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Faculty

Residency Program Director

Alec O'Connor, MD

Alec O'Connor, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine
William L. Morgan, Jr. Professorship in Medicine

Dr. O’Connor is the Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency. He was a resident and then chief resident in the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Rochester (1996-2000) before becoming an Associate Program Director for the Medicine and Medicine-Pediatrics residencies in 2003. He became the Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency in 2012. He is a Hospitalist at Strong Memorial Hospital, where he attends on the Inpatient Teaching Service 12 weeks/year. He has published on a variety of topics related to improving prescribing practices and residency education, and he has served on national committees within the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine. His outside interests include cycling, traveling, and watching soccer.

Vice Chair of Education

Brett Robbins, MD

Brett Robbins, MD
Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
Program Director, Medicine-Pediatrics Residency

Dr. Robbins has served in the role of Vice Chair for Education since 2018. He has served as the Director of the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency program at URMC since 1999, and he is a past president of the national Med-Peds Program Director's Association. He has dedicated his career to graduate medical education at both the local and national levels. 

His clinical work combines outpatient primary care practice for adults and children, and as an inpatient hospitalist at Strong Memorial Hospital.  His outside interests include travel and the live local music scene in Rochester.

Associate Program Directors

Amy Blatt, MD

Amy Blatt, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Blatt serves as Associate Program Director with a focus on the medical school to residency transition. She was a resident and chief resident in the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program at the University of Rochester from 2002-2007. She has worked as an adult and pediatric hospitalist and currently attends on the adult inpatient teaching service at Strong Memorial Hospital. She served as Director for the Internal Medicine Third Year Clerkship from 2016 through 2021 and is a current Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency.

Dr. Blatt's current educational interests include learner assessment and bias reporting and mitigation in the clinical learning environment. Outside of work, she enjoys running, kayaking, hiking, and enjoying local music and theater with her family.

Catherine Gracey, MD

Catherine Gracey, MD, MS
Professor of Medicine

Dr. Gracey serves as Associate Program Director for Ambulatory Education and directs our Primary Care Program. She chairs the residency program’s Clinical Competency Committee and directs the Medical Educator Pathway. In addition to having her own primary care clinical practice, she precepts residents in the residency continuity clinic practice and develops curriculum for the Ambulatory Block Education Thursdays.

Her research interests include teaching humanism and communication skills, in part through her work with the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, running, and playing with her family.

Joseph Nicholas, MD, MPH

Joseph Nicholas, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Nicholas serves as Associate Program Director for Highland Hospital, overseeing all residency education activities at Highland Hospital. He is trained in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. His current educational focus is on physician cognition, medical decision making and individualizing guideline-directed care. He attends on the Highland Inpatient Geriatrics teaching service, and also serves as the Medical Director for the URMC Highlands at Brighton Skilled Nursing Home. His interests include cycling, skiing, and fiction.

William Novak, MD

William Novak, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine

Dr. Novak was a resident and then chief resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Rochester from 1999-2003. He then completed an Infectious Diseases subspecialty fellowship at the University of Rochester from 2003-2005, and was an Associate Program Director for the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program from 2009-2015. 

Dr. Novak serves as Associate Program Director for Inpatient Services at Strong, and he developed and runs our Point of Care Ultrasound program. He attends regularly as a Hospitalist on the inpatient teaching service at Strong Memorial Hospital. His other interests include all things outdoors, particularly off road cycling, sailing, kayaking, and skiing.

Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Marie A. Laryea, B.Sc., M.D.C.M.

Marie A. Laryea, B.Sc., M.D.C.M. 
Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and a Transplant Hepatologist and Educator

Prior to joining UR Medicine, Dr. Laryea was an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Medical Director of Liver Transplant in the Multi-Organ Transplant Program and a member of the Division of Digestive Care and Endoscopy, Department of Medicine at QEII Health Science Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She also worked as an Adjunct professor of Medicine and Transplant Hepatologist at Universite de Montreal. She was Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at Dalhousie University and Chief Resident in Gastroenterology as well. She has been recognized as an excellent educator and clinician. She authored numerous publications and frequently presents on topics related to Hepatology at the national and international level.

Director of Resident Clinics

Marc Berliant, MD

Marc Berliant, MD
Professor of Medicine
Raymond J. Mayewski Professorship in Medicine
Chief, General Medicine Division
Vice Chair for Clinical Programs

Dr. Berliant is the Associate Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine. He is also the Director of the Internal Medicine Faculty-Resident Practice. He has had a longstanding interest in medical education and he has received numerous teaching awards. He served as Chief Resident after completing his internal medicine residency at the University of Rochester. He previously led hospital initiatives to enhance the quality and safety of care for patients across the Medical Center. His research interests include transitional health care and new models of primary care delivery. Outside of work he enjoys biking, sailing and cross country skiing.

Assistant Program Directors

Jennifer Anolik, MD, PhD

Jennifer Anolik, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Microbiology and Immunology
Associate Chair of Research, Department of Medicine
Program Director, Physician Scientist Training Program

Dr. Anolik is an adult rheumatologist who practices in the University of Rochester's Lupus Clinic. Her research interests include the role of B cells in the pathophysiology of human systemic lupus, the study of new immuno-modulatory treatments for lupus, and B cell regulation of bone homeostasis in rheumatoid arthritis. As part of the research group at the University of Rochester she has been one of the pioneers in the use of B-cell depletion for the therapy of autoimmune diseases and investigation of the effects of B cell depletion on immune function in SLE patients. She has also pioneered the use of tonsil and bone marrow biopsy as a means of probing immune dysregulation in autoimmune diseases, including SLE and RA.

Meghan Train, DO

Meghan Train, DO
Assistant Director of Quality Improvement for the Internal Medicine Residency
Assistant Professor of Medicine 

Dr. Train is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and the Assistant Director of Quality Improvement for the Internal Medicine Residency.  She completed Med-Peds Residency at the University of Rochester in 2014 and has since been working as an Academic Hospitalist as well as a Clinic Preceptor in the Internal Medicine Ambulatory Care Clinic. Dr. Train’s academic interests include medical education, quality improvement and high value care.  She serves as Medical Director for the 6-1400 inpatient unit and is Director of the Quality, Safety and Inter-Professional Communication course for students in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing.  Her outside interests include spending time with her family and remaining active outdoors.

Mahala Schlagman, MD

Mahala Schlagman, MD
Assistant Program Director for Health Equity

Dr. Mahala Schlagman is the Assistant Program Director for Health Equity, overseeing residency education on the social determinants of health as well as their impact on individual patient and community health.  As a primary care doctor she serves her own patient panel and precepts residents in continuity practice. She has a particular interest in care for patients with complex medical, social and psychiatric needs. In addition, she acts as the Medical Director of a Medical Legal Partnership that provides free civil legal serves to patients at Strong Internal Medicine. Dr. Schlagman trained at Barnard College in English Literature and at Weill Medical College. She completed her residency at the University of Rochester in Internal Medicine. Outside the hospital Dr. Schlagman enjoys canoeing, hiking, and spending time with her children.

Andrea Garroway, PhD

Andrea Garroway, PhD 
Assistant Director for Communication Coaching and Wellness
Assistant Professor of Medicine 

Dr. Andrea Garroway is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Assistant Program Director for Communication Coaching and Wellness in the Internal Medicine residency, and Director of Behavioral Health Integration at Strong Internal Medicine. She teaches patient and family-centered communication skills, psychosocial medicine, and promotes physician wellness and self-care. She is a clinical psychologist and enjoys collaborating with residents and faculty on patient care as an embedded behavioral health clinician in Strong Internal Medicine. Her professional interests include integrating mental health into primary care settings and teaching trauma-informed approaches to medical care. She also is a site director and clinical supervisor for the URMC Psychology postdoctoral fellowship Integrated Care Family Track. Outside of work, she spends time with her family, plays tennis, and enjoys reading fiction.