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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.


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.


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

Mario A. Affinati, MD, FACP, Program Director

Dr. Affinati is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP).

He earned his medical degree at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy. Dr. Affinati served his Internal Medicine residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.

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.

Susan Sweeney, Manager of Graduate Medical Education, Rockford

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.

Program faculty

Moamen Al Zoubi, MD, Infectious Diseases

Medical School: University of Kalamoon, Deirateh, Syria
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 Khan, MD, Gastroenterology

Medical School: Deccan College of Medical Sciences, India
Residency: Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL
Fellowship: Advanced Pancreatico-Biliary Endoscopy fellowship: St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI; Gastroenterology fellowship: Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL

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
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

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

Mercyhealth Mulford
5970 Churchview Dr.
Rockford, IL