Leadership Transitions in the College of Medicine

After serving as the chair of Internal Medicine since 2015, Joseph Zarconi, M.D., FACP (’81), professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, has retired from this role, effective Feb. 28, to focus on teaching full-time.

Dr. Zarconi co-founded and co-leads the longitudinal Reflective Practice program. He teaches in the Clinical Epilogue and Capstone course (which he helped develop) and serves as medical director of the Social Justice Pathway in the College of Medicine.

“As chair of internal medicine, Dr. Zarconi has provided sound leadership, always putting students at the center of his work,” said Eugene Mowad, M.D., interim dean of the College of Medicine. “He has spent many hours meeting with and mentoring students interested in pursuing internal medicine and writing numerous letters of recommendation. He and his team have provided valuable oversight of many aspects of the College of Medicine curriculum, especially the M2 Diagnosis and Treatment (formerly POMS) Course and the M3 Internal Medicine Clerkships. Dr. Zarconi has also been integral in the development of the Center for Integrated and Primary Mental Health Care, which combines the efforts of the departments of Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Family Medicine and Pediatrics and aims to create unique educational experiences and care delivery models that integrate the primary care and mental health disciplines.”

While Dr. Zarconi is no longer chair, he will remain as a full-time tenured professor of medicine, involved in many elements of the COM curriculum. He will continue to serve as clinical director for health humanities education, and as clinical dyad leader for the Patient, Physician and Community Course.

Joining NEOMED as the interim chair of the Department of Internal Medicine is College of Medicine alumnus Mehool Patel, M.D. (’98), who began in the role March 1.

Dr. Patel is a clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and has served as hematology/oncology section chair; clinical dyad leader for the Foundations of Disease and Treatment course; and course director for informatics in the College of Graduate Studies. He has long been actively involved in NEOMED and the curriculum, having served a vital role on the College of Medicine curriculum committee; as an elective director for Hematology and Oncology in the M4 year; and as a reflective practice leader for Human Values in Medicine.

Dr. Patel is an associate chief health officer at Watson Health for Provider Analytics and a practicing hematologist/oncologist at Summa Health. He has served on NEOMED’s Foundation Board, Alumni Board and the College of Medicine Admissions Committee.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Zarconi for his service as chair and welcoming Dr. Patel to his new role!

Surgery Leadership Transition

The College of Medicine is excited to welcome Drazen Petrinec, M.D., (’89), associate professor of surgery, as the new interim chair of the Department of Surgery, effective March 1.

Dr. Petrinec takes on this role after long involvement in NEOMED’s surgery clerkship education. He has been the surgery clerkship director at Summa Health since 2003 and the M3 surgical experiential director since 2018.

Following his training in general and vascular surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Washington University Barnes-Jewish Hospitals in St. Louis, respectively, Dr. Petrinec joined Summa Health as a vascular surgeon in 1996. He has served as the medical director of the Summa Health Wound Care Center since 2001.

Departing as interim surgery chair is Nancy Gantt, M.D., who served in the role since 2020.

While chair, Dr. Gantt served as a mentor to many students interested in pursuing surgery as a specialty. She advised NEOMED’s surgery interest group and the Association of Women Surgeons Medical Student Chapter, making students aware of opportunities available within the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Gantt provided oversight for faculty appointments, promotions and evaluations for surgery faculty as well as participating in the College of Medicine’s LCME accreditation process, meeting with the LCME team as part of the clinical chairs group.

Dr. Gantt will maintain her role as professor in the Department of Surgery and continue to guide and inspire our students.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Petrinec to this new role and thanking Dr. Gantt for her service.

Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs

The College of Medicine is pleased to welcome Giselle G. Hamad, M.D., FACS, FASMBS, to the role of associate dean for Clinical Affairs.

In this role, Dr. Hamad will provide leadership and oversight of College of Medicine clinical faculty and serve as the College’s senior liaison to sites that provide clinical education to students. She will collaborate with internal and external stakeholders and will be responsible for the strategic oversight of clinical partnerships, engaging with and developing the clinical faculty who volunteer their time and expertise to educate College of Medicine students.

Dr. Hamad will begin her NEOMED role in March. She succeeds Linda Lawrence, M.D., who departed in December 2021.

Dr. Hamad received her undergraduate degree from MIT and her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her general surgery residency at Virginia Commonwealth University and a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

At UPMC, where Dr. Hamad is a professor of surgery, she has served as director of surgical education, associate residency program director, and advisory dean for the School of Medicine. She is a board-certified peer physician coach and will continue to utilize her coaching credentials in this role.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Hamad!

--Submitted by Jennifer Lint, M.Ed., M.P.A., director of Administration and Communications, College of Medicine

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