Debra Bynum, MD, MMEL
Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Associate 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
Interim Program Director, Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency
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.
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
Associate Program Director
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.