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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

Michael Contarino, MD

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 in addition to helping lead a system wide healthcare communication initiative.

Following four years as an Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine at WakeMed, Dr. Contarino was selected to lead the UNC Med-Peds Residency Program in September 2018. He currently attends on both inpatient Medicine and Pediatric services, and also precepts in our Med-Peds resident continuity clinic. Among other duties and volunteer activities, Dr. Contarino enjoys collaborating to build supportive and inclusive environments, improving resident education, and fostering wellness for our residents. 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.

Dr. Contarino has varied interests that range from travel, guitar and Spanish language, to skiing, hiking and college basketball. He most enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 children.

Ria Dancel, MD

Residency Associate Program Director

Dr. Dancel graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency program. Her area of clinical interest and quality improvement research focuses on point of care ultrasound (POCUS) as a diagnostic tool and an instrument to increase patient safety during invasive bedside procedures. She is involved in resident education and also teaches POCUS on a regional and national level. Her major quality improvement focus is simulation training for diagnostic and procedural POCUS. Other quality improvement work has been in developing individualized and advanced care plans for patients with end-stage liver disease, improving transitions for hospitalized children, and developing a protocol to evaluate adults seeking treatment for alcohol dependence.

Jenn McCauley, MD

Residency Continuity Clinic Director

Dr. McCauley graduated from the University of Southern California Medical School (now known at Keck School of Medicine) and completed her residency at the Harvard Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency. She initially chose to become a physician in order to best combine her desire to help people with her interests in the health sciences. She continues to work in primary care because she thoroughly enjoys the privilege of being able to help others navigate the health care environment, allowing them to achieve the best health possible. Her general approach to patient care is to work as a team with her patients towards their health goals and to be present to support them in any time of need. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, exercising and staying as active as she can.

Erin Dunneback, MD

Current Chief Resident

Erin Dunneback grew up in Michigan where she later attended Michigan State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Education. She couldn’t imagine leaving her beloved Spartans and stayed at Michigan State for medical school, where she was inducted into the AOA Honor Society and was an active leader in the American Medical Women’s Association. During medical school she developed her passion for hospital medicine, both adult and pediatric care and quality improvement. UNC’s strong med/peds program and faculty presence brought her down to Chapel Hill where she has completed her med/peds residency. After chief year she plans to pursue a career in adult and pediatric hospital medicine. During her free time she enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants in The Triangle, and spending as much time outside as possible.

Emma Bick, MD

Rising Chief Resident

Emma Bick, MD

Emma was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a minor in Public Health from Williams College. In July 2018, Emma enrolled in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and earned a Master of Public Health degree. Emma has a strong interest in the underserved care, curriculum development, and has done outstanding work with communication skills with an emphasis on end of life care. This SHAC CEO and wedding cake baker is also a graduate of the secret society known as Camp Seafarer. Emma’ hobbies/Interests reading, hiking, spinning, spending time training her Welsh Corgi, Alis.

Robin Howard

Residency Program 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 16 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 nieces and nephews are her hearts and are the very reasons she presses forward everyday. When Robin is not enjoying serving in ministry, she loves taking in a movie, writing in her journal or relaxing at the beach or in the mountains.

Contact Us

For more information about the UNC Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program, please contact:

Robin Howard, Program Coordinator

Erin Dunneback, MD, Chief Resident