The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

The University of Tennessee Department of Medicine

The Department of Medicine

The Department of Medicine is the largest department in the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine (UTGSM). The UTGSM is the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (UTHSC). The Department is comprised of 15 Divisions and 146 full time, part time, and volunteer faculty.  The primary focus of the department is the training of medical residents. We also provide clinical training for third and fourth year medical students, who are primarily enrolled at the UTHSC Memphis campus.  We currently offer fellowship training in Cardiovascular Diseases, Interventional Cardiology and Pulmonary Medicine/Critical Care Medicine.  All of our training programs are fully accredited by ACGME.

Training Facilities

Clinical training is provided mainly at the nationally ranked University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) and affiliated clinics located in Knoxville.  Our trainees and faculty are committed to providing exceptional patient care in a collegial environment, and several divisions are nationally recognized for their excellence.  We have the twin advantages of being an academic training program without being a large one, where each trainee is well known and recognized for their achievements.  We offer several unique programs that encourage our trainees to be critical thinkers; and that prepare them for the ever changing needs of healthcare, both in the current milieu and also for the future.  In addition to our experienced faculty, we have outstanding support from ancillary staff in both the hospital and ambulatory clinic settings.  We have a robust basic science research program, are rapidly expanding our clinical research, and have ongoing collaborations with other research institutions in and around Knoxville.

Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Medicine is to help physicians in training acquire the knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary to become competent, compassionate physicians who possess a lifetime love of medicine, learning, and teaching; to provide an organization for the delivery of excellent medical care from both the generalists and specialists in the field of Internal Medicine; and to provide an invigorating environment for basic and clinical research. Our enthusiastic and experienced clinical and research faculty are dedicated to the fulfillment of this mission.


Alfred Soffer Award for the best original research presentation at the American College of Chest Physicians Annual Meeting in October 2021

  • Dr. Francisco Soto MD, MS, FCCP, Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, and his team conducted a study titled ”High-Flow Nasal Cannula FIO2 cutoffs Identified Early in the Hospital Course are Associated with Increased Mortality Risk in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19”. This study was presented by Dr. Milind Bhagat, pulmonary/critical care medicine fellow, at the American College of Chest Physicians International Meeting in October 2021. This research received the Alfred Soffer research award for the most outstanding original scientific research presentation at the conference.

Posted 1/26/22

Awards won at the Annual Meeting of the Tennessee American College of Physicians Meeting in October 2021

  • Daphne Norwood MD MPH FACP, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine received the Chapter Service Award

  • Joshua Pickett DO, second year resident in the Department of Medicine received FIrst Prize in the Resident/Fellow Clinical Vignette competition

  • Ethan Pollack, UTHSC M4 student won First Prize, Medical Student Clinic Vignette Presentation. He was mentored by residents and faculty in the Department of Medicine at the UT Graduate School of Medicine-Knoxville

  • Caroline Rader, UTHSC M3 student won Second Prize, Medical Student Clinical Vignette Presentation. She was mentored by residents and faculty in the Department of Medicine at the UT Graduate School of Medicine-Knoxville

(Both First and Second Prizes for the Medical Student Clinical Vignette Presentations were given to students who rotated with us in Knoxville).

Posted 1/26/22

Joint CPC Conference

One of the newest additions to the UT Graduate School of Medicine didactic curriculum is the Multidisciplinary Clinical Pathology Conference. Initiated in February 2020, this conference involves a joint effort by residents and attendings from Internal Medicine, Radiology, and Pathology, as well as occasional subspecialty services, such as Cardiology or Hematology/Oncology. Cases are selected due to their unique characteristics, such as a rare diagnosis or an unusual clinical presentation.

Presentations generally begin with a patient case presented by a senior IM resident, outlining the history of present illness, patient history, and brief workup.  After this, a differential diagnosis is formulated and elaborated on by a faculty discussant. Audience participation discussing the likelihood of etiologies based on this information provides attendees with valuable clinical knowledge and great discussion.

Imaging findings are presented by Radiology residents who participated in the patient’s care, offering valuable expertise beyond the individual patient’s scenario and exposure to imaging not regularly available to IM residents during other conferences. Discussion and education regarding appropriate imaging tests and evaluation techniques for the suspected diagnosis are invaluable to continuing to improve patient care.

Each conference also contains a pathology component, with findings and photomicrographs presented and expanded on by pathology residents and/or attendings. This offers a definitive diagnosis for the patient’s case and information related to the pathogenesis of the disease.  Treatment options and follow-up then conclude the presentation with ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

These conferences are generally held once each quarter and are brilliant additions to the current didactic schedule. The best part: they are interactive and participation with questions or comments from attendees is encouraged!

Congratulations to our recent graduates!

Omar Alsharif, MD: Hospitalist for Tennova
North, Knoxville, TN & PRN Hospitalist for UTH at
UTMC, Knoxville, TN
Kathryn Coombes, MD: Primary Care Physician
for Internal Medicine Associates at Summit Medical
Group, Powell, TN
Nikhil Jain, MD:
Hospitalist for UTH at UTMC, Knoxville, TN
Morgan Morelli, MD: Infectious Diseases
Fellowship at Case Western University Hospital,
Cleveland, OH
Austin Nunemaker, DO: Hospitalist for UTH at
UTMC, Knoxville, TN
Kristin O’Connor, MD: Primary Care Physician
for University Internal Medicine at UTMC,
Knoxville, TN
Clinton Phillips, MD: Hospitalist for UTH at
UTMC, Knoxville, TN
Scott Shubeck, DO: Hospitalist for StatCare
Medicine, Knoxville, TN
Bryan Walker, MD:
Infectious Diseases
Fellowship at University of Nebraska Medical Center
in Omaha, NE
Sam Walker, DO: Hospitalist for UTH at UTMC,
Knoxville, TN
Jimmy Wang, MD: Infectious Disease Fellowship
at University of Miami/Jackson Health System in
Miami, FL
Heidi Worth, MD: Hematology and Oncology
Hospitalist and Assistant Professor at the Medical
College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Dr. Mark Rasnake Discusses the Delta Variant of COVID-19 on WUOT

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus currently makes up about 83% of all cases of COVID-19 in the United States and case counts continue to rise. Dr. Carole Myers, Professor in the University of Tennessee College of Nursing speaks with Dr. Mark Rasnake, associate professor, residency program director and board-certified infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at The University of Tennessee Medical Center, to help us understand what is going on with the Delta variant and the implications of the current situation. Listen to their discussion.

UTGSM Announces the Wahid T. Hanna MD Endowed Chair for the Department of Medicine

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Posted 5/27/21 

Dr. Jonathan Wall Has Been Appointed a University Distinguished Professor at UTHSC

Jonathan Wall, PhD, a Professor and Director of Research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Graduate School of Medicine, has been appointed as a University Distinguished Professor.

The title is reserved for those who have contributed in a superlative way to UTHSC and brought distinction and respect to the university. Dr. Wall's appointment comes from UTHSC Graduate School of Medicine Dean Paul J. Hauptman, MD, and UTHSC Chancellor Steve Schwab, MD.

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Posted 5/17/21

Read more Department of Medicine Highlights

The "In Touch" Newsletter

In Touch is produced by the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine's Department of Medicine. The mission of the newsletter is to build pride in the Department of Medicine by communicating the accessible, collaborative and human aspects of the department while highlighting pertinent achievements and activities.

In Touch is published each quarter and features faculty and resident news, upcoming events, and awards and accomplishments. As an institute of learning and discovery, the newsletter highlights how the Department of Medicine contributes to a global body of medical knowledge through various scholarly activities.

Read the latest edition of the In Touch newsletter.

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