Meet Our Leadership

As a resident of our internal medicine program, you will interact with a diverse patient population and learn from our numerous faculty, who encompass the spectrum of subspecialities. One of the best ways to learn about a program is hearing from the people who live and work in it every day.

Three Residents

Learn from our residents about how the training at Wake Forest can be tailored to guide you toward and then help you succeed in the career of your interest.

Get to know our...

Gary Rosenthal, MD, FACP

Tinsley R. Harrison Professor and Chair

It is an honor to welcome you to the Department of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The Department, which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, enjoys a rich heritage. Our founding chair, Tinsley Harrison, MD was an icon in American medicine. His prescient vision for excellence in the core missions of academic medicine – teaching, patient care, and research – is deeply woven into the fabric of all that we do and serves as an inspiration for our medical students, residents and fellows. 

Gary Rosenthal, MDI am particularly proud of our residency program and clerkships, which emphasizes core clinical problem solving skills and prepare learners for lifetime learning and professional growth. The cornerstone of our educational programs is a commitment to teaching excellence among our faculty, who consistently win institutional and national teaching awards. Our programs provide trainees with exposure to the entire spectrum of subspecialties, while becoming highly competent in the skills and judgment required of the general internist. In many ways, our educational programs are the glue that bind faculty and staff across their diverse professional interests and that creates a strong sense of family. 

Our faculty also conduct groundbreaking research to elucidate the mechanisms of disease, to translate these findings to novel treatments, and to develop innovative healthcare delivery models to improve patients’ health and wellbeing. Many of our faculty have led large national trials that have defined our current treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer.  

The Department of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest is firmly committed to preparing trainees to thrive in a changing health care landscape and to shaping that landscape in ways that promote patient-centered high value care. Perhaps most importantly, the Department is committed to fostering an academic environment that embraces diversity, eliminates healthcare disparities, and treats patients with the utmost respect and dignity. 

I encourage your to explore our website and to know our faculty, trainees, and staff and the resources that are aligned to support each of our missions. 

Donna M. Williams, MD

Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency

Welcome to the Wake Forest School of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program website! I hope that the information provided here will give you a glimpse into the exceptional education provided here and of the amazing residents, faculty, and staff who call our program home. We are so fortunate to be part of a cutting-edge academic medical center well known for high-quality and patient-centered care, educational innovation, and translational and clinical research. In this environment, we are privileged to support residents during the most formative years of your careers. During these years of residency, you will meet patients who inspire you, attendings who mentor you in the career of your dreams, and colleagues who support each other unconditionally. 

Donna Marie Williams, MDWe have a long tradition of comprehensive training in internal medicine at Wake Forest. Our faculty are top-notch teachers who role model the history, physical exam, clinical reasoning and communication skills that are critical for excellent patient care. We also realize that medical knowledge is ever-evolving, and we teach you how to critically review the literature and apply your new knowledge to patient care. Lifelong learning is necessary for all internists, and our program embodies this concept through our innovative teaching strategies which include point of care ultrasound training, simulation lab, Learning Health Systems seminars, Academic Half Day sessions, and faculty-mentored quality improvement projects to name just a few opportunities for learning. All of these experiences add to the vast clinical exposure that our residents obtain across our clinical settings, including our large, tertiary care medical center here at Wake Forest, our community hospital in High Point, and the VA in Kernersville.

Throughout your training here at Wake Forest, we provide unparalleled mentorship and guidance to promote your personal and professional growth as you build your career.  We take pride in nurturing each resident as an individual with unique goals and interests. One way that we accomplish this is though our pathways in medical education, global health, research, clinical informatics, hospitalist training, and point of care ultrasound, as well as our Primary Care Track. Each of these pathways provide opportunities for individual growth and mentorship outside of the comprehensive clinical education you receive. Additionally, we have an exceptionally rich academic environment where our residents find many opportunities to partner with faculty and fellows on research projects. Because of our unique research and pathway opportunities and the excellent clinical care provided here, our graduates are sought after for subspecialty fellowships, academic medicine positions, and community practice.

Resident wellness is also critically important to our success, and we have multiple recurring programs, including those sponsored by our women in medicine interest group and our wellness committee, which ensure that you are supported by your residency family throughout your training.  So, if you are looking for a program with a family feel, comprehensive clinical training, abundant research opportunities, and an opportunity to personalize your training through participation in specialized pathways, you are in the right place! I invite you to read on and learn more about the Wake Forest Internal Medicine Residency Program and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Program Overview

Program Director Dr. Donna Williams, Vice Chair for Education, Dr. Hal Atkinson and  Department Chair, Dr. Gary Rosenthal speak to the strength and diversity of the training environment at Wake Forest.

Our Associate Program Directors

William Childs Lippert, MD, MPH

William Lippert, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director

I am a Cincinnati, Ohio, native who found my home here in Winston-Salem. During my residency training at the University of Kentucky, I was inspired to pursue a career in academic medicine so that I could guide residents during their most formative years of training. I joined as an academic hospitalist here at Wake Forest in 2018 and serve as one of the Associate Program Directors with a focus on inpatient education.

Since joining Wake Forest, I have been amazed with the tremendous opportunities – in all realms – offered to our internal medicine residents. The diverse training pathways, ranging from the Global Health Pathway to the Hospital Medicine Pathway, provide our residents unique training experiences that are not available in other internal medicine residency programs across the country. Also, the mentorship and support provided for all of our residents is truly second to none. Our goal is to support and train our residents into high-quality and high-functioning internists by tailoring their residency experience based on their goals.

Currently, I live in a suburb of Winston-Salem with my wife and daughter. We love our friendly community, proximity to the mountains and beach, and the temperate climate! We are proud to be a part of the Wake Forest School of Medicine community and believe it provides excellent clinical training in a collaborative and supportive environment. 

Karl Richardson, MDKarl Richardson, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director

After training at the University of Pennsylvania and then Vanderbilt University for fellowship, I was excited to join the Wake Forest University program to pursue a career in academic cardiology. The cutting-edge subspecialty medicine and clear commitment to personalized patient care housed in a collaborative and collegial academic medical center drew me here after training. The opportunity to work with an energetic and driven group of house officers attracted me to the residency leadership team.

At Wake Forest, our first goal is to train thoughtful and dedicated internists who are critically aware of the relevant literature and able to apply that evidence to best take care of their patients. This training is accomplished on general medicine services and bolstered through rich exposure to numerous subspecialty rotations. Rounding out this balanced internal medicine training, all residents will gain exposure to and directly participate in quality improvement projects on both the individual and departmental level. We take pride in providing comprehensive internal medicine training, and we are also excited that many of our residents choose to advance their career through subspecialty fellowships. We are committed to supporting this academic transition and all career interests through pointed mentorship and collaborative research opportunities. We are excited to celebrate the products of this mentorship every year, as so many residents present their research at national meetings, land that dream job out of residency, or match successfully into competitive fellowships across the country. 

We are proud of the diverse and comprehensive training offered by Wake Forest Internal Medicine, and we are excited to attract residents with a strong interest in academic medicine. We look forward to working with motivated house officers to craft the residency training that best suits their unique career goals.

Jessica Valente, MD, MPH

Jessica Valente, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director

After completing residency and chief residency at University of California-San Francisco, I joined faculty at Wake Forest in 2019. Wake Forest has helped craft my academic interests and career in a way I never imagined, and I am grateful to the inspiring learners I get to interact with daily.

Clinically, I work as the medical director for Care Plus, a high-intensity primary care model located at the Downtown Health Plaza for patients frequently admitted to the hospital. I have the honor of working with a creative, multidisciplinary team to address social determinants of health, complex chronic disease management and patient-centered care for patients who, too often, lack the resources to navigate a convoluted and challenging healthcare environment. 

My academic time is spent as Associate Program Director for Ambulatory Education as well as Program Director for the Primary Care track of the Internal Medicine Residency. The Primary Care track truly allows an individualized, mentored experience with ample exposure to ambulatory medicine across diverse settings. Our trainees are well prepared for leadership and careers focused on general medicine, whether in the community, academics, hospital or outpatient-based specialties. 

I truly believe in finding joy in outpatient medicine and prioritizing the patient-physician relationship, as well as supporting the strong teamwork with clinic staff and residents. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the trails and outdoor scene of Winston Salem with my husband and toddler.

Dustin Norton, MDDustin Norton, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director

Originally from Indiana, I moved to North Carolina in 2010 for internal medicine residency at Duke University. Having coached wrestling at the elementary through high school levels, I have always found joy in teaching, which led me to remain at Duke as a teaching faculty member in hospital medicine after residency. After three years in hospital medicine, I went on to fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining the faculty here at Wake Forest in 2019.

My clinical time is divided between the medical intensive care unit, our pulmonary consultation service, and supervising pulmonary fellows in the outpatient pulmonary clinic. My academic time consists of clinical and translational research in critical care as well as my role as Associate Program Director. In my free time, you can find me outside, be it in the mountains or on the golf course, or enjoying the restaurants, breweries, and live music around Winston-Salem with my wife and two elementary-aged kids.

I love that the Department of Medicine here at Wake Forest is dedicated to supporting residents and faculty in building a career around their personal strengths and interests; I truly believe that this breeds a culture of support and collegiality that makes Wake Forest an excellent place to train and work. For our residents, this means defined mentorship that begins in your intern year and numerous opportunities to tailor your residency training that maximizes your potential to land that dream job or competitive fellowship match.  For me personally, this collegial support has allowed me to pursue medical education, including working with our pulmonary and critical care fellows and as a part of the leadership team for the internal medicine residency. I’m ecstatic to expand on my love of teaching clinical reasoning and evidence-based medicine as the Associate Program Director for Curriculum Development for the internal medicine residency.

Chris Kelly, MD

Chris Kelly, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director for POCUS

I am a North Carolina native and a former Wake Forest Internal Medicine resident and chief resident. I was inspired to pursue a career in academic medicine because of the incredible mentorship and experiences I had while I was a resident here. The supportive culture, innovative approach, and family atmosphere that fosters camaraderie between residents and faculty convinced me that Wake Forest is the ideal place to continue my career as an academic general internist. Here at Wake, we take pride in the many accomplishments of our exceptional residents, and we are dedicated to helping them achieve their career goals.

Clinically, I practice both inpatient and outpatient medicine and enjoy teaching at the bedside. Academically, the untapped potential for Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) within internal medicine excites me. I completed an ultrasound fellowship in 2021, but my passion for POCUS began as a resident who collaborated with faculty to develop the foundation of the innovative POCUS curriculum we have today. I currently serve as a special focus Associate Program Director for POCUS. I lead our POCUS curriculum and am the director of the POCUS Champion Pathway.

The goal of our POCUS curriculum is to make our residents proficient with this rapidly evolving tool while simultaneously refining their bedside skills in the traditional sense. We have a multimodal approach to POCUS education in which interactive workshops and didactics teach technique and reinforce important concepts, but the most essential learning occurs at the bedside of hospitalized patients. It is in the clinical setting where residents learn how to incorporate POCUS into the art and science of medicine.

Vice Chair for Education

Hal Atkinson, MD, MS, FACP

I am delighted to welcome you to the Wake Forest Internal Medicine Residency Program! As Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Internal Medicine and former residency director, I am proud of our exceptional training program and superb residency leadership team. As a graduate of the program myself, I am honored to be a part of the tradition of excellence that continues today with each graduating class. 

Hal Huntley Atkinson, MDIn my role as Vice Chair for Education, I help to oversee the integration of our educational programs within the Department across multiple training levels. Our residents are immersed in a highly effective academic teaching environment with exceptional faculty, fellows, co-residents and medical students who create an atmosphere of scholarly inquiry while providing the best care to their patients. It is a great pleasure to serve as a coach and advisor for the next generation of physicians who begin their careers in Internal Medicine here. 

One of the top strengths of the Wake Forest Internal Medicine Residency Program is the well-rounded clinical training that our residents enjoy in diverse specialties under the mentorship of nationally recognized experts in their fields. This is not only helpful in developing clinical proficiency as an internist, but it also allows residents the broad exposure that they need to make an informed decision about their ultimate career pathway. Our large academic health system and our 14 fellowship training programs provide ample opportunities for residents to continue their work or training here after residency, and many do just that.

We have all the key features that make us a great residency program --excellent well-rounded clinical training, abundant clinical research and scholarship, and highly effective career mentoring and opportunities. These training components are embedded in a culture focused on wellness where we not only provide excellent care for our patients but we also care for and support each other every day. 

Career Pathways, Mentorship, and Academic Opportunities

Our residents describe unique academic and mentorship opportunities afforded by our varied training pathways.

Meet Our 2022-2023 Assistant Chiefs of Medicine

Alfred Rabinovich, MD

Alfred Rabinovich, MD

One of my first impressions during my residency interview at Wake Forest was that this seems like a place where residents and faculty alike are excited to come to work every day. After completing my residency training, I am happy to say that this definitely holds true. Wake Forest offers not only a robust clinical setting with an impressive variety of pathology, nationally-recognized subspecialists and world-class research opportunities, but it does so in an environment where individuals respect one another, collaborate openly and are committed to clinical excellence. The program also allows residents the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of medical interests including research, global health, POCUS, medical education and advocacy, all while receiving excellent clinical training. This also held true for me in the Primary Care Track, which provided me excellent exposure and training in ambulatory medicine without limiting my inpatient or subspecialty experiences. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work longitudinally in different primary care clinics, and the ambulatory didactics were a great way to broaden my knowledge of primary care. Best of all were the attendings I had the opportunity to work with – their passion for outpatient medicine is truly inspiring!

Alfred Rabinovich is originally from Rochester, New York, but he now considers himself a “converted Southerner.” He graduated from the University of Rochester with an undergraduate degree in Biology and a minor in Biomedical Engineering. He then obtained his medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He applied to residency through the couples match, and his wife graduated from the Pediatrics Residency at Wake Forest. They have three adopted pets, two dogs and a cat, who keep them very busy at home. They also enjoy exploring the restaurant scene in Winston Salem and taking advantage of all the great surrounding day trips that North Carolina has to offer. He plans to pursue a career in Academic General Internal Medicine, with a focus in outpatient medicine.


Andrew Faucheux, MD

Andrew Faucheux, MD

When applying to residency, I was looking for a program that would provide a robust academic environment with exposure to both General Internal Medicine and comprehensive subspecialty care. After interviewing at Wake Forest, it was clear that the institution had a reputation for training clinically strong physicians. These factors, combined with the warm and collegial atmosphere I experienced during my interview day, solidified Wake Forest as my top choice for residency.

During my training and chief residency year, the camaraderie has been second to none. The transition from medical school to residency can be daunting, but the immense support from co-residents and faculty made the transition seamless. Needless to say, the individuals within the Wake Forest Internal Medicine program have become like family to me. Additionally, the faculty and program leadership truly make it a top priority to ensure the success of residents in their future endeavors, whether that entails primary care, hospital medicine, or pursuing fellowship. Through our dedicated residency pathways, all residents are afforded the opportunity to devote themselves to scholarly work in any area of interest. Personally, I have been fortunate to work with many unparalleled mentors who have helped me develop clinically, professionally, and academically through research.

Andrew Faucheux is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. He obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Louisiana State University. After graduating college, he went on to obtain a master’s degree in medical sciences from Mississippi College. He attended medical school at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Louisiana before heading to residency at Wake Forest. He plans to pursue a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology after his Chief Residency year. His favorite things about Winston Salem include living in close proximity to mountains, enjoying outdoor activities, and brewery hopping.

Julie Eckelbarger, MD

Julie Eckelbarger 392x510 ACM

I interviewed early in the season at Wake Forest and it instantly became the one to beat. My experience stuck with me for the interactions I had with the residents and faculty and the interactions they had with each other. I left my interview feeling Wake Forest IM could give me exactly what I wanted – a large academic medical center with a close-knit, collaborative personality. Coming into residency undecided in my ultimate career, I have relied on co-residents and faculty mentors in all career paths to help me decide my future. I considered quite a few fellowships during my residency and was met with open arms by faculty, upper levels, and fellows in each field. The remarkable thing is how continually supportive each of those mentors remained when I ultimately decided that their specialty was not the path for me. The genuine support I have received from program leadership, faculty, and co-residents has all truly been with the goal of making me the best physician I can be, in the path that is best for me.

I moved from Texas to North Carolina for residency. Being a 17 hour drive away from my family was a huge change, but finding my place here at Wake Forest and settling into Winston Salem was easy. Mentorship groups like Women of Wake, a great mix of residents from near and far, and the X+Y schedule made adjusting to life in North Carolina simple.

Julie Eckelbarger is from Arlington, TX. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Molecular & Cell Biology from Texas A&M University. She attended medical school at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. After completing chief year, she will pursue a career in Academic General Internal Medicine. Her favorite things about Winston Salem are breweries, pop-up restaurants, the variety of walking trails, and the low cost of living.

Jane Xu, MD

Jane Xu MD ACM 392x510

During the residency application process, the Wake Forest Internal Medicine residency program stood out to me for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is a very well-rounded program at an academic tertiary care center that supports its residents no matter what interests they have or what career paths they choose. There is ample research for those pursuing fellowship or non-fellowship routes. There is a primary care track and a hospitalist track. There are ample opportunities to supplement clinical learning, such as a point of care ultrasound pathway, a medical education pathway, a global health pathway and much more. Throughout my 3 years here, the residency has continued to evolve and expand to accommodate the interests of its residents.

On top of that, I sensed the strong culture of comradery and support within the program during my interview that drew me in. I found that the support of the program directors and my peers helped me learn and develop into an adept Internal Medicine physician through my 3 years of residency training and prompted me to eagerly continue with program for a chief year. I am very grateful for the long-lasting friendships I’ve made and the strong, guiding mentorship I’ve received while at Wake Forest.

Jane Xu is from Columbia, SC. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology and Studio Arts from the University of South Carolina. Her medical degree is from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. After completing her chief year, she will pursue career in General Internal Medicine or Primary Care. She loves taking local art classes, hiking in the surrounding mountains, and trying out local bakeries and new restaurants.

Kim Burcher, MD

Kim Burcher MD ACM 392x510

Finding the right residency program can lead to tough decisions and introspection. In my opinion, the essential qualities a program would provide to me included a collegial atmosphere and a challenging academic program that would ultimately make me a well-trained General Internist and allow me to reach my fellowship goals. During my interview at Wake Forest, I quickly determined that there was a huge opportunity for learning and research amongst people I would be proud to call friends and colleagues.

Throughout my time at Wake, I have been most surprised by how closely bonded I have become with my classmates. As a chief resident, seeing a member of my (now-graduated) class in the community or around the hospital makes my day. I have found incredible mentors who have challenged me to be a thoughtful internist and propelled me toward my ultimate career goals. As our program’s research chief, I have the incredible opportunity to help others find their path to their dream practice, whether in general medicine or a subspecialty. The unrelenting support starts at the top of our program and has led to a strong foundation in which our residents can follow existing pathways and create unique paths, leaving a trail for others. The program’s track record for recruiting excellent faculty who are wholeheartedly dedicated to the residency and residents, and residents who are curious clinicians devoted to their personal growth, has undoubtedly created a solid and well-earned reputation for the program.

Kim Burcher is originally from Osteen, Florida. She obtained her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Central Florida before leaving her home state for Winston Salem. After her chief residency, she plans to pursue a career in academic Hematology and Oncology. Her favorite things about Winston Salem include taking her dogs for long walks at Salem Lake, hiking with her friends and family, and playing board games at local breweries, wineries, and anywhere else with a level table.

Meet Our Residents