Distinction Programs

In addition to our established curriculum, the residency program has developed a number of additional voluntary, specialized education tracks called "distinctions" that allow our residents to gain structured experience in a variety of areas.

All of our Distinction Programs have been developed by key faculty members in the Department of Medicine. These leaders serve as mentors and advisors to the residents and facilitate their success in these specialized tracks. Each is structured to allow residents to achieve Distinctions within their three-year residency curriculum. Residents that successfully achieve Distinctions receive special recognition on their diplomas and at graduation, and find that these experiences afford additional opportunities during fellowship application or when seeking postgraduate employment.

Teaching & Leadership

The Distinction in Teaching & Leadership (DTL), sponsored by Drs. Kimberly Manning and Mehul Tejani, is open to interested residents at all levels. The goals of this distinction program are: 1) To provide experiences and further education beyond the standard curriculum in teaching and leadership, and 2) To aid in preparing residents for future careers in medical education and/or leadership roles. Participants will have access to:

  • DTL teaching conferences/workshops on teaching and leadership
  • Teaching portfolio preparation
  • Access to teaching opportunities throughout the medical school and residency program

Residents interested in teaching careers use this as building block toward their future role. For those who are unsure about or not interested in pursuing careers in academic medicine, the curriculum's strong focus on leadership is very useful, regardless of career path. The hands-on experience provided by each teaching opportunity builds impressive teaching portfolios and adds to our residents' CVs as demonstrable evidence of their experience as teachers.


Interested PGY1-3 residents may contact Kimberly Manning, MD at kdmanni@emory.edu.

Global Health

Enrollment: limited; application process in winter of intern year


  • To provide high quality global health education and training
  • To nurture and expand global health interest among residents
  • To broaden career opportunities for internal medicine residents
  • To increase opportunities for global health research


  • One month of dedicated global health didactics and skill building seminars
  • One month spent working in clinical settings at the Indian Health Service site in Tuba City, AZ
  • One month of clinical, research, and educational experiences at one of international sites (Ethiopia, India, and the Republic of Georgia)

Resident outcomes:

  • Opportunities for scholarly project from QI initiative at Tuba City and Ethiopia site
  • Global Health Distinctions Program lunch conference presentation
  • Future careers include EIS fellowship at the CDC, all subspecialty fellowships, staff physician at Indian Health Services sites, and additional degrees, including MPH/MSCR, Fogarty Fellowship, Preventive Medicine residency

Interested PGY-1 residents may contact Russell Kempker rkempke@emory.edu or Paulina Rebolledo preboll@emory.eduLearn more

Social Medicine

The Social Medicine Distinction Program aims to equip medical professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to address the social determinants of health and advocate for their patients. The elective is the core piece of the Social Medicine Distinction. Though it is not a requirement, many of its components are. In addition, residents should identify a mentor and a longitudinal project and complete community service/work over the three years of residency. The elective is a month (February or March of PGY2 or PGY3 year) in which residents build their schedule of experiential activities. Participants in this program have the opportunity to:

  • Deepen their understanding of the social determinants of health, patient advocacy, and health disparities through service learning and experiential activities in the community
  • Learn where our patients come from “outside the office visit” by conducting home visits and touring a homeless shelter, jail, and "safety-net" nursing home
  • Gain insight into the physician's role in advocacy through interactions with state and local political figures and hospital administrators
  • Conduct a scholarly service learning with a community-based project
  • See first-hand implementation of social determinants in clinical (IDP, FCHD TB, etc.) and non-clinical settings (needle exchange program, ACT, etc.)
  • Hone skills of formal advocacy, motivational interviewing, and addressing health literacy
  • Debrief and socialize with like-minded individuals seeking to improve care for disadvantaged populations
  • Serve the local community via Meals on Wheels, Hunger Walk, etc.
  • Attend lectures (Race and Bias, Disparities in Organ Transplants, Advocacy, Homeless Medicine, Health Care in the Correctional Facility, Health Literacy)
  • Graduate residency with a Distinction in Social Medicine

All participants are involved in advocacy efforts at the state level, all will write a letter to the editor and/or policy memo, and all will complete a project that will result in a poster presentation at the Annual Social Medicine Forum. Projects may be submitted for posters and oral presentations, both at the local and national level, and as journal articles. Residents who graduate with a Distinction in Social Medicine go on to many different careers in general medicine and subspecialties. Many choose to work with an underserved population and/or engage in advocacy efforts.


Open enrollment. Interested PGY1-3 residents may contact Maura George, MD at maura.george@emory.edu.

HIV Medicine

The HIV Medicine Distinction Program aims to provide comprehensive primary and specialty care to patients living with HIV/AIDS.

Participants in this program have the opportunity to:

  • Obtain extensive experience in the comprehensive outpatient care of HIV/AIDS
  • Participate in the HIV Primary Care Elective rotation
  • Train with experts in HIV at the Ponce de Leon Center (Infectious Diseases at Ponce IDP) 
  • Initiate and manage combined antiretroviral therapy
  • Graduate residency with a Distinction in HIV Medicine

Distinction activities: HIV Primary Care elective rotation, longitudinal HIV clinic experience at Grady IDP

Resident outcomes: Graduating residents have proceeded in careers as generalist physicians and infectious disease specialists with a focus in HIV/AIDS. Several have achieved credentialing as HIV Specialists via the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM).
Open enrollment. Interested PGY1-3 residents may contact Schuyler Livingston, MD at slivingston@emory.eduLearn more

Medical Innovation

Participants in this integrated program have the opportunity to:

  • Pair with a mentor with expertise in the rapidly evolving field of medical innovation
  • Complete formal and/or informal educational training in the area of medical innovation
  • Serve as a senior physician mentor to a team involved medical innovation
  • Volunteer in a service capacity with an institutional program or commercial organization focused on medical innovation
  • Participate in design opportunities in the area of medical innovation
  • Graduate residency with a Distinction in Medical Innovation

The Distinction in Medical Innovation will be awarded to those residents who take the initiative to learn, integrate, apply, and promote the use of medical innovation in their health care practice. Specifically, the components of the distinction curriculum will focus on the discovery and development of medical innovation to improve the health of individuals, populations, or health care systems in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, devices, mHealth (mobile health), and health care information technology (IT). The program will ensure that each resident achieves tailored competencies in health care innovation, development and scholarship, and/or research in medical innovation with the potential to positively impact patient care and/or health care systems.


Activities: Quarterly meetings with invited speaker covering medical innovation area, agendas for meetings, and literature in the space of medical innovation

Resident outcomes: Residents learn about medical innovation resources within Emory, Georgia Tech, and Atlanta. Many go on with skills to be independent physician entrepreneurs. Recent projects include a heart failure weight monitoring app and an arrhythmia-monitoring watch, both of which are currently being studied by residents in their target populations.


Open enrollment. Interested PGY1-3 residents may contact Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD at ldifran@emory.edu.

Quality Improvement

Participants in the Quality Improvement Distinction program, sponsored by Drs. Nurcan Ilksoy and Tracey Henry, have the opportunity to:

  • Contribute to faculty-led improvement projects
  • Participate in health services research
  • Develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to improve clinical, service, and/or cost outcomes
  • Broaden career opportunities in health system operations and leadership
  • Graduate residency with a Distinction in Quality Improvement


  • Understand the concepts of quality improvement and patient safety
  • Lead, coordinate or participate in the design and implementation of QI initiatives at practice, and system levels, using a collaborative multidisciplinary team approach

Residents will have an opportunity to work as a team in best practices, QI, and patient safety teams in inpatient and outpatient settings, working closely with IT, nursing staff, and faculty. They will participate in scholarship in a variety of venues, including:

  • Regional and national meetings
  • Grand Rounds presentations
  • Emory's annual QI conference
  • Abstract and manuscript writing and publication
  • Utilizing QI-PS skills and experiences for future careers in primary care, hospital medicine, specialties, or leadership positions in QI-PS, both in academic and private settings
      Open enrollment. Interested PGY1-3 residents may contact Nurcan Ilksoy, MD at nilksoy@emory.edu.

Inpatient/Hospital Medicine

The Distinction in Inpatient Medicine program, sponsored by Drs. Noble Maleque and Annie Massart, aims to help participants develop knowledge and skills in various aspects of inpatient care processes and systems of care, extending beyond clinical care of hospitalized patients.


  • Participate in curriculum/didactic sessions on topics related to inpatient medicine
  • Participate in Division of Hospital Medicine journal club (hosted by division director)
  • Attend chapter meetings of the Society of Hospital Medicine
  • Targeted mentorship with faculty involved with hospital medicine for career counseling and/or research
  • Engage in quality improvement projects under the direction of faculty mentors
  • Network with hospital and administrative leaders in hospital-based care

Resident outcomes:

  • Become members of the Society of Hospital Medicine with access to online curriculum and resources
  • Prepare abstracts and presentations at the institutional and regional level
  • Gain knowledge to prepare for a career after training in both academic and community settings

Open enrollment. Interested PGY1-3 residents may contact Noble Maleque, MD at mmnoble@emory.edu.