Debra Bynum, MD, MMEL, FACP
Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Professor of Medicine
Dr. Bynum is the Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of North Carolina. Originally from eastern North Carolina, she was the first person in her family to attend college and graduated from Davidson in 1990 with a degree in Biology and a focus on ecology and marine biology. From there, she came to Chapel Hill for medical school and stayed at UNC for residency training. After completing a year as Chief Resident, she joined the faculty at WakeMed hospital where she worked in the clinic caring for Raleigh’s underserved, attended on the inpatient service with UNC residents and students, and helped to found one of the first hospitalist programs in the area.
After three years at WakeMed, she returned to UNC for further training as a fellow in the Geriatric Medicine program and was appointed to a faculty position in 2001. During the subsequent fourteen years, she held multiple leadership positions within the School of Medicine, the Department of Medicine, and the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship and Internal Medicine Residency programs. She directed the Acting Internship for senior students as well as co-directed the clinical skills course for second year students, served on the School of Medicine education committee, and helped to design, implement, and co-direct both a transition course for new third year students as well as a teaching elective for fourth year students. She served as the Program Director for the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship from 2008-2014 and was selected to lead the Internal Medicine residency program in May of 2014.
She has received multiple teaching awards, has been recognized for her contributions to educational scholarship and mentorship by the Academy of Educators, and was honored with the Joseph M. Craver Medical Alumni Distinguished Professorship in 2012. With a commitment to a career as a medical educator, she recently completed the requirements to earn a Master of Science degree in Medical Education Leadership. With this background, Dr. Bynum has demonstrated a dedication to the program and department, experience in medical education for trainees at all levels, and a commitment to patients and learners.
Ron Falk, MD
Nan and Hugh Cullman Eminent Professor
Chairman, Department of Medicine
Director, UNC Kidney Center
Dr. Falk was appointed as Chair of the University of North Carolina Department of Medicine in July 2015 after having served as Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension from July, 1993 through May, 2015.
Dr. Falk is recognized as an international expert in vasculitis and autoimmune kidney disease. His career as a translational physician-scientist spans more than three decades. His practice and translational research focus on characterizing the cell, tissue and physiologic changes in the development of specific autoimmune kidney diseases and developing new approaches for studying autoimmunity, inflammation and basic neutrophil/monocyte biology. After the discovery in 1988 by Dr. Falk and colleagues of myeloperoxidase anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (MPO-ANCA), his laboratory has focused on clinical and translational science investigation of the immunogenesis, pathogenesis and response to treatment of ANCA vasculitis and other autoimmune kidney disease.
Dr. Falk is a highly respected scholar and mentor who has guided, for over three decades, young physicians, scientists, and physician-scientists to successful careers in academia and industry.
Dr. Falk has served in various capacities within the American Society of Nephrology, including numerous committees and ASN Council. He served as its president from 2011-12. A notable achievement during his term as president was the founding of the Kidney Health Initiative in 2012, which is a public/private partnership of American Society of Nephrology and the U.S. FDA. During his tenure as ASN President, the American Society of Nephrology Foundation for Kidney Research was established with a substantial endowment. He has also served or chaired on numerous study sections and special emphasis panels within the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Falk continues to receive funding in a P01 Program Project Grant, “ANCA Glomerulonephritis: From Molecules to Man,” UM1, “GDCN Clinical Center—Advancing Clinical Research in Primary Glomerular Diseases,” and a T32 Renal Epidemiology Training Grant.
Lee R. Berkowitz, MD
Associate Program Director
Eunice Bernhard Distinguished Professor
Vice Chair of Education, Department of Medicine
Dr. Berkowitz is the Eunice Bernhard Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Berkowitz completed his MD degree at the Ohio State University College of Medicine followed by residency and chief residency in the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then did fellowship training in hematology at Washington University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Berkowitz’s academic career has centered on his role as residency program director at UNC, a position he held until 2014. He has also served as president of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine, chair of the test writing committee of the American College of Physicians In-training examination, and chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Council.
Cristin Colford, MD, FACP
Vice Chair for Clinical Services, Department of Medicine
Professor of Medicine
Dr. Colford is an experienced medical educator who has been at the University of North Carolina since 1997. She has served as clerkship director, course director for the clinical skills course, and is now the Section Chief for Clinical Practice and Education for the division of General Internal Medicine, and as an Associate Program Director for the residency program. She is experienced in curriculum development and learner assessments. Dr. Colford is currently spearheading the conversion to entrustable professional activities (EPAs) as the primary assessment tool for medical students and residents. She is active in medical education research and practice quality improvement. As a mother of two, she is a great role model for mothers and fathers interested in a career in primary care or academic general internal medicine.
Keisha Gibson, MD, MPH, FASN
Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Medicine
Chief, Pediatric Nephrology
Dr. Keisha Gibson is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Chief of Pediatric Nephrology. She received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and completed her residency training in Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. She returned to UNC to complete subspecialty training in Pediatric Nephrology and a Master’s degree of Public Health in Epidemiology in 2008. Since then, Dr. Gibson has served as a faculty member in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.
Dr. Gibson has earned many accolades, most recently being appointed Secretary Treasurer for the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). She has been inducted into the UNC Academy of Educators and received several teaching awards including the Foundation Phase Teaching Excellence Award, Hyman Battle Distinguished Excellence in Teaching Award and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medical Faculty Award. While her clinical focus is on the care of children, adolescents, and young adults with kidney disease, Dr. Gibson is a co-investigator on several multicenter research studies surrounding glomerular diseases such as Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis and lupus nephritis.
In her role as Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Gibson will provide vision and leadership to develop programs and initiatives in the department that honor diversity, equity and inclusion. She brings a broad background of experience, including her work dedicated to improving the presence of under-represented minorities in healthcare, and supporting programs that expose youth and under-represented minorities to careers in math and science.
Karen Kimel-Scott, MD, FACP
Associate Program Director – Ambulatory Education
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Kimel-Scott is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. She serves as an Associate Program Director for Ambulatory Education for the Internal Medicine Residency and Assistant Medical Director of our outpatient Clinic Site at UNC Internal Medicine starting in 2019. She is a native of Western North Carolina from Waynesville, NC. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill for undergraduate education and has been a lifelong Tar Heel Fan. She earned her Doctorate of Medicine at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine in 2013. She completed a General Internal Medicine residency with a focus on Women’s Health and a Chief Resident year at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She returned to NC in the fall of 2017 to join the faculty at UNC. Her academic interests include Medical Education, Advocacy and LGBTQ Health. She is happy to be back in NC with her wife and son. They enjoy Ultimate Frisbee and deep discussions about bingeing TV shows.
Mike Contarino, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Program Director, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Dr. Contarino is an associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He grew up on a small farm in Warrington, PA and graduated from Duke University in 1999 with a degree in biomedical and electrical engineering. From there, he spent four years as an officer in the United States Navy with the Civil Engineers Corps traveling and gaining leadership experience.
After his navy career, Dr. Contarino returned to North Carolina to attend UNC School of Medicine, and completed his residency at UNC in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Following this, he joined the faculty at WakeMed as an internal medicine and pediatric hospitalist, focusing on resident and medical student education. Among other duties and volunteer activities, Dr. Contarino serves on the Hospital Ethics Committee, and chairs the Care Delivery Team for patient and family centered care. He has won several teaching awards throughout residency and his time as a hospitalist, including the Robert L Ney Award, Harvey J Hamrick Excellence in Teaching Award, and the WakeMed Faculty Teaching Award. He was named Associate Program Director in May 2015.
Dr. Contarino has varied interests that range from travel and Spanish language, to skiing and college basketball. He most enjoys spending time with his wife and son.
Joseph A. Duncan, MD, PhD, FIDSA
Associate Program Director – Research
Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology
Program Director, Physician Scientist Training Program
After completing his MD/PhD degrees at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Duncan came to UNC to pursue training in Medicine and Infectious Diseases through the ABIM Research Pathway. During his training he was awarded the Pfizer Fellowship in Infectious Diseases and the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists before joining UNC as a faculty member in Infectious Diseases. Dr. Duncan’s laboratory focuses on multiple aspects of immune signaling in generating protective responses to infectious diseases as well as the exploitation of host immune signaling pathways by successful pathogens during infection. Dr. Duncan is also an active Infectious Diseases clinician working on inpatient Infectious Diseases consult services at UNC. Dr. Duncan has a longstanding interest in physician scientist career development and served as the director of UNC’s Infectious Diseases Training Program until July 2017. Dr. Duncan now serves as the director of the Department of Medicine’s new Physician Scientist Training Program, which provides clinical and research training through the ABIM Research Pathway, and as the Associate Program Director of the Medicine Residency Program, where he is focusing on research training of residents.
Associate Program Director – Inpatient Services
Associate Professor Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Associate Professor Palliative Care and Hospice Medicine
An explorer and thrill seeker at her core, Dr. McEntee decided to take a risk and join the University of Notre Dame’s ACE Program prior to entering medical school. Through this program, she loved teaching at a secondary school in Oklahoma City for two years and earned a Master’s in Education through Notre Dame. She developed a passion for education and when she entered a joint MD/MPH program at Tulane – she realized education and public health would be instrumental to her medical career. The Dean of Students at Tulane further allowed her to take a year of medical school between her first and second year of medical school to teach pedagogy at St. Joseph’s Teacher’s College in Moshi, Tanzania. She continues to be diligent in regards to including her educational passion in to her day-to-day work as an Internal Medicine Hospitalist and Palliative Care/Hospice provider.
She is extremely passionate and humbled by this new opportunity to join the IM program director leadership team as the Inpatient Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine. She is excited to work with Dr. Bynum and the chiefs to further promote educational scholarship while enhancing the objectives, evaluations, assessment of inpatient rotations. Her enthusiasm for international health and public health will also be channeled into further work with important stakeholders in continuing the work on building our global and public health presence regionally, domestically, and internationally. Her educational interests continue to include UNC’s commitment to developing faculty as educators both through formal and informal processes while also developing a more robust evaluation and assessment plan for all learners that focuses on competency-based assessment using EPA’s versus the traditional time- constant curricula, In addition, she hopes to continue to foster and build a sense of community at UNC which will further build resilience and life-long learning at all levels of learning. She is proud to be a Tar Heel and is grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in this way.
Associate Program Director – WakeMed
Hospitalist at WakeMed
I am the associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency program at WakeMed. I grew up in Rocky Mount, NC and graduated from NC State with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. I attended medical school and Internal Medicine Residency at UNC. After completing residency I joined WakeMed as a hospitalist and took over the APD position in 2018. I have interest in undergraduate and graduate medical education, palliative care and community health.
Program Administrator – Internal Medicine Residency Program
Julie is a “Carolina-lifer” having completed her undergraduate degree in Health Policy and Management from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Health in 2009, then working with UNC medical students for 12 years, and now working as the Program Administrator for UNC’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. She was born in Cameroon, Africa, into a missionary family, and grew up between Cameroon and Waxhaw, NC. Growing up overseas instilled a love for travel and culture, weather stateside or overseas. Her other joys in life are reading, volleyball, live music, a great cup of coffee, and spending time with her sweet pup, Bonnie.
Ammaris Jordan, M.S.
Program Coordinator-Internal Medicine Residency Program
A native of North Carolina, Ammaris spent her undergraduate and graduate years studying business administration and HR management. During those years, she volunteered with teams focused on vocational rehabilitation for veterans; having developed an interest in this form of service due to her parents serving in the USMC. In addition to local community involvement, she spent several years traveling with mission teams to Cuba, Haiti, and South Africa. After receiving her master’s in HR Management from Southern New Hampshire University, she began her professional journey in a supervisory administrative/HR role with a pediatric clinic in Chapel Hill, NC. Her prior experience has afforded her the opportunity to facilitate processes including staff development, recruitment, training coordination, and retention strategizing. She is excited to continue in her professional learning journey through residency program coordination. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, tutoring, writing, dancing, flipping furniture, and listening to podcasts.
Leslie Appleton, MD, MPH
Inpatient Chief Resident
Leslie Appleton is a native Arizonan who earned her MD MPH from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. She earned her BA in politics from Pomona College, after which she joined President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in Chicago. In 2013, Leslie began working for the federal government, holding positions in both the White House and the US Department of Health and Human Services. She is an avid reader and otherwise enjoys cooking, playing sports, enjoying the outdoors, and seeing the world.
Casey Birschbach, MD
Outpatient Chief Resident
Casey grew up in the small town of Deerfield, Wisconsin and studied biology and global cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She taught seventh grade math and reading in Milwaukee for a year before returning to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health for medical school. There, she developed her interests in Internal Medicine and medical education. She journeyed down south to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her residency in Internal Medicine and now serves as the Ambulatory Chief Resident for the program. Following her Chief Residency year, she plans to pursue primary care. In her free time, Casey enjoys cooking, true crime podcasts, and exploring local restaurants with her husband, Ryan.
Aaron Fried, MD, MBA
Inpatient Chief Resident
Aaron grew up outside of Los Angeles before completing his undergraduate work in Biology and Hispanic Studies at Boston College. He spent one year with a biopharmaceutical research team in Boston before moving yet again for medical school, this time to the Midwest. At Creighton University, Aaron completed a dual MD/MBA degree program and was inducted into the AOA and Gold Humanism Honor Society. Now in North Carolina, Aaron stays busy outside of work with his two young daughters, Addison and Elise, and his wife, Katie. They love to explore the outdoors, eat their way around the Triangle, and have game nights with family and friends. Aaron also loves to play basketball, golf, table tennis, surf, and snowboard. His academic interests include medical education, health process innovation, and quality improvement, and he plans to pursue a career in hospital medicine.
Megan Hoppens, MD
Med-Peds Chief Resident
Megan was born in Fort Collins, CO, and attended Tulane University for her undergraduate work in Neuroscience. Not ready to leave New Orleans, she continued her training at LSU School of Medicine. In medical school, Megan was inducted into AOA and was an active member of the Flu Fighters Band and founding member of the Dermatones Accapella Group. She enjoyed the rich culture of New Orleans food and music, as well as frequent fishing trips with her dad. She couples matched with her classmate and now husband, Mark Hoppens, at UNC for residency. During her 4th year of residency, she welcomed a beautiful baby girl and her pride and joy, Diana Marie. After chief year, Megan plans to pursue a career in primary care with a particular interest in medically underserved patient populations and outpatient procedures. During her free time, Megan enjoys listening to live music any chance she gets, hiking with her family, and traveling to new places.
Wake-Med Chief Resident
Michael is a Minnesota native who attended Davidson for college, studying biology and ultimate frisbee. After working in Charlotte for a year doing research and quality improvement work, Michael went to the University of Chicago for medical school. He was torn between urology and medicine and spent 2 years in urology residency at the Cleveland Clinic before deciding to follow his heart and switch to medicine. He is currently the UNC chief resident at WakeMed. Following chief year, Michael will pursue fellowship training in geriatrics.
Outside of the hospital, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and young son, playing all the sports, and spending time outdoors.