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Internal Medicine Residency Program

Mercyhealth’s Internal Medicine Residency Program is a three-year categorical residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We welcomed our first class of post graduate year (PGY) 1 residents in July 2019. Each post-graduate class has 13 residents, totaling 39 students.

The aim of the program is to develop internal medicine physicians that are confident in their skills and competent to practice in any setting, and in any location of the world they wish to practice. The pillars of the program are service to the community, academics and research.

Our goal is to create a positive, lasting impact on the delivery of care to our patients and the Rockford community. The Mercyhealth Internal Medicine Residency Program is affiliated with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford.

Dedicated time for research and scholarly activity

The 4+2 structure allows protected time for scholarly activity every Wednesday morning supervised by faculty, including a research director, assistant PD of research, research coordinator, chief resident, biostatistician and former Dean of Research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In addition to case reports, quality improvement and research projects, residents present and discuss original journal articles and morbidity and mortality conferences on a regular basis during the Wednesday morning sessions. The structured approach to scholarly activity allows each resident to produce a minimum of three case reports and one quality improvement project per year in addition to a minimum of one high-impact research project over the course of the residency. Residents are fully encouraged and supported in the efforts to engage in research.

Didactics

Didactic conferences are given on Wednesday afternoons when residents have protected learning time from 1-5 pm. The conferences include foundational general and subspecialty internal medicine topics presented by program faculty, regional, national and international speakers. PGY2 and PGY3 residents are actively engaged in the preparation of conferences and board review throughout the course of the academic year. Additional conferences occur during inpatient general medicine and ICU rotations. Training in high-value care and patient safety are an integral part of the didactic curriculum.

Resident well-being

The approach to resident well-being is the work led by our residents in collaboration with the senior scholar for resident wellness at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and a clinical psychologist. Events include conferences, workshops, seminars and retreats throughout the course of the year.

Residents as teachers

An important aspect of our training consists in the development of the residents’ teaching skills. All post-graduate classes are directly involved in teaching M1, M2 and M3 students of the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Rockford and Chicago Medical School-RFU.

The teaching activities include:

  • M1 observation
  • M2 essentials of clinical reasoning/doctoring skills
  • M3 inpatient clerkships

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS)

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is an integral part of resident training. The curriculum was developed and implemented by a fellowship trained POCUS director.

Sim lab

The training experience is enhanced by point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) and a state-of-the-art sim lab utilized throughout the course of the year by residents, under the direct supervision of a fellowship-trained sim director. Learn more about our sim labs.

Continuity Clinic

The Continuity Clinic is staffed and run by residents of all three classes, while supervised by experienced internal medicine faculty. Learn more about the Continuity Clinic.

Benefits

Residents receive access to a variety of benefits, including the following:

  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Flexible benefits plan
  • Paid vacation
  • Free parking
  • Computer/tablet
  • Physician coats
  • Meals card
  • Membership fees
  • Relocation assistance

Frequently asked questions

Do all the participating sites have an electronic medical record (EMR) system?

  • Yes. Mercyhealth takes patient privacy and records very seriously. All Mercyhealth facilities utilize EPIC electronic medical record which allows for the safe and effective record keeping of our patients across the care continuum. Residents will have access to EPIC at all our locations as well as through a secured virtual private network.

Is there support for research and conference attendance?

  • Yes. The Mercyhealth Internal Medicine Residency Program is invested in the growth, development and success of our residents. The Office of Graduate Medical Education will support resident publication and presentation at local, regional, and national conferences.

I am an international medical graduate. Am I qualified to apply?

  • Yes. We welcome graduates from all medical schools, and visas are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Are USMLE scores required for osteopathic applicants?

  • No, osteopathic applicants need only a COMLEX transcript.

Are non-U.S. citizens eligible to apply?

  • We welcome graduates from the United States, Canada and international medical schools. We will consider visas on a case-by-case basis for qualified applicants.

Do you make any exceptions to the applicant criteria listed on your website?

  • We evaluate candidates from a holistic perspective with particular focus on our listed applicant criteria.

I applied! Now what?

  • We begin reviewing applications in September. Shortly after, we send email invitations to selected candidates. Our interviews take place between October and December.

Internal Medicine Residency faculty

Our faculty consists of dedicated, lifelong learners and leaders of medicine. Faculty advisors are assigned to each resident to offer support and mentorship throughout the program. Residents will graduate with an intrinsic thirst for knowledge and skills that support continuous growth and development for a lifetime. The outcomes of this will create a positive, lasting impact on the delivery of care to our patients and the Rockford community.

Program leadership

John Dorsey, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Physician Services and DIO

John Dorsey, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Physician Services and DIO of Mercyhealth GME Consortium. He is a graduate of The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and is board certified in internal medicine.

Dr. Dorsey completed his residency in internal medicine at Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University and a fellowship in geriatrics at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Maryanne Miller, MD, Assistant Chief Medical Officer, President of Medical Staff

Maryanne Miller, MD, is the Assistant CMO and Director of the Hospital Medicine Program. She approaches patient care from a patient-centered approach, always focusing on what is the best care for the patient. Her patient care philosophy can be summed up in the following question: “What would I want for my family member?”

Dr. Miller has been involved in multiple medical leadership positions at Mercyhealth. This includes the progressive pathway from 2nd Vice President to President of Medical Staff, as well as system Chair of Pharmacy & Therapeutics and Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine. She strongly supports a mentorship approach to physician leadership development.

Dr. Miller has been actively involved in medical education, previously as clinical Instructor at the University of Arizona, and currently as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford.

She earned her medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis and completed additional intern and residency training at Case Western University/University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. She is board certified in both internal medicine and the focused practice of hospital medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Senior Fellow of the Society for Hospital Medicine.

Venkata Dontaraju, MD, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Program Director for Internal Medicine Residency

Venkata Dontaraju, MD, is the Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Dontaraju is a graduate of Andhra Medical College, India. After working in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom for six years, he relocated to Chicago. Dr. Dontaraju completed his residency in internal medicine at the Cook County Health System. He is a senior fellow at the Society of Hospital Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London (UK).

Dr. Dontaraju’s scientific research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Europace, Oncotarget, and European Journal of Pharmacology. He’s presented his research at national and international conferences, including the Society of Hospital Medicine, American College of Physicians and Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. He is also the chair of the Institutional Research Review Board at Mercyhealth and an editorial advisory board member for the ACP Hospitalist magazine.

Susan Sweeney, Manager of Graduate Medical Education, Rockford

Sue Sweeney is the Graduate Medical Education Manager for Mercyhealth GME Consortium in Rockford. She is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of St. Francis in Health Services Administration. In addition to working in ACGME-accredited residencies, she has experience in health system operations, quality improvement, compliance and privacy.

Debra Blackwell, Program Coordinator for Internal Medicine Residency

Deb has a background in business ownership and management. She joined the Graduate Medical Education team at Mercyhealth in October of 2021 and oversees the planning and implementation of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Deb enjoys being a part of the training, experience, and mentorship that is the foundation of the residency program at Mercyhealth.

Mohammed Ilyas Ahmed Khan, MD, Associate Program Director

Dr. Khan is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine with added certification in Hospice and Palliative Care.

He is a graduate of Deccan College of Medical Sciences. He completed residency at the State University of New York-Buffalo and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Khan will support the program director in the oversight, supervision and mentorship of residents.

William Staehle, MD, Continuity Clinic Director

Dr. Staehle is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He is a graduate of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and completed his internal medicine residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. Dr. Staehle is an active member and a course director at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Program faculty

Moamen Al Zoubi, MD, Infectious Diseases

Medical School: University of Kalamoon, Deirateh, Syria
Residency:
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Chicago
Fellowship: Infectious Disease and Immunology: UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA

Yone Amuka, MD, Emergency Medicine

Medical School: Medical College of Georgia-College of Medicine, Augusta
Residency: University of Illinois at Chicago
Fellowship: Simulation Education: University of Illinois at Chicago

Vibhav K. Bansal, MD, JD, Neurology

Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati
Residency: Neurology, University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago
Fellowship: Vascular Neurology, Michigan State University/Sparrow Health Systems, Lansing; Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology, Michigan State University/Sparrow Health Systems, Lansing.

Naser M Khan, MD, FASGE, Gastroenterology

System Medical Director and Section Chief of Gastroenterology

Dr. Naser Khan believes in the mission of providing high-quality digestive health care with a focus on education and research. He works closely with the executive leadership team of Mercyhealth and guides overall strategy for the development of the Digestive Health Program.

In addition to his administrative role, Dr. Khan is an interventional endoscopist with interest in health care economics and serves on the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. In this role, he works with one of the nation’s leading gastroenterology organizations and regularly meets with members of the US House of Representatives and Senate to promote and develop legislation to deliver high-quality digestive health care to those in need. He has performed more than 18,000 endoscopic procedures and is a Fellow of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

He earned his medical degree at Deccan College of Medical Sciences, India, and completed his residency at Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL. He completed a gastroenterology fellowship at Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL, and an advanced Pancreatico-Biliary Endoscopy fellowship at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI. He is board certified in gastroenterology by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Kushal Patel, MD, Hospitalist

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Residency: Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee

Arthur Rone, MD, Internal Medicine

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago
Residency:
Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago

Jagpal S. Sahota, MD, Hospitalist

Medical School: Government Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, India
Residency: Internal Medicine, St. Joseph Hospital, Chicago

Jeff Smith, MD, Cardiology and Electrophysiology

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago
Residency: Northwestern University, Chicago
Fellowship Cardiology: Northwestern University, Chicago
Fellowship Cardiac Electrophysiology: Northwestern University, Chicago

Our hospital

Program participants are based at Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside, a tertiary care hospital which opened in January 2019. Our teaching faculty, nurses and other professionals are committed to working together with our future residents to meet the needs of our patients and our community.

Javon Bea Hospital and Physician Clinic–Riverside is designated by the State of Illinois as a Level III Reginal Perinatal Center for the 11-county northern Illinois region, including Rockford and the surrounding area. Mercyhealth also provides services to three southern Wisconsin counties. This designation is the highest in the state, reflecting Mercyhealth’s specialized expertise and comprehensive resources to treat the smallest and sickest babies.

With its location on the I-90 interstate at the Riverside exit, the hospital and clinic provide regional access to critical tertiary level services and ensures a robust volume and variety of patients for the residents’ clinical training. This $505 million project is the largest in Rockford history.

Learn more

For more information, email imresidency@mhemail.org.

Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital and Physician Clinic—Riverside
8201 E. Riverside Blvd.
Rockford, IL
815.971.6364

Mercyhealth Mulford
5970 Churchview Dr.
Rockford, IL
815.971.6364