Meet Our People

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 2021-2022 Assistant Chiefs of Medicine

Anand Dwivedi, MD

A man with dark hair and wearing a white coat stands outsideAs a North Carolina native, when applying for residency, I was well aware of Wake Forest’s reputation for training clinically strong physicians. It was important for me to train at an institution with a robust academic culture, a wide patient catchment, and comprehensive subspecialty care. 

It was clear to me, particularly in the early weeks of my intern year, that Wake Forest Internal Medicine cultivates a vibrant academic culture among its trainees. The strong resident camaraderie was evident to me in the support I was given by my senior residents early on, whether learning how to effectively perform cardiac ultrasound on a critically ill patient, or performing urgent central line placement. This program also has a firm foundation in supporting deep, meaningful mentor-mentee relationships. Scholarship is supported and valued by our program leadership, and this is further evidenced by our numerous research scholarships and dedicated residency “tracks”. I am grateful for the thoughtful mentorship that this program has afforded me, particularly as these relationships have resulted in meaningful scholarly work that supports my fellowship pursuit. 

Anand Dwivedi is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and obtained his undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina and medical degree from The Brody School of Medicine. He plans to pursue a fellowship in Gastroenterology after his Chief Residency year. His wife Riti is a physician assistant in the Nephrology Department at Wake Forest. They enjoy spending time with their daughter, Surya, and taking advantage of all that the North Carolina High Country has to offer. 

Jeffrey Lantz Jr., DO

A man with dark hair and wearing a white coat stands outsideWhile I was in medical school, I had positive experiences with attendings who completed residency and/or fellowship training at Wake Forest. They all demonstrated the qualities I wanted to have as a future physician including a strong knowledge base, holistic patient-centered care and an emphasis on working as a team. When I applied to residency, I had a strong interest in Wake Forest based on these experiences and the program's strong reputation. The hospital is a major tertiary care center with strong subspecialty training and a large patient catchment area that I knew would allow for educational growth with diverse pathology and patient presentations. Since being at Wake Forest, my training has allowed me to become a proficient internal medicine physician. Additionally, I have been able to have multiple research opportunities and develop relationships with mentors in the hospital’s comprehensive cancer center to prepare me for fellowship.

Jeffrey Lantz is originally from Elkton, Virginia. Growing up in the Shenandoah Valley influenced him to participate in hobbies including fly fishing, mountain bike and road bike racing, gardening and hiking. He obtained an undergraduate degree in biology at Bridgewater College in 2014. Afterwards, he obtained his medical degree in 2018 from Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. He plans to pursue a fellowship in hematology and oncology after his Chief Residency year. His wife, Lyndsey, recently graduated nurse practitioner school at Duke University this year and has a specialty in hospice and palliative care. They also recently added their first child to their family. 

Sarah Maus, MD

A woman with blonde hair and wearing a white coat stands outsideWhen applying to residency programs, Wake Forest caught my attention for a variety of reasons. I valued residency programs that would provide me with a strong General Internal Medicine background no matter what career path I chose. Wake Forest certainly fulfilled that requirement through both inpatient and outpatient experiences – but also provided much more. I was especially interested in receiving my training at a large, tertiary academic center with a diverse patient population. Training at Wake has provided the opportunity to care for underserved populations for a large catchment area, where residents see a variety of bread and butter medicine cases, as well as advanced sub-specialty needs. The strong sub-specialty training in many different fields was also a consideration for me when choosing Wake Forest, as I knew that I was interested in pursuing a fellowship after my residency training.

During my residency program search, I participated in the couples match with my husband and we both valued programs with a collegial environment. The camaraderie at Wake Forest was evident during both my interview and with my husband’s program, and has permeated the culture throughout my time here. The residents and faculty that you train with at Wake Forest Internal Medicine program truly become like family and put the success of residents at the forefront of their focus. In addition to this, the Internal Medicine residency program offers a multitude of training experiences based on individualized career interests. Our strong fellowship match lists and the variety of inpatient and outpatient General Internal Medicine positions that our graduates obtain is a testament to the caliber of training at Wake Forest’s Internal Medicine program. 

Sarah Maus is originally from Lexington, Kentucky. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology, along with minors in Spanish and Neuroscience, from the University of Kentucky in 2013. After graduating college, she attended medical school at the University of Kentucky. She plans to pursue a fellowship in Pulmonology and Critical Care medicine. She loves spending time hiking in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband, Jake, and dog, Mila. She also enjoys playing tennis, gardening, and exploring restaurants around the city. 

Megha Penmetsa, MD

A woman with dark hair and wearing a white coat stands outsideWhen applying to residency, I was looking for programs that were well rounded, had strong clinical research, and had people who created a supportive learning environment. Wake Forest was one of the few programs that was able to check all of those boxes.  Wake Forest’s Internal Medicine residency program offers a nurturing environment for resident education by providing the perfect blend of resident autonomy and faculty support. Wake Forest is a major regional tertiary referral center, which allows for the exploration of complex pathology for noon report cases and conference abstracts.

Additionally, Wake Forest is able to cater to physicians of all interests. I participated in the couple’s match with my husband who was also applying for internal medicine residency. The program was able to cater to our differing clinical interests while at the same time providing us a well-rounded education. Looking back on our three years of residency, I know we made the right choice and are thankful for the wonderful group of people we have met along the way who we now consider family. Through our experience at Wake Forest, we have been privileged to know many unparalleled mentors, which have led to professional development, research publications and support for our fellowship interests.  

Megha Penmetsa is originally from Columbia, South Carolina and obtained her undergraduate degree from Emory University. She attended medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina. Following her chief residency year, she plans to pursue a fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases. She is married to Joel, who is also a graduate of the Wake Forest Internal Medicine residency program. In their spare time they enjoy traveling, hiking, as well as exploring vineyards and breweries around the Winston-Salem area. 

Christina Rinaldi, DO

A woman with dark hair and wearing a white coat stands outsideChoosing a residency program can be a difficult decision; however, after my interview at Wake Forest I knew my decision would be an easy one. My initial attraction stemmed from the opportunity to train at an academic, tertiary referral center with nationally recognized specialty care. Additionally, Wake Forest’s collegial atmosphere and unlimited opportunities for personal and professional growth were incomparable to other programs. My training experiences over the past three years have allowed me to seamlessly narrow my career path to hospital medicine. The hospital medicine pathway and its mentorship offered a comprehensive exposure to the field that I would not have had otherwise. Finally, one of the most appealing features of Wake Forest is the program leadership, who continue to prioritize the well-being of their residents and ensure that the best possible patient care is delivered. I am grateful to be a part of the Wake Forest family. 

Christina Rinaldi is from Sanibel Island, FL. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from Florida State University. Her medical degree is from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine- Suwanee, GA Campus. After completing her chief year, she will pursue a career as an Academic General Medicine Internist. Her favorite things about Winston Salem include the proximity to the mountains and enjoying outdoor activities during the various temperate seasons. 


Meet Our Residents