Our program is lead by an incredible team of leaders and supported by numerous Med-Peds trained Faculty in the inpatient and ambulatory setting. These people are invaluable resources to our residents and the program graduates. They have created quite a legacy that we hope to continue to build!

Michael Contarino, MD

Residency Program Director

Dr. Mike Contarino 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 the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and also completed residency training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC. 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.

Raquel Reyes, MD

Residency Associate Program Director

Dr. Raquel Reyes is a hospitalist and clinician educator with a particular commitment to addressing disparities in health in resource-poor settings. She completed her combined residency training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in June 2012.  Following residency, she lived in Uganda where she served as the first Site Director for MGH’s Global Medicine Residency.

Dr. Reyes earned a BA in English from Harvard College, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has served as a Volunteer In Service To America, advocating for access to health care for refugees and migrant farm workers in rural California. She has policy experience in Geneva and Washington, D.C and clinical experience in Ethiopia, Liberia, and Uganda. Her early public health work included studies of maternal health in Afghanistan and rural Mali.

Dr. Reyes currently serves as a hospitalist and clinician educator on the internal medicine wards, seminar facilitator for medical students, global health mentor for residents and medical students, and Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program.

Josh Berkowitz, MD

Residency Associate Program Director

Growing up in North Carolina, UNC has been the perfect fit for Dr. Berkowitz throughout his education and early career. He received his undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences, then after a year of bench research in the Cystic Fibrosis Center went on to earn his medical degree through the School of Medicine. He was thrilled to match at UNC Hospitals for Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency training, subsequently serving as Chief Resident before completing a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine through the Department of Family Medicine. He is currently appointed as an assistant professor of Orthopaedics, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and serves as a Team Physician for UNC Sports Medicine in addition to his roles as Associate Program Director and Continuity Clinic Director for the Med-Peds residency program. His academic interests include medical education with a focus on teaching musculoskeletal medicine, as well as management of complex medical issues in athletes.

Alex Despotes, MD

Current Chief Resident

Ales Despotes is our rising Chief Resident. Alex, originally from Raleigh, NC, completed her undergraduate work at Notre Dame majoring in Biology before returning to the region for her medical school at UNC Chapel Hill. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Gold Humanism Honor, Alex has distinguished herself in a variety of ways at UNC including participation in the Student Health Action Coalition Community Clinic, completion of the Comprehensive Advance Medical program in Spanish and International Healthcare work through UNC’s Proyecto Peurto de Salud in Mexico. An avid reader, Alex started a book club amongst her classmates and also enjoys running, playing soccer and variety of visual arts including painting, pottery, and mosaics.

Erin Finn, MD

Rising Chief Resident

Erin grew up in Upper Saddle River, NJ with her parents, two older brothers, twin sister (Katie), pet guinea pigs, rats, dogs, birds, and fish. She went to college at Colgate University in upstate NY and later found herself back in NY for medical school at the University of Rochester after spending a few years doing research in DC and Philadelphia. She now lives with her two cats and husband, George, who is a Family Medicine resident at Womack Army Medical Center at Ft. Bragg. She spends her free time running, biking, looking for places to play volleyball and/or soccer, watching the Great British Bake Off, and thinking up good trivia team names. Fun fact, Matt Waters and Rachael Lester are also twins, though contrary to popular belief, this is not a requirement for UNC Med-Peds residents.

Robin Howard

Residency Coordinator

Robin HowardRobin Howard was born and raised in Sanford, NC and is now completing her undergraduate degree part-time at the University at North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked at UNC-Chapel Hill for 15 years and loves working with the Internal Medicine and Pediatric Residency Programs. Her greatest joy is being able to see each resident push through life’s challenges while pursuing their career to serve to be able to serve others. Her niece and nephews are her hearts and are the very reasons she presses forward everyday. When Robin is not enjoying ministry she loves taking in a movie or relaxing at the beach or the mountains.

Contact Us

For more information about the UNC Med-Peds Residency Program, please contact:

Robin Howard, Program Coordinator

Alex Despotes, MD, Chief Resident