The Department of Medicine is committed to the career development and growth of our faculty. The goal of this program is to provide faculty with access to peer coaches for academic and personal development.
Peer coaches undergo training to become experts in helping guide faculty through important professional milestones such as career transitions, leadership development, promotions, work life integration and burnout.
See Peer Coaching FAQs here
How is Coaching Different from Mentoring?
Coaching and mentoring share some similarities, but their goals are very different.
Coaching is usually a short-term relationship where the goal is to determine the step toward desired professional or personal outcomes.
Mentoring relationships are typically long-term, one-on-one relationships where the mentor has skill set or expertise and they help the mentee develop those skills sets over time. For more information on campus mentoring, please visit the NUCATS Mentoring Consultation Services website.
Cybele Ghossein, MD
Vice Chair for Academic and Faculty Affairs, Department of Medicine Professor of Medicine (Nephrology and Hypertension)
I am clinical nephrologist and have been on faculty at Northwestern for 20 years. I am currently the Associate Chief for Clinical Operations in Nephrology and the Vice Chair of Academic and Faculty Affairs in the Department of Medicine. My goal is to provide the support that faculty need to succeed. I value the relationships and collaborations that I have established and want to ensure that our faculty benefit from all that Northwestern has to offer. When I am not at work, you may find me spending time with family or friends, running on the lake front or reading a good novel.
Meet our Peer Coaches
Michael P Angarone, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Medical Education
I am a member of the Division of Infectious Diseases and have been on faculty since 2009. My professional interest is in medical education, at the undergraduate and graduate level. For the past 6 years, I have been the Clerkship Director for the Medicine Sub-Internship for Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. I am a core faculty member for the Internal Medicine Residency Program and an Associate Program Director for the Infectious Diseases Fellowship. During my time as a medical educator, I have had the opportunity to coach and mentor numerous medical students, residents, and fellows. It has been a privilege to help these individuals find the right path for their career, and to watch them progress in their career as a physician. As a peer coach, I plan on utilizing my experiences with trainees to help fellow physicians identify a career path and find the best way to achieve their goals. When I am not at work, I spend my time reading, listening to music, or playing board games with my wife and two boys.
Gopi J Astik, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine)
As a Medical Director of Clinical Documentation, I spend time teaching students, residents, faculty and nurses about the importance of documentation and how we can best accurately describe the acuity of our patients. Professionally, I also serve as a medical director of an inpatient unit, where I am often discussing difficult cases, family discussions and improving communication across the care spectrum. Both of these roles allow for education and coaching in different fields and I am excited for the opportunity to work with more people in my role as a peer coach.
Jennifer A Bierman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics) and Medical Education
Almost 20 years ago, I was asked to speak on work/life balance, and I have been mulling over this concept ever since. I am primarily an outpatient general medicine physician but spend a few weeks a year on the inpatient side. I am heavily involved in medical student education, and for the past 15 years I have spent half of my time running the primary care curriculum for Feinberg. I am married with 3 nearly grown children and the integration of my work and personal life ebbed and flowed as my children grew, teaching me there is no perfect ‘balance’. I learned a lot along the way, and I hope to be able to continue to guide others in identifying their priorities and finding solutions to feel productive in all aspects of their work life yet maintaining personal wellness. Weekends I enjoy seeing friends and family preferably while simultaneously hiking in the woods.
John M Coleman, III, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care) and Neurology - Ken and Ruth Davee Department
I have been on the Northwestern faculty for 10 years as a member of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care medicine. As a clinician educator, I have had the great opportunity to mentor many fellows, residents and students during both my inpatient time in the Medical ICU and outpatient in the multidisciplinary ALS clinic. It was my life dream to be a physician and even though it is not easy, some days can be very challenging and exhausting, I never regret my career. Medicine is about understanding the importance of work-life balance. It is easy to get pulled in a million directions in healthcare today and lose focus of yourself and your personal life. There needs to be a healthy work-life balance to be a great physician, to do your best for your patients and expect the same for yourself. A good peer coach is someone who supports you on your journey to figure out what you want and does not come in with their own agenda. I am honored for this opportunity to work with my colleagues.
Rachel Cyrus, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine)
I joined the Northwestern faculty in 2008 in the Division of Hospital Medicine. I practice clinically and have also branched into various administrative and quality roles, currently serving as the Clinical Practice Director for the Division of Hospital Medicine and Key Medical Director for the inpatient medicine services. My coaching interests include quality improvement, creating efficient practice strategies, faculty development, and physician engagement. I have been part of numerous quality initiatives and helped with faculty development curriculum design. Personally, I like being outdoors and active when outside of work. I consider myself organized and relaxed and endorse self-forgiveness and encouragement as we navigate work and life goals and look to cultivate joy in both.
Aarati D Didwania, MD
Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics) and Medical Education
I am a member of the General Internal Medicine/Geriatrics Division and joined the faculty in 1999. I am involved in medical education starting at the undergraduate level and progressing into residency. Clinically, I am a primary care physician and run a specialty clinic caring for adult survivors of childhood cancer. Personally, I am married to a physician and have two teenage boys. I enjoy traveling and value my personal time. Over the course of two decades at Northwestern I have been a part of various institutional and personal transitions. I enjoy my time at work and pride myself on being efficient so that I can also enjoy my time at home.
John P Flaherty, MD
Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Medical Education
I am an Infectious Disease specialist with experience in clinical medicine teaching, clinical research, and both clinical and educational leadership. As a Fellowship Program Director for over 25 years at two different institutions, I have guided many fellows through their training and early professional development. As the Associate Chief and Clinical Practice Director for my first 17 years at Northwestern, I mentored many junior faculty through their early faculty development. I have done this while managing to remain married, raise five wonderful children, grandparent six beautiful grandchildren (and counting!), and maintain a life outside medicine. I have learned some difficult lessons along the way and gained a better understanding of what makes life and work meaningful. I have learned to focus my time and attention on those aspects of my professional life that give me the most joy.
Daniel R Ganger, MD
Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology) and Surgery (Organ Transplantation)
I have been mentoring younger physicians for over 30 years. I have experience in both academic and private medicine, so I have been exposed to the different environments. My strength is in coaching the younger generations in how to adapt to the flood of new knowledge and technologies coming in the very near future, while maintaining sanity, a healthy lifestyle and coming to work with enthusiasm and passion.
Nirmala Gonsalves, MD
Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology)
I am in the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology and have been part of the Northwestern community since starting my internship in 1999. During this time, I have been heavily involved in patient care and clinical research and have helped build and manage our busy eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders program. I have served in leadership roles in various national organizations, and have helped mentor and guide trainees and junior faculty through various stages of career development. Within the division, I am helping to develop a new role focusing on faculty development and wellness. During my time at Northwestern, I have attempted to balance the difficulties of work stressors with maintaining life balance and often have had to pivot and adjust priorities to keep myself grounded. I would love to share these experiences and help others through their journey in achieving academic and personal success. On a personal level, my husband is a busy physician and we have three young children under the age of 13 and a big furry dog. While I joke that our lives are held together by gum and dental floss, we somehow make it work and have fun along the way. When not at work, I enjoy impromptu dance parties and spending time with my family travelling and exploring the outdoors. Prioritizing these outside activities has helped me maintain balance, focus and perspective in my professional life.
Joshua M Hauser, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine) and Medical Education
I am a palliative care physician at NMH where I direct our fellowship and at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, where I am palliative care section chief. My career has been focused on education in palliative care and in related fields: communication, ethics, medical humanities. For many years, I have directed the Education in Palliative Care (EPEC) Program, a national program to teach “primary” palliative care to all clinicians. This program has been adapted for multiple specialties and in multiple international settings. At the medical school, I direct the Professional Development curriculum element which includes bioethics and medical humanities, personal awareness and self-care and teamwork parts of medical student education. Throughout my career, I have found mentorship of students, residents, fellows and others one of the most fulfilling parts of my work. At the same time, I have also benefitted (and continue to) from the mentorship of many kind and generous colleagues. I have seen how this “cycle” of mentorship and role modeling is vital to our work and our thriving.
Bruce Henschen, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) and Medical Education
I am an academic general internist with a passion for teaching and complex care. As an educator, I am the Clerkship Director for the IM clerkship and advise students on the match process. I am also an outpatient preceptor in an ECMH medical student continuity clinic. I love talking about medical education research and collaborating on projects. Clinically I practice outpatient and inpatient medicine and am the co-director of the Complex High Admission Management Program, or CHAMP, that cares for frequently hospitalized patients. I have two young kids at home and make time to have family dinners and bedtime each day. I love cooking and running, though most of my spare time is spent having fun with my family at the park or the pool.
Christine Hsieh, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology)
I am an Assistant professor in Rheumatology since 2009 with an interest in patient care, education and clinical trials research. I have coached many rheumatology fellows and junior faculty through academic, career and life transitions. Personally, I have 3 children between the ages of 5-9 and have learned much in terms of re-focusing and balancing my career, family and personal well-being throughout this process. I hope to be able to share my experiences, both positive ones as well as missteps. My desire as a peer coach would be to help identify your personal and professional priorities and figure out concrete steps to advocate for and achieve them. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors, travelling and learning from other people.
June McKoy, MD
Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics), Medical Education and Preventive Medicine
I am an academic fellowship-trained geriatrician and joined the faculty at Northwestern at the conclusion of my fellowship. I am proud to be a member of the Division of General Internal Medicine & Geriatrics where I benefit from unparalleled supportive leadership. I am currently the Program Director for the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program at McGaw Medical Center and I am grateful for the opportunity to mentor and guide my Fellows in achieving their goals. I am also a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center where my research is focused on cancer and aging. I have dedicated my entire career to mentoring individuals along the continuum of the medicine profession, from medical school through various faculty levels. As such, I am proud of my continued contributions to the medical school’s Committee on Admissions where I serve on the Executive Committee. My goal is to provide the support that faculty need to thrive both personally and professionally.
Kiran Nimmagadda, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology)
I initially joined the Northwestern faculty in 2004, as contributed service faculty in the Division of Gastroenterology. I subsequently transitioned to employed faculty in Northwestern Medical Group (NMG) and, most recently, migrated to full-time clinical faculty in NMG and Northwestern University. My professional time consists of direct patient care, clinical education, and committee work (NMG quality oversight committee, Digestive Health Center quality committee, and NMH GI operations committee). I consider it invaluable to have the opportunity to empower faculty with the tools, guidance, and support to thrive in their respective careers. I savor the ability to participate in enhancing faculty engagement, improving camaraderie, and strengthening our university’s faculty.
Adeboye B Ogunseitan, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine)
I am a lifelong learner and an empathic listener interested in how adults think, learn and adopt new skills. Since coming to Northwestern, I have been engaged in teaching, coaching and mentorship for medical students, residents, fellows and faculty. I have served as peer coach for new hospitalists and new palliative care clinicians. I have also been engaged in development and implementation of the Division of Hospital Medicine’s formal mentorship programs. I see my role as guiding people to their own paths.
Michelle Prickett, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care)
I am a native Chicagoan growing up in a working-class neighborhood, who played college sports and never dreamed of being a physician let alone an associate professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine. Along the way I have benefited from many wonderful coaches and mentors who helped me achieve goals I never imagined were even in my reach. I have been at Northwestern since 2004 training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care until taking a faculty position in 2010. Since then I have had many roles including administrative, leadership and education. My list of titles includes Medical Director of Respiratory Care, Co-Director of Quality Improvement for the Canning Thoracic Institute, Associate Director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program, professional podcaster as well as “Mom” to three young sons. I hope to share my passion for growth and new experiences especially for those who may not have had a longstanding background in academic medicine and are looking to develop a network of support in what can seem like an unfamiliar world.
Anju Tripathi Peters, MD, MS
Professor of Medicine (Allergy and Immunology) and Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
I currently mentor fellows many of them are now in academia and I am more of a peer coach to them. My academic interests are patient care and clinical research. I am very involved in clinical trials. I also have 3 children ranging from ages 10 to 17 and realize that I can't necessarily keep work and family separate. I have learned to balance these roles and my own wellness to the best of my ability without feeling significant guilt. I can share these experiences and hopefully support my colleagues who are dealing with these life experiences as well.
Vera H Rigolin, MD
Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)
I am a member of the division of cardiology at Northwestern Medicine. I am passionate about clinical medicine and education. I have served many roles at Northwestern including past program director for the general cardiology fellowship program and more recently the medical director for the echocardiography laboratory at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the co-director of Northwestern’s advanced cardiovascular disease imaging fellowship. I am also involved professionally with the American Heart Association, The American College of Cardiology and The American Society of Echocardiography. Through my involvement on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and eventually President of the American Society of Echocardiography, I have been able to participate in education, advocacy and research at a national and international level. On a personal level, my husband and I love bike riding, hiking, travel, eating new foods and meeting interesting people.
Emily Szmuilowicz, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology)
I am an endocrinologist, and I serve as the Program Director for the Endocrinology Fellowship program. My professional interests focus on patient care, medical education, and clinical program building. In my role as Program Director, I cherish the opportunities to mentor our fellows not only during fellowship, but also as junior faculty. I believe that career development and advancement require a thoughtful and multifaceted approach, and I additionally understand the challenges faced by physicians in achieving work-life balance. I am honored to have the opportunity to mentor / coach my colleagues in the Department of Medicine.
Maria Theodorou, MD, FACP
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine)
I am a clinician educator with a passion for care for vulnerable populations, health equity and communication skills. I joined the Division of Hospital Medicine in 2017 and since that time have taken on roles as the co-director of the Complex High Admission Management Program (CHAMP) and core faculty in the Internal Medicine Residency Program. I take great joy in sponsoring, coaching and mentoring others and love to promote and celebrate the professional and personal successes of colleagues. As the mother of a young child, I have a particular interest in supporting new parents as they navigate the unique challenges physician parents face. I firmly believe that professional success builds upon a foundation of personal well-being. Outside of the hospital, I enjoy traveling and hiking, biking, and skiing with my husband and daughter.
Outcomes & Quality Management
Kenzie A Cameron, PhD, MPH
Research Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics), Medical Education, Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine
I am a Research Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics who has successfully navigated the Feinberg School of Medicine as a non-physician since 2003. My academic background in the field of communication includes a focus on persuasion and interpersonal communication, providing insight and expertise in relationship building and maintenance. I endorse the idea of work-life integration, and believe we do ourselves a disservice by suggesting an idea of constant balance as opposed to the continual fluctuation in which we live.