Guidance for IMGs Matching in Internal Medicine in 2021 - Panelist Bios

Catherine Apaloo, MD, FACP
Designated Institutional Official
Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Clinical Associate Professor, AU/UGA Medical Partnership
APDIM Councilor
Piedmont Athens Regional

Catherine Apaloo, MD, FACP, completed her medical education at the University of Ghana Medical School. She was an intern and junior resident at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a senior resident and chief resident at the Hospital of Saint Raphael, Yale New Haven, in Connecticut, where she was a member of the faculty until 2004. After serving as the Program Director of the Transitional Program at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut for 5 years, she was appointed the Program Director of the Internal Medicine Program. She moved to Athens, Georgia, in 2014 to become the founding program director of their new internal medicine residency program. She is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership.

Dr. Apaloo is passionate about teaching, focusing on presentation skills, end-of-life medicine, ethics, women in medicine, and social determinants of health.

She has been the recipient of several teaching awards and received the Connecticut Chapter ACP Laureate Award in 2013.

She is a member and author of the ACP High Value Care curriculum committee. She was a recipient of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine faculty development grant for high value care in 2014. She is currently a nationally recognized medical educator and serves on the Alliance of Academic Medicine Internal Medicine Program Directors Council.

She is married and has three children.

Stephen J. Knohl, MD
Residency Program Director and Vice Chair for Education
Professor of Medicine
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Stephen J. Knohl, MD, has been employed as a faculty member at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, since 2003 after completing (also at SUNY) his medical school, internal medicine residency, chief residency, and nephrology fellowship between 1993 and 2003. He is currently a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology (where he also served as interim chief between May 2018 and May 2020) and Residency Program Director and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine (positions he has held since 2008 and 2011, respectively). 

His clinical interests are in metabolic stone disease, and he has authored publications and presented at national meetings on the subject. His educational interests are twofold. The first is graduate medical education financing, in which he has again authored publications and presented nationally on program design based on the value of the 21st-century house officer. The second is physician communication with patients, peers, and students, in which he launched the Learning To TALK (Treat All Like Kin) standardized program in 2008 and co-orchestrated the development of ETTA (Education Through Theater Arts) in partnership with Syracuse University in 2012.

Dr. Knohl has received funding from the Macy Foundation (in partnership with SUNY’s Department of Bioethics) and Picker Institute to support his latter educational interest, which has resulted in some of the modules being adopted by the American College of Physicians' Ethics and Professionalism Case Studies. Dr. Knohl has been recognized by students, housestaff, and colleagues for his contributions in teaching and clinical care, including receiving the 2018 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award given by the graduating medical school class in addition to the SUNY 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

William W. Pinsky, MD, FAAP, FACC
ECFMG President and CEO
FAIMER Board Chair

William W. Pinsky, MD, FAAP, FACC, is a pediatric cardiologist and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and Board Chair of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), ECFMG’s nonprofit foundation. Dr. Pinsky is currently a member of the Executive Council of the World Federation for Medical Education.

In conjunction with the World Federation for Medical Education, Dr. Pinsky is leading the initiative to harmonize standards of medical school accreditation globally through the ECFMG|FAIMER 2024 medical school accreditation requirement. Dr. Pinsky is a frequent featured speaker at medical schools, regulatory agency conferences, and medical societies throughout the world. He is a recognized expert in global medical education and health care issues.

Before joining ECFMG in mid-2016, Dr. Pinsky was Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of the Ochsner Health System (OHS). He also served as Executive Vice President for Ochsner International and Professor and Head at the Ochsner Clinical School, a U.S. partner of The University of Queensland School of Medicine in Australia that he founded. Dr. Pinsky retains an Honorary Professor title from The University of Queensland. He graduated from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and trained at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Before joining Ochsner Health System, Dr. Pinsky held a number of senior academic and executive roles at Wayne State University School of Medicine (including Associate Dean) in Detroit and the Detroit Medical Center. He has been a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Nebraska, Tulane University, and Wayne State University, in addition to The University of Queensland.

Dr. Pinsky has served on the boards of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education; and Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers, where he also served as president. Dr. Pinsky works closely with the leadership of numerous domestic and global medical education and regulatory institutions, including the National Board of Medical Examiners, United States Medical Licensing Examination, Federation of State Medical Boards, American Medical Association, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, American Board of Medical Specialties, Association for Hospital Medical Education, The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, Association for Medical Education in Europe, International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities, and World Federation for Medical Education.

He is the founder of Racing For Kids®, a 501(c)(3) foundation that uses professional motorsports to promote the health care needs of children and children's hospitals. Dr. Pinsky is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, and American College of Chest Physicians. His most recent honors include the Leadership Award for the Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences, presented by The University of Queensland in 2015, and The Founders Award, presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013.

Abby L. Spencer, MD, MS, FACP
Immediate Past Internal Medicine Residency Program Director
Professor of Medicine
APDIM Councilor
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Clinic

Abby Spencer, MD, MS, FACP, is immediate past Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and Vice Chair for Education for the Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Spencer graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's of science degree in behavioral neuroscience from Tulane University and received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2002. In 2005, Dr. Spencer completed her primary care internal medicine residency at the New York–Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell Medical Center. In 2007, she completed a fellowship in general internal medicine with a concentration in women’s health and earned a master’s degree in medical education from the University of Pittsburgh.

In her role as director of the internal medicine residency program, Dr. Spencer oversaw curriculum development, program innovation, teaching, mentoring, the cultivation of her leadership team, and faculty development. She has delivered over 150 faculty development/educational courses and workshops nationally, regionally, and locally for medical educators. Dr. Spencer is part of the core curriculum team of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Excellence in Coaching and Mentoring and teaches advanced peer coach training courses. She has won numerous national awards and recognition for her teaching, educational scholarship, mentorship, and leadership. These include the 2016 Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and Association of Chiefs and Leaders of General Internal Medicine (ACLGIM) National Brancati Leadership and Mentorship Award; the 2017 SGIM National Scholarship in Education Award; and the 2020 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award, which honors program directors who find innovative ways to teach residents and provide quality health care. She was awarded the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Professional Staff Women’s Champion Award in 2020, which recognizes contributions to the advancement, development, and well-being of the women professional staff at Cleveland Clinic. Her residency program leadership team was recently the recipient of two Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine innovations grants, as well as two Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education back-to-the-bedside innovations grants. Her residency leadership team has also won over a dozen Case Western Reserve University scholarship in teaching awards over the past 3 years.

Dr. Spencer has held leadership positions in many national organizations, including serving on the SGIM education, mentoring, and annual planning committees and acting as founding faculty for the organization's National TEACH certificate program. She also was a member of the Association for Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) program planning committee and developed and co-chaired their national mentoring program. She participated on the National Quality and Safety Educators Academy steering committee and was founding faculty and was elected to national Association for Program Directors in Internal Medicine Council, where she is currently serving a 3-year term In 2018 to 2019, Dr. Spencer proudly led the first all-women internal medicine chief resident team at Cleveland Clinic! Dr. Spencer was selected to be an Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine fellow in their 2020 to 2021 class.

Her passion and skill for teaching were recognized by the popular ACP-sponsored podcast “The Curbsiders.” They invited Dr. Spencer to be their first guest host for a new series focused on resident teaching and leadership skills titled “Dare to Lead—Navigating the Residency Transition,” which has been downloaded more than 50,000 times. Dr. Spencer was invited back to "The Curbsiders" to broadcast “Highlights and Teaching Pearls as a Recap” live from the SGIM 2019 national meeting and again in September 2020 to broadcast “Delivering Effective Feedback”. Also in September 2020 Dr. Spencer was guest host on the Leadership Edge podcast entitled “Leading by Teaching”. She also delivered a National Webinar for the American Medical Women's Association mentoring committee titled “Maximizing Your Mentoring Relationships.” Dr. Spencer was inducted as a fellow (professor-level distinguished achievement) to the Case Western Reserve University Academy of Scholar Educators in March 2019. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family outdoors, at the theater, and cheering on the Steelers or Pitt Panthers.