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Program Faculty

Herrman L. Blumgart Internal Medicine Firm


Firm Chief: C.Christopher Smith, MD

Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Co-Director Rabkin Fellowship Medical Education
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Smith is a general internist in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medial Center and an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received a BS degree in biology with Presidential Honors in 1992 from Loyola University and received his MD summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1999 and was awarded the Lowell B. McGee Award for excellence in teaching. After serving as Chief Medical Resident, Dr. Smith completed the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education at the Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education and Research. Prior to becoming the Associate Director for the Medical Residency Program, he served as the Associate Medical Director of Healthcare Associates, the internal medicine teaching practice at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is involved in the creation and implementation of a unique inpatient medical procedure service designed to enhance resident education, improve patient safety, and provide a means to assess trainee competency in these medical procedures. In addition, he investigates the use of central venous line simulators to improve resident skill and to reduce adverse events. Dr. Smith is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the Herrman L. Blumgart Faculty Award, the S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Society of General Internal Medicine National Award for Scholarship in Medical Education. He is the Associate Chief of the Blumgart Medical Firm, the Co-Director of the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School, teaches in a variety of local and national venues, and publishes on an assortment of topics.

Kurland Firm Internal Medicine Firm


Firm Chief: James Heffernan, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Medical Director, Healthcare Associates and
Associate Division Chief, Division of General Medicine


Dr. Heffernan is the Medical Director of Healthcare Associates (HCA), the academic, hospital-based, primary care practice of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Kurland Firm Chief. In his role as Medical Director of HCA, Dr. Heffernan oversees the care of a diverse and medically complex population of 40,000 patients who seek care at the level of 100,000 visits annually with their providers in HCA - faculty, housestaff, nurse practitioners and licensed clinical social workers. As Kurland Firm Chief, he works on the inpatient service teaching, mentoring and supporting the quarter of the medical housestaff assigned to Kurland Firm for the 3 years of their training.

Dr. Heffernan is a cum laude graduate in Chemistry from Harvard College and an Alpha Omega Alpha and magna cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Medicine. He did his housestaff training followed by a Chief Residency at the Boston City Hospital and joined the faculty at BCH and the Boston University School of Medicine in July 1981. He served in a number of roles during the following 15 years at BCH: primary care physician, emergency department physician and paramedic control physician, Director of the General Medicine Consultation Service, Associate Director of the inpatient medical service, and others. He obtained his Masters in Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health in 1992.

In July of 1996 he joined the faculty of the Beth Israel Hospital as the Medical Director of HCA, a role he has held to the present.

Dr. Heffernan has edited/authored one medical textbook on acute care medicine and has contributed chapters to a number of ambulatory texts. His clinical interests include back pain, consultation medicine, the medical effects of alcohol and the management of alcohol withdrawal and the use of newer technologies in supporting medical decision-making. He has been a regular speaker at CME courses at both BU and Harvard and more recently at PriMed. He has received teaching awards as a faculty member at both BCH and BIDMC. He has also been active in the Society of General Internal Medicine, as a founder of their Innovations in Practice Management initiative and chairman of a number of review committees. He served on the SGIM National Program Committee as a committee chairperson for the 2008 meeting.

Dr. Heffernan is married to M. Anita Barry, MD, MPH, the Director of Communicable Disease Control for the City of Boston and an infectious diseases specialist and Director of the Tuberculosis Clinic at Boston Medical Center. They have two children - Caity, a rising first year veterinary student and Tim, a rising college freshman. They live, with their two golden retrievers, on the South Shore.

Associate Firm Chief: John Doweiko, MD


Dr. Doweiko was born and raised in Rhode Island and recieved his undergraduate degree at at Providence College and graduated from Brown University for Medical School. After completed his internship and residency at the old New England Deaconess Hospital, Dr. Doweiko was the Chief Medical Resident. His completed his fellowship training (in both infectious diseases and in hematology-oncology) at the Brigham and Women's Hospital . In 1991, Dr. Doweiko became part of the Medical Staff at the Deaconess Hospital. He is a member of the Division of Infectious Disease and the Division of Hematology and Oncology.

The majority of his time is spent doing clinical work and teaching. Dr. Doweiko is involved in several clinical research trials using new medications to treat HIV infection and the oncologic complications of HIV infection. He is also doing some basic science research on the interactions of glycated hemoglobin and platelet function.

Dr. Doweiko is the Associate Chief of the Kurland Firm and has been awarded several awards for teaching in the inpatient and outpatient settings both from the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and the Harvard Medical School.

Stephen H. Robinson Internal Medicine Firm


Firm Chief: Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Clinical Chief, Division of Rheumatology


Dr. Shmerling is a graduate of Tufts University (1979) and Harvard Medical School (1983); he completed his internship and residency training at Beth Israel Hospital in 1986 and a combined Primary Care and Rheumatology Fellowship at Beth Israel and Brigham and Women's Hospital in 1989. He is currently an Associate Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is an active teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program, serving as Associate Firm Chief of the Robinson Firm from 1991 to 1998 and as its Firm Chief from 1998 through the present. He is also co-director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program. His clinical interests include gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. He has published research and review articles exploring the usefulness of commonly ordered diagnostic tests including the rheumatoid factor, anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) and analyses of synovial fluid. Currently, he is working on a study examining the early experience with anti-cyclic citrullinated protein (anti-CCP) testing. He also serves as a Senior Editor of Internet Publishing at Harvard Health Publications and is a regular reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, Arthritis and Rheumatism and Arthritis Care and Research.

He is married to Lisa Carron Shmerling, an attorney, and has 2 daughters, ages 18 and 21.

Associate Firm Chief: Wendy Stead, MD

Assistant Program Director, Infectious Disease Fellowship
Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School



Dr.Stead is an Infectious Diseases specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She received her bachelor's degree in English Literature from George Washington University and her MD from the University of Massachusetts. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2000, staying on to serve as a Chief Medical Resident. She completed her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at BIDMC in 2003 and joined the faculty with a joint appointment in both the division of Infectious Diseases and the division of General Medicine and Primary Care.

She has been actively involved in teaching at both BIDMC and HMS. She served as Co-director of the Medicine Subinternship at BIDMC before assuming her current positions as Assistant Program Director of the ID fellowship and Associate Firm Chief of the Robinson Medical Firm. As a faculty member since 2003, she has won teaching awards in the Department of Medicine and the Infectious Diseases division. She is a regular lecturer at several Harvard CME courses. She completed a Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education at the Carl J.Shapiro Institute for Education and Research in 2010 during which she studied the effects of Interprofessional Education Strategies on the specialty stereotypes and collaborative attitudes of Infectious Diseases and Cardiology fellow trainees.

Dr.Stead is married to Jay Jakimczyk, a pediatrician practicing in Acton MA. They have two children, Nicky age 4 and Isabel age 7 and one frog, age unknown.





James Tullis Internal Medicine Firm


Firm Chief:George Eliopoulos, MD

Director, House Staff Affairs
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Eliopoulos is the Director of the Office of House Staff Affairs, in the Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Chief of the James L. Tullis Firm on the Medical Service. He is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Division of Infectious Diseases at BIDMC. Dr. Eliopoulos is a graduate of Harvard College and of Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, in New York, where he also served as Chief Medical Resident, followed by fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Eliopoulos has been actively involved in the internal medicine training program since joining the faculty of the Department of Medicine in 1982, having previously served as Program Director and as director of internship recruitment activities. Dr. Eliopoulos maintains laboratory research and clinical interests in antimicrobial action and bacterial resistance. He is an author of over 140 original articles and numerous reviews and book chapters. He is an Editor of the Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy and the special section Editor for the Antimicrobial Resistance section of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and as Chair of the Antimicrobial Chemotherapy division of the American Society for Microbiology. He also currently serves as a member of the subcommittee on antimicrobial susceptibility testing of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.

Associate Firm Chief: Leonor Fernandez, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Medical Director, BIDMC Schwartz Rounds


Dr. Fernandez is a general internist at BIDMC in the Division of General Medicine and Primary care and Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She received her BA from Princeton University and her MD degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine training at Boston City Hospital, where she co-founded the Latino Clinic.

At BIDMC she serves as Associate Firm Chief for the Tullis Medical Firm where she plays a leading role in teaching medical residents. She also teaches the cultural competence curriculum for the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program. Dr. Fernandez is Medical Director of Schwartz Rounds at BIDMC, a very well-attended inter-disciplinary forum on the human and social dilemmas in healthcare.

Dr. Fernandez' current work focuses on reducing disparities in health outcomes and she is the associate Course Director for a new Harvard CME course, "Getting to Equal: Strategies for Improving Care for All Patients". Her workshops are designed to teach communication skills and highlight institutional changes that help clinicians understand and transcend many common cultural, linguistic and social barriers in the doctor-patient relationship. She has particular expertise in the field of immigrant health and speaks many languages. She is married to George Philippides, a cardiologist, and they have two sons, ages 4 and 8.

Contact Information

Residency Training Program
Internal Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
West Campus, Deaconess Building, Suite 306
One Deaconess Road
Boston, MA 02215
617-632-8273
617-632-8261
medinternship@bidmc.harvard.edu