Program Leadership

Welcome to the Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Training Program…
Where Every Resident Receives a World Class Education!

The Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program provides innovative, comprehensive, and high quality clinical and didactic learning experiences in an academic setting. Caring for a diverse population of patients from around the world, across the state of Ohio, and from our own local neighborhoods exposes our trainees to an unparalleled spectrum of disease. Such diverse training coupled with world renowned experts providing outstanding mentorship and teaching uniquely positions our graduates to successfully pursue academic and clinical careers in general internal medicine or to continue training in one of the subspecialties of internal medicine.

Abby L Spencer MD, MS, FACP

Abby L Spencer MD, MS, FACP

Nationally and internationally recognized for outstanding clinical care, innovative practice, and landmark research, our clinical faculty are full-time clinicians who are deeply committed to mentoring residents in their professional development, teaching and role-modeling exceptional clinical care, and coaching residents to conduct and present high quality research projects. Our academic environment is further enriched by the presence of The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine students for whom we are the primary training site as well as University Track students from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine who rotate through the Cleveland Clinic. Our residents excel in the vigorous learning environment enriched by the extensive resources offered by the Cleveland Clinic (eg, state of the art simulation center, new expansive resident learning center, rotations in multiple practice settings, renovated call rooms, innovative medical school program, and the Cleveland Clinic Academy courses offered by the Cleveland Clinic Education Institute) and we enthusiastically embrace resident roles as clinical teachers and educational and health care leaders.  We are Sabbath-observant friendly.

Our Residency Mission Statement

Within a supportive, innovative learning environment, the Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program cultivates internists who provide safe, high-quality, and patient-centered care, engage in collaborative relationships, embrace diversity and teamwork, promote health and well-being of self and others, communicate empathically and clearly, demonstrate mindful clinical reasoning, and achieve distinction in clinical care, scholarship, leadership, and commitment to lifelong learning.

We accomplish this mission by ensuring that:

  • Patients receive the highest quality care (Cleveland Clinic motto “Patients First”)
  • Education is valued, protected, and embraced (Cleveland Clinic mission)
  • Learning climates are positive and supportive
  • Residents are inspired, challenged, and mentored
  • Outstanding faculty and trainees who support this mission are recruited, developed, and retained
  • Faculty and residents are committed to continuous improvement of ourselves and our training program

Please explore our website and view the variety of outstanding and innovative educational opportunities that we can offer to you. You will see that Cleveland is a great place to live and work! We could not be more proud of our program and the physicians we train and look forward to sharing our program with you.

Thank you for visiting our website! Please feel free to contact us with any questions about our unique training opportunities; our internal medicine training program; living, dining, and enjoying the metro parks in our city and region; or even about our Cleveland Sports teams and exceptional cultural gems. Let’s go Cavs! The Internal Medicine Residency Program is ALL IN!


Abby L Spencer MD, MS, FACP .
Director, Internal Medicine
Residency Training Program

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Want to learn more about our PD

Welcome to the Cleveland Clinic.  We provide a World Class training experience commensurate with our commitment to our patients to provide World Class Care.  Education of those who serve is a vibrant and dynamic part of the tripartite mission of Cleveland Clinic envisioned by the founders in 1921 and remains so today.   

The excitement and energy that is palpable on the first day of orientation is evident throughout each day of residency training.  Whether your long term goal is a career in primary care, subspecialty care, hospital medicine or research, the Cleveland Clinic provides a highly innovative and supportive learning environment that will prepare and propel you to your future goals and success.  We welcome your interest!

Greg Rosencrance, MD FACP
Chairman, Medicine Institute

Welcome to the Department of Hospital Medicine. I have been privileged to be a part of the Cleveland Clinic for 15 years this past August, and to serve as department chairman since 2010. We have grown from 13 physicians when I joined Cleveland Clinic in 2001 to over 140 physicians today, and we continue to grow and develop amazingly talented hospital providers. In addition, we continue to plan strategically for future hospital care at both the Main Campus and at our community hospitals in Northeast Ohio.

We serve as faculty for 9 inpatient primary teaching services, and a general medical consultation service.   These services have staff level care and supervision seven days a week, and hospitalist staff is available 24 hours a day for urgent assessment.  We serve as the primary inpatient educators for internal medicine here, and many of our providers serve as core faculty or associate program directors.  Program leaders such as Bob Mayock, David Gugliotti, Moises Auron, and Ali Mehdi are highly committed and passionate about the education of physicians in training.  I personally take tremendous pride and enjoyment in rotating an inpatient teaching services and in committing time to educating trainees, precisely because many of you will be our colleagues of tomorrow.  Also, the best teachers you have are your patients here, representing the diverse and fascinating clinical material you have in the hospital wards.

In addition we provide outpatient preoperative internal medicine assessments at the IMPACT (Internal Medicine Preoperative Assessment, Consult and Treatment) Center, where we ensure that patients are thoroughly assessed medically and prepared for upcoming surgical procedures.  Some residents choose to rotate through this area to gain more focused perioperative expertise.

We provide clinical care at four of our outstanding community hospitals: Hillcrest, Fairview, and Medina, and soon to be Avon Hospital in November 2016.  We are leaders in quality of care, resource utilization, and leveraging the electronic medical record to deliver this top notch care at each of our sites.  You as a resident have the opportunity to rotate with our clinicians at these sites via the hospital medicine residency track stewarded by Dr. David Gugliotti.

We are enthusiastic proponents to improve the system of care in which we work.  We have many projects going on involving quality, safety, patient experience, improving efficiency, and improving resource utilization, all of which are key attributes that make up the hospital of the 21st Century.  A classic example of this is the G80 A3 project / culture of improvement work on physician and nurse communication, where many of you are now engaged in committing to putting your teams information in the treatment team designation in Epic.  This helps nurses find you, and the nurses phone numbers are now in Epic so they can be accessible to you for questions or issues.

In addition, we host a hospital medicine grand rounds every Tuesday at 12 noon.  If you are not on your academic half-day that you are more than welcome to join us at that time for some outstanding hospital and perioperative presentations.

We are proud to be part of one of the best internal medicine residency programs in the country.  And we strive to contribute a fabulous educational experience with a fascinating and diverse clinical exposure, well trained educators in inpatient and perioperative care, and a commitment to your development as a physician and caregiver.  Finally, for those of you completing your training, many of your predecessors have joined us for long term hospitalist careers, and some have joined us for short term flexible clinical opportunities as a bridge to fellowship applications.   If you are thinking about either one, my office is a phone call or email away!

Christopher Whinney, MD, FACP, FHM
Chairman, Department of Hospital Medicine

The Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Program (IMRP) is the largest residency program in the United States. The training and educational experiences are all centered to embrace our motto “Every resident deserves world class education”.

Why train at Cleveland Clinic?

  • You will train at one of the nation’s best hospitals
  • Cleveland Clinic is the No. 2 hospital in the nation based on U.S. News & World Report's "2016-17 Best Hospitals",  which is a testimony to the training you receive here.
  • For the 22nd consecutive year, Cleveland Clinic’s heart program has ranked as the best in the nation, earning the No. 1 ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s “2016-17 Best Hospitals”. 
  • Ranked No. 2 in Gastroenterology, and Nephrology.
  • Ranked No. 3 in Endocrinology, Rheumatology, and Pulmonology.
  • Ranked in the top 10 for Geriatrics, and Hematology/Oncology.
  • You will gain a world of experience. Cleveland Clinic is one of the world's largest, busiest healthcare centers.  As such, all of our patients are “teaching cases.” Our trainees see rare, complex, and unusual cases in addition to routine medical problems. These clinical experiences will provide the very foundation of your education. 
  • You will emerge as a well-rounded internist.  The program provides a well-rounded education to its residents. In addition to a rigorous curriculum primarily focused on medical knowledge, we have built unique learning experiences like FRAMES (Feedback, Responsibility, Advice, Menu Options, Empathy, and Self-efficacy) and a coaching program, which feed the emotional intelligence and well-being of our trainees.  
  • You will have choices. Cleveland Clinic sponsors one of the nation's largest graduate medical education programs, with 60 residency programs, from internal medicine and neurosurgery to radiology and pathology, as well as 100 advanced fellowship programs. 
  • You will be at the heart of innovation and discovery. All our trainees engage in cutting-edge research in basic sciences, clinical medicine, and biomedical engineering alongside our scientists and clinical faculty. GME provides numerous awards which serve to fund our trainee’s research work. The Innovations team at Cleveland Clinic works closely with physicians to help launch discoveries and develop them.
Rendell Ashton MD, FACP, FCCP
Director of Procedural Curriculum, Pulmonary and Critical Care

I am delighted to be part of the internal medicine residency leadership team as the director of procedural training for residents.  I am a pulmonologist and spend most of my clinical time in the medical ICU, but I also some of my time in bronchoscopy, the pleural disease hospital service and the pulmonary medicine clinic.  I direct the pulmonary/critical care fellowship program, and I enjoy this very much.  We have developed a number of simulation-based curricula for our fellows, including procedure training curricula.  These experiences, along with my passion for teaching residents, come together in my role in the residency.

I have been at the Cleveland Clinic since 2008, and before that I was an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care at the State University of New York, Upstate Campus, where I was heavily involved in the residency and fellowship there. Prior to that, I was a resident, chief resident and fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, so Cleveland winters don’t seem so bad.  In fact, I lived 2 years in Finland, so I consider anywhere the sun actually comes up all year round to have a comparatively mild winter.

My wife and I have loved raising our 5 children in Ohio.  We have found absolutely outstanding public schools which have offered our kids all the opportunities they could wish for.  We have 4 sons – one in college, one doing missionary work in China, and 2 in high school – and a daughter in middle school.  When I am not doing things with them or at work in the ICU, I enjoy honing my cat herding skills as a scoutmaster.  I spend several weeks out of the year camping and hiking with my scouts, and I successfully leveraged this calling as an excuse to get a truck.  

Moises Auron, MD, FAAP, FACP, SFHM

Dr. Moises Auron

Core Faculty

Dr. Moises Auron is an academic Medicine/Pediatric Hospitalist at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. He is also a core faculty of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and the Quality Improvement Officer (QIO) of the Department of Hospital Medicine. He is interested in medical education – with an emphasis on quality improvement and patient safety; he also has expertise in perioperative blood management, and inpatient management of eating disorders. And, he has been selected as one of the Best Doctors of America by his peers.

Dr. Auron is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and a Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine (Society of Hospital Medicine - SHM). He has a strong interest in national societies engagement, and is the current (2016-2017) Chair of the Council of Early Career Physicians of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

He is a strong advocate of coaching and mentorship, and belongs to the Advanced Peer Coaching group at Cleveland Clinic. His goals are to help his mentees achieve their maximum potential while assisting them to open new doors for their personal and professional development.

He is married with one child. His wife is a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician. He enjoys traveling, fine dining, playing with his son, and he practices martial arts in his spare time.

Andrei Brateanu, MD, FACP
Director of Evaluation & Assessment
Staff, Internal Medicine

I think research is not only an essential component of a scholarly life but also an absolute requisite for the strength and success of an individual physician. Some might choose to follow an academic, research oriented career; others might find a clinical pathway more rewarding. Regardless, all should search for knowledge and learn where to find it.

I believe Cleveland Clinic provides a home for residents who are passionate about what they do and need the proper environment and support system to become better at what they do. This is the place where they have the opportunity of becoming members of a dynamic consortium of researchers, educators, and clinicians while fully expressing their own personalities. They have the privilege of learning new teaching tools and strategies, receiving support and mentoring and working in such a collaborative environment like our campus.

I know that my professional career in the last 13 years, while working for the Cleveland Clinic, has been influenced and shaped by working with residents and I can wholeheartedly say that it was the best time of my life.

Michael Faulx, MD
Director of Cardiology Education
The Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine

I joined the staff at Cleveland Clinic in 2005 after completing eight years of Internal Medicine and Cardiology training at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. I made the short trip down Euclid Avenue because I felt Cleveland Clinic offered me the best opportunity to be a true "triple threat," combining the nation's best cardiovascular medical care with ample opportunity to teach, write and investigate. I haven't been disappointed.

I presently function as a full service general cardiologist and staff the cardiology inpatient resident service about three months of the year when I am not seeing patients in the office, reading echocardiograms or performing diagnostic heart catheterization. I am also keenly interested in housestaff education and as an associate program director for Internal Medicine I draw from my experience as a resident and chief resident to strengthen the training program through recruitment, advisership and contribution to the cardiology curriculum. My principal academic interest concerns the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and heart disease, specifically using imaging and biomarker assays to help determine how sleep apnea independently contributes to cardiovascular disease risk. These endeavors have allowed me to maintain collaborative ties to Case Western Reserve University, though in time I would like to expand to collaborate with staff here on the main campus, involving fellows and residents in my research and writing.

When I'm not at work I enjoy spending time with my wife (a gastroenterologist) and two young, energetic sons (presently entertaining careers in professional basketball and stock car racing). We enjoy traveling, skiing and watching the Cavs play at the Q. I am a die-hard fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a fact that becomes self-evident upon entry into my office.

Catherine Fleisher, MD
Director of Ambulatory Continuity Experience at G10 clinic

A career in Internal Medicine or subspecialty provides the inspired clinician with boundless opportunity for personal and professional growth.

After ten years balancing the responsibilities of private practice simultaneous to teaching medical students and residents,  I chose to transition my clinical practice to the Cleveland Clinic.

Why CCF? Cleveland Clinic excels through it's dedication to excellence in education and patient care, balancing academic and clinical excellence in a model that has become nationally renowned.

I reflect that my colleagues and learners are proud to be shaping this process and to have a key role in its continued evolution.

My current responsibilities and interests  include implementation and innovation in Patient Experience, enhancing patient care resident continuity clinic experience in  my role as co-director of the Longitudinal Clinic,  and inpatient  and outpatient core faculty and PCP roles.

I am an avid skier and traveler and enjoy precious down time with my four extraordinary children and fantastic husband who is also on staff at CCF.

David V. Gugliotti, MD, FACP
Director of Hospital Medicine Track
Hospital Medicine

I joined the Cleveland Clinic staff in 1999 in the Department of General Internal Medicine as a hospital based internist. My group has expanded to the Department of Hospital Medicine where I currently care for inpatients on the hospital teaching service, non-teaching service, inpatient medical consultation, and in the IMPACT center (pre-operative evaluation clinic).

I trained in Internal Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, GA which was a very clinically based program. My main joy during residency and until this day, are the interactions with others in the hospital clinical care setting. Learning from others and teaching about care for patients in the hospital is always interesting, exciting, challenging, and rewarding for me. After residency, I came back to my home state of Ohio. At Cleveland Clinic, I found a place that is focused on providing excellent patient care, a robust educational environment, a strong research climate, and most of all people who are caring and dedicated to patients.

I feel very privileged to be a part of Cleveland Clinic's Internal Medicine Residency program. I think Cleveland Clinic is an exceptional place for training in Internal Medicine due to its richness of resources, faculty, and residents. I am excited to work with the program to continually adapt to the challenges of Internal Medicine training and continue to prepare our residents for fellowship training and clinical practice.

Carlos M. Isada, MD, FCCP
Director of Curriculum

Carlos Isada, MD, FCCP is Vice Chairman of Infectious Diseases at Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland OH. He also is a faculty member in Clinical Pathology, Section of Microbiology. His main career focus has been in the area of medical education, where he has served as Program Director for the Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic for over 20 years. He has been interested in education innovations at the graduate medical education level, including the use of medical simulation, problem-based learning curricula, and on-line learning. He is a member of the national ID Training Program Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

He is Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Cleveland Clinic. His main role in the IM program is curriculum development, which includes development of embedded teaching sessions for inpatient rotations and the formal curriculum during the “Y week”. He also supervises the biostatistics and Journal Club sessions for PGY2 and 3 residents during the Y week.

Clinically he is a member of the Neurologic Infectious Diseases section at Cleveland Clinic. His research focus has been in the areas of medical education and neurologic infectious diseases. He is also a member of the Chest Infections steering committee of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Stacey Jolly, MD
Director - Ambulatory Medicine Education, and Director - Primary Care Track
Staff - Department of Internal Medicine

I am Dr. Stacey Jolly, one of the Associate Program Directors for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Cleveland Clinic. It is an honor to serve as the Director of Ambulatory Experience and Director of the Primary Care Track. I am also an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and a Staff Physician in the Department of General Internal Medicine of the Cleveland Clinic Medicine Institute. My clinical practice is located in G10, Internal Medicine.  My passions include: academic general internal medicine, increasing diversity in medicine, and achieving excellent care for our patients as a primary care physician.

My love of outpatient medicine and primary care began during my clinical rotations as medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine. It continued as a primary care internal medicine resident at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) Primary Care Program. After residency, I took two years to work in community clinics and renew my excitement for academics. I then returned to UCSF and completed a General Internal Medicine Clinical Research Fellowship along with a Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) Degree in Clinical Research through the UCSF Graduate Division’s Biostatistics and Epidemiology Department.

After my research fellowship, we moved to Cleveland in 2009, where I focused on clinical research, including writing and having an NIH Career Development K23 award funded by the NIDDK. My research is focused on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) knowledge/awareness/prevention/patient education, as well as other chronic diseases such as Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease, particularly among American Indian and Alaska Native populations. I continue to be involved with research through external funding with the Strong Heart Study and with our Cleveland Clinic CKD Registry Research group where we focus outcomes research but also had an RCT funded trial using novel educational tools to try and improve care of our CKD patients.

Working with residents in clinic, has been a delight throughout my career. Thus, it is a privilege to now be part of Cleveland Clinic’s IMRP leadership team. I am enthusiastic about medical education and my goal is to help residents acquire outpatient skills they can utilize in any career path. I am proponent of continuity of care and primary care.

In additional to medical education, clinical research, and clinical care, I love to spend time with my family, travel, and read. My husband is a professor at Case Western Reserve University and we have two children who keep us busy with their school and sports schedules. We can often be found watching volleyball matches or bundled up at the hockey rink.

Lakshmi Khatri, MD
Director of ambulatory continuity experience in Community Medicine
Beachwood Family Health Center

I have been with Cleveland Clinic since 2006 because of its dedication to excellence in education and patient care throughout the community in Northeast Ohio.

It has been a privilege to be a part of the Internal Medicine residency leadership team for most of my time here. Previously in my role as Director of Ambulatory experience and currently as the Director of Ambulatory experience in Community medicine, I have been able to interact closely with the residents, facilitate real-life outpatient practice experiences, and maximize the ambulatory curriculum. Cleveland Clinic allows high quality primary care with the availability of highly specialized tertiary care for patients in the regional community. I believe this is what makes Cleveland Clinic unique. I am excited that I am able to help guide our new and current residents through their training and hope to continue to encourage residents to consider primary care as a career path, all the while supporting a well-rounded Internal Medicine academic teaching program.

Luke Kim, MD, FACP, CMD
Director of Geriatrics Education
Staff, Geriatric Medicine

Geriatrics teaches geriatric syndromes (dementia, delirium, depression, falls, gait abnormality, polypharmacy, debility, etc), system based practice, and health care delivery models so that our residents can be well rounded internists. I relish the opportunity to learn together with our talented residents how to assess and intervene frail elderly for a better quality and function. Interacting with residents is best part of my job. My research interests are quality care delivery in post-acute care settings. Cleveland Clinic is all about opportunity and exciting innovations. I enjoy grilling Korean short rib, bicycling and Taekwondo with my kids. I am proud to be one of this team!

Brian Mandell, MD, PhD
Director of Scholarship
Editor-in-Chief, Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine
Centers for Vasculitis Care and Research
Staff, Department of Rheumatic & Immunologic Disease

I am one of the associate program directors, and my primary responsibility within the residency program is director of the scholarly activity and CLINSCHOP programs. I am Professor and Chairman, Department of  Academic Medicine and the Editor in Chief of the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

I am the former education program director for the Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases. My clinical interests are multisystem inflammatory diseases and crystal induced arthritis. At a national level I am involved in planning and lecturing at several educational venues including the American College of Physicians and American College of Rheumatology. I am the Vice Chairman of the ACGME Internal Medicine Residency Review Committee (RRC).

I have been at Cleveland Clinic for 22 years; previously I was on faculty in rheumatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where I firmly acquired a taste for the music of Bruce Springsteen. I am available at anytime to provide consultation on matters relating to sushi.

Robert Mayock, MD
Director of Hospital Medicine Education
Staff, Hospital Medicine

I am currently the Director of Ward Teaching Excellence and Director of Hospital Medicine education for the Cleveland Clinic Residency Program. My goal is to help make my Medicine partners and I better teachers in all realms of the education process.  This is in addition to providing state of the art medical care to our complex and challenging patient population.  My hope is to make the inpatient experience for each resident challenging, enlightening, exciting, safe and enjoyable.  I strive every day to be a better physician and educator.

I was born and raised in Cleveland, and went to college at John Carroll University and medical school at Case Western Reserve, both of which are in the Cleveland area. My internal medicine residency training was at Indiana University Medical Center. I was in outpatient internal medicine practice for 23 years in the Cleveland area, and then joined the Department of Hospital Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in 2007.

I had the good fortune to meet my wife, who is a nurse, during my medical school years. We have 3 great children, 2 wonderful daughter-in laws, and 2 unbelievably handsome grandsons all of whom live in the Cleveland area. I love to hike in the beautiful surrounding Cleveland metro-park system, (also known as the Emerald Necklace), plus read fiction novels + historical works, and fervently follow all our Cleveland sports teams, which has made me familiar with the term, “long suffering”.

When I began my medical career many decades ago my dream was to provide the best possible care to my patients and to have the privilege to teach along the way. My dreams are answered every single day.

Dr. Mayock

Ali Mehdi, MD
Director of Clinical Reasoning
Staff Hospital Medicine

I am honored to serve as a director of clinical reasoning for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the Cleveland Clinic. Originating from the land of the cedars, Lebanon, I graduated from the American University of Beirut. My journey at the Cleveland Clinic started in 2011when I moved in for my internal medicine residency training. Following completion of my residency I was honored to serve as chief medical resident. During those four years I was amazed by the value the enterprise places on education at every level and the commitment to world class teaching that the IMRP displays.

After conclusion of my chief year, I decided to stay as staff in the department of hospital medicine.  My clinical duties include staffing the medicine inpatient services, the general medicine consultative service, the IMPACT (pre-operative clinic) clinic, as well as serving as a general internal medicine (admitting) triage officer.

Working with residents, both in clinic and on the wards, is the highlight of my career. I enjoy rounding with the trainees without a minute passing by without learning and teaching each other. I am extremely passionate about medical education and my goal is to help residents acquire the skills of clinical reasoning that they can utilize in any career path they choose.

I am extremely privileged to be part of the Cleveland Clinic’s IMPR. Being a product of the program, I honestly believe that this a phenomenal place to train and develop into a well-rounded internist who is equipped with whatever is needed for the next career steps. 

I love building LEGO castles with my daughter and spending time with my newborn son. I also am a soccer addict and am always available for any soccer related discussion!

Jennifer Ramsey, MD
Director of Communication and FRAME
Staff- Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care

I am a native of Louisiana. I went to medical school and did most of my training in the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. I grew up in hot weather, where the temperature might not drop below freezing all year. I never imagined moving to Cleveland, Ohio! I was in my second month of fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans- I was in the hospital caring for patients when the hurricane landed on ground. Life and training changed after this devastating event; words cannot describe the bonds that were formed as the hospital team worked together in the difficult conditions and uncertain times that followed. We took care of each other. Part of that caring for each other evidenced when the Pulmonary Department Chairman sent me to Cleveland Clinic for advanced training in Bronchoscopy. Who could have known how much I’d love it here? So, six years ago, I returned to Cleveland Clinic as staff in Critical Care Medicine and Palliative Medicine. I have been thrilled and challenged by the opportunities found here. And I am so very grateful to get to work alongside some of the most amazing people I’ll ever know: good, honest, sincere people with hearts and minds dedicated to their patients and their profession. I love working here!

And what an honor it is to be a part of the Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Residency program! It is such an exciting program. Our program attracts brilliant, motivated, and kind residents. I will forever be mesmerized by the diversity we have in our program- our residents come to us from over 20 different countries. We have so much to learn from each other as people! I am deeply proud of the respect and curiosity our residents show for others’ cultural backgrounds.

I am one of the Associate Program Directors for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, and am the Director of the Communication curriculum and the Director of the FRAME curriculum. Working in the Intensive Care Unit, I notice that communication with families and other team members during stressful times can create allies or lead to places of impasse, with the outcome depending heavily on what particular words are chosen in an exchange. We all come to the table with varying levels of communication skills, and we can all become more facile. I am passionate about fortifying our residents with communication skills because I truly believe effective communication can help make life easier by creating more places of peace and less places of impasse.

I feel so blessed to be FRAME director! FRAME sessions explore the parts of Medicine that have huge impact on our experiences as physicians, yet might be discussed only rarely. How do we see what we see, do what we do, and protect our humanity? Will you be the same doctor you are now (with a big heart, full of compassion), in ten years? How will you strengthen and protect your heart so that you will stay the same? How can we work with our teams and colleagues to create a mutual support system to thrive in this profession? What should we know about burnout in our profession, and how do we strengthen our resilience? How can we develop that “presence” that patients respond to in the best doctor-patient relationship? What are intentional things we can do to earn patients’ trust and deepen that relationship? These are topics close to every doctor’s heart, and need to be honestly discussed. FRAME provides us with time and space to do so.

Rachel Taliercio, DO
Director of Resident Coaching Program
Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

I moved to Cleveland in 2005 at the start of my Internal Medicine residency. After completing residency training, I served as Chief Medical Resident and then went on to pursue specialty training in Pulmonary/Critical Care at the Cleveland Clinic. I decided to stay in Cleveland to complete my training because I feel both the residency and fellowship programs are among the best in the country. My clinical practice is general pulmonary medicine with a focus on obstructive lung disease, primarily severe asthma. I also rotate as a teaching attending on our inpatient Primary Pulmonary service. I am the Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Coaching Program and the Director of Post-Graduate Enrichment for the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication.

I continue to be so impressed by the strength of our Internal Medicine residents. They are thoughtful, confident, knowledgeable physicians who provide excellent patient care. At the Cleveland Clinic, you are given the unique opportunity to practice both community medicine and highly specialized care. At our institution you are exposed to an extraordinary amount of resources designed to enhance the training experience in clinical medicine as well as provide a wealth of opportunities for academic research.

I was honored to return to my roots and serve as Core Faculty for the Internal Medicine Residency Program and am thrilled to be an integral part of our coaching program. I look forward to continuing to build relationships with our outstanding residents.

Richard H. Cartabuke, MD
Richard Cartabuke

Medical School: State University of New York - Upstate Medical University

Welcome to the Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program. Our program offers the opportunity for excellent clinical care, education, and scholarly activity, which are enhanced by deeply ingrained institutional values of health equity, public service, and patient experience. Beyond the rigorous clinical training and innovative curriculum, the program has a long history of wide-reaching influence within virtually every subspecialty of Internal Medicine. It is an honor to be selected Chief Resident and I am excited to share my knowledge and experience with this exceptional group of physicians.

Dr. Cartabuke received his undergraduate degrees in History and Biology at Case Western Reserve University. Following completion of his thesis, “The Evolution of Charity Care of the University Hospitals of Cleveland,” he completed a Master’s Degree in History at Case Western Reserve University. He received his Medical Doctorate degree from the State University of New York – Upstate Medical University. The residency program at the Cleveland Clinic was his first choice to pursue training in internal medicine. With an early interest in Gastroenterology, his initial research projects focused on the long-term esophageal and respiratory complications following repair of congenital tracheoesophageal fistula/esophageal atresia, as well as colon cancer screening techniques. As his career aspirations evolved, he developed an interest in systems based practice and improvement, where he became involved in the pursuit of quality and patient safety initiatives. Most recently, he presented “A Novel Approach to a Historic Conference: Multidisciplinary Morbidity and Mortality Conference.” Outside of medicine, he enjoys sailing, golfing, baseball and spending time with his beautiful wife, Jenna.

Elizabeth Hill, DO
Elizabeth Hill

Medical School: A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Beth was born in Houston, Texas. She is a graduate of University of Michigan where she earned her Bachelors in Science in Kinesiology and Chemistry. She attended the founding osteopathic medical school: A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in the farming town of Kirksville, Missouri. As a Wolverine, she entered into the foreign Buckeye territory of Ohio for Internal Medicine Residency at Cleveland Clinic. Training at Cleveland Clinic has allowed her opportunities to see diverse patients and pathologies while exploring academic medicine. She is the Quality and Patient Safety Chair for the Clinic’s House Staff Association and has brought a standardized handoff method to the Internal Medicine residents through “PASSONS.” She plans to practice as an academic cardiologist, with an interest in sports and exercise cardiology. Outside of medicine, she runs road races and enjoys traveling and was able to couple these interests most recently by running a marathon in Alaska.

Adam J. Kichler, DO, M.Ed.

Adam Kichler

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Adam Kichler was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with strong family ties to the mid-west. Adam completed his undergraduate studies at Lehigh University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Biology while concurrently achieving his Master’s of Education. During his training as an educator, Dr. Kichler had a primary focus on curricular design and instruction of the biological sciences which he continued to develop while teaching anatomy and physiology at the high school level. As a teacher, it became evident to Adam that his own education was not complete leading him to pursue a career in medicine. While making this transition, Dr. Kichler pursued research opportunities at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh as well as post graduate studies at Georgetown University. After earning his Master’s of Science in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown, Adam pursued his medical education at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. During this time, Adam continued to explore his interests in teaching as well as community outreach as he served on multiple student driven local and national philanthropic organizations. As a Pittsburgh native, Adam never imagined he would one day move to Cleveland but says he could not be happier with his decision. After his chief residency, Adam hopes to pursue a career in academic gastroenterology with specific research interests in esophageal motility and structural disorders. Outside of medicine, Adam engages in various athletics, refurbishing old furniture, as well as drawing and painting.

Kenneth Koncilja, MD
Dr. Ken Koncilja

Medical School: The University of Toledo College of Medicine

Welcome to Cleveland Clinic’s Internal Medicine Residency Program! As a native Clevelander—born and raised on the near east side – I feel blessed to be a part of world-renowned clinical and academic medicine right in my parent’s back yard. This is a truly special place where people come from all over the world to learn, train, teach, serve, and heal.

I attended Villanova University in Pennsylvania where I studied Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Signal Processing before I returned to the Buckeye State for medical school at The University of Toledo. While in medical school I was an active member of both the American Medical Association, and the Gold Humanism Honors Society. Following my passion for primary care and geriatrics, I found myself on the fence between training in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine. It was here that I found a unique opportunity in the Primary Care Track. Through my experience in the Primary Care Track I have developed a longitudinal relationship with a panel of patients in both urban and suburban settings.

One of the unique aspects of our program is the astounding level of support through mentorship and resident coaching. Within weeks of beginning my training I was involved in clinical research at the bedside. Mentors encouraged me to push myself to travel and present as an intern. World-renowned clinicians from other disciplines gave me support and guidance throughout my training. At the Cleveland Clinic, there is a plethora of role models. Cleveland Clinic is an innovative healthcare system. As healthcare has evolved and new practice models are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, people across the country look to Cleveland Clinic for leadership. They don’t just look at us from a distance. They come here to visit us on the North Coast. In my short time training here, I’ve seen presidents, world-renowned researchers, and celebrities all come to participate in the amazing and collaborative environment we train within.

Our size as a residency program is a great asset for our residents. There are more prospects to network, more bridges to build, more cultures to be exposed, and more opportunities for growth. I truly enjoyed my training in Cleveland Clinic’s IM Primary Care Track and now I am truly humbled to serve my peers as the Ambulatory Chief Medicine Resident. My interests are to help every resident have a stellar longitudinal clinic experience, support panel management projects by our practice teams, and to support residents with a passion for primary care.

Vickram Tejwani, MD

 Dr. Vickram Tejwani

Medical School: China Medical University

Vickram Tejwani was raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He elected to study medicine abroad in Shenyang, China where he concomitantly studied Mandarin Chinese. He returned to Chicago for clinical rotations and upon graduation, he spent one year conducting research largely centered on critical care medicine and nephrology at the Mayo Clinic. Vick is honored to be serving as Chief Resident of the Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Residency and continues to be amazed by the opportunities and resources available through the training program here. Most saliently, the availability of mentorship, flexibility within the residency program to have your training align with your future career goals, and opportunity to collaborate with brilliant peers. His current academic interests include curricular design, procedural-based competencies, and pulmonary medicine. He also serves as the President of the House Staff Association, which is an organization of residents and fellows that serves to advocate for the well-being of the house staff at the Cleveland Clinic. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Vick enjoys sailing on Lake Erie, economics, tennis at various outdoor courts scattered throughout Cleveland, and spending time with his friends and family.