Generalist Track: Meet the Faculty
Amar Kohli, MD
Dr. Kohli is an Assistant Professor of Medicine within the division of General Internal Medicine. He serves as Track Director, as well as director of the Adult Outpatient Medicine Clerkship. He completed his undergraduate studies at Penn State University before completing medical school at Drexel University. He then underwent residency and general medicine fellowship training at UPMC, completing his Master’s in Education during fellowship. He has served an essential part within the division, mentoring many students and residents and fostering an interest in internal medicine and receiving awards for innovation within medical education.
Lori Bigi, MD
Dr. Bigi graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in 1991 and completed her primary care residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in 1994. She has worked in the Division of General Internal Medicine since returning to Pittsburgh in 2004. Dr. Bigi has extensive experience as a primary care physician and has always been involved with teaching residents and students and with serving as a community preceptor for residents both in the Pittsburgh area and in the Atlanta area. Seeing patients is what she enjoys most, and she wants to teach residents who also like to take care of general medical problems and help patients navigate through the increasingly complex health care system.
Robert Brooks, MD, PhD
After completing his MD and PhD studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Brooks went to the University of Washington, where he undertook residency training, served as a chief resident, and was inspired to pursue a career as a generalist clinician-educator. Dr. Brooks is a primary care physician at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, where he cares for patients and teaches in the clinic, the inpatient ward, and the emergency department. He coordinates the housestaff continuity clinics at the VA and helps oversee all aspects of resident education there as an associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He is an associate professor of medicine who also enjoys working extensively with medical students in every year of the undergraduate curriculum.
Peter Bulova, MD
Dr. Bulova is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and a graduate of both the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and the Internal Medicine Primary Care Track. He served as chief medical resident at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to being a faculty member, he has served as a community primary care physician in the Delaware area, where he developed an interest in office procedures. Here in Pittsburgh, he is director of the Outpatient Procedures Clinic and works with Dr. Ruth Preisner to train residents to perform outpatient procedures at the Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research (WISER Institute). He started the practice-partnership model with primary care residents. He is also the medical director of the Pittsburgh Adult Down Syndrome Center and medical director of the Disabilities Clinic at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. His major role in the university involves resident education, and he has received awards for outstanding teaching attending from the interns and the residents.
Gregory Bump, MD
After receiving his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Bump completed his residency and a chief resident year at the University of Michigan. He joined the Department of Internal Medicine at UPMC in 2006. Dr. Bump is interested in patient safety, particularly as it pertains to inpatient care. He serves on the UPMC Patient Safety Committee and directs the patient safety curriculum for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He is also very involved with residency training and has won several teaching awards.
Raquel Buranosky, MD, MPH
Dr. Buranosky received her medical degree in 1994 from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She then came to the University of Pittsburgh, where she completed her residency in internal medicine, served a year as a chief resident, completed a fellowship in general medicine, and received an MPH from the Graduate School of Public Health. In 2000, Dr. Buranosky was appointed assistant professor of medicine and was a key clinical faculty member in the Section of Women’s Health. In 1997, she began directing the Pittsburgh Women’s Center Clinic and became instrumental in developing the domestic violence curriculum for medical students and residents. In 2004, she assumed the directorship of the Women’s Health Track in the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She has served as both the associate director and the director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Buranosky’s educational activities include teaching medical students, graduate students, and medical residents. Her teaching focuses on women’s health, underserved care, and internal medicine topics.
Scott Herrle, MD, MS
Dr. Herrle received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at UPMC. In Pittsburgh, he then served as a chief medical resident, completed a general internal medicine fellowship, and earned an MS in medical education. He is now an assistant professor of medicine, based at the VA hospital, part of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Dr. Herrle directs the advanced physical examination course for first- and second-year medical students. He also teaches extensively to house officers. His interests as a medical educator are primarily in teaching physical diagnosis and diagnostic reasoning. In addition, he has played a central role in developing a computer-based program used to help select candidates to our residency program.
Franziska Jovin, MD
Dr. Jovin graduated from the Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf, Germany, in 1994. She completed her internal medicine residency and chief resident year at the Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia. She is now a clinical assistant professor in the Division of General Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and is the medical director of the hospitalist program here. Dr. Jovin has served as a mentor for many residents interested in pursuing careers in hospital medicine. As the medical director of Clinical Inpatient Services, she is very active in systems improvement and patient safety. She participates in the Patient Safety Committee and organizes the weekly internal medicine code review. She is also highly involved in efforts to improve the efficiency and experience of residents during the internal medicine inpatient rotation at UPMC Montefiore.
William Levin, MD
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1988, Dr. Levin completed his residency, chief residency, and general internal medicine fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Cincinnati from 1993 to 2007, during which time he gained many years of experience in long-term acute care and ambulatory practice. He then returned to the University of Pittsburgh, where he was appointed an associate professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. He now serves as a full-time hospitalist, with responsibilities divided between the inpatient teaching service, the nonteaching faculty hospitalist service, and the internal medicine consult service. He also directs the Medicine Procedure Service. His other current areas of interest include work on a quality improvement initiative about discharge communication, participation in code review, curriculum development for the new hospitalist rotation for the residents, and faculty development for the junior hospitalist faculty.
Melissa McNeil, MD, MPH
Dr. McNeil directs the clinical skills course for the second-year medical students, co-directs the third-year internal medicine clerkship, directs the Women’s Health Area of Concentration for medical students, and serves as the faculty advisor to the Honor Council and the SHARP Student Wellness Committee. Dr. McNeil has served on the Admissions Committee for the School of Medicine and is currently the vice chair of the Student Promotions Committee. She is also active in both residency and fellowship education for the Department of Medicine, directing the Women’s Health Track of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and the Women’s Health Fellowship Program. She is the associate chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and has been a long-standing member of the Department of Medicine Faculty Promotions Committee. She also serves as the chair of the Department of Medicine Women and Family Task Force.
Thomas Painter, MD
Dr. Painter graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas in 1974 and completed his internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh in 1977. He is currently a professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine. He is also the director of the third-year inpatient internal medicine clerkship and the acting director of the fourth-year internship. His professional interests include inpatient medical care and medical education.
Ruth Preisner, MD
Dr. Preisner received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and then taught medical students and residents at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) for 9 years. At AGH, she served as the assistant director of ambulatory care and of the Medical Ambulatory Clinic, and she designed and directed the ambulatory curriculum. In 2001, she was appointed as an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Since that time, she has directed the resident pre-clinic conference series at the VA and coordinated the medical student course on advanced physical diagnosis. Her current research interest is in the role of simulation in the teaching of office-based procedures. At the WISER Institute, she directs a course on joint aspiration and injection.
Kenneth Smith, MD, MS
Dr. Smith began serving as a general internal medicine hospitalist in 1986 (10 years before the term “hospitalist” was coined), and he maintains an active role in the general internal medicine hospitalist service (3 months per year) and in resident and medical student education. In addition to his clinical work, he carries out research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and leads and participates in studies on various topics, including risk prediction and hospitalization for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), hospital order sets to facilitate immunization of the elderly, and the use of decision analysis and value-of-information analysis to evaluate alternative strategies for adult pneumococcal vaccination. Dr. Smith has extensive experience in the development and interpretation of cost-effectiveness analysis models of medical interventions, including hospital treatment strategies for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in infants and children and for venous thromboembolic disease in adults.