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Wisconsin & Illinois

Mercyhealth Internal Medicine Residency Program

Internal Medicine Residency Faculty

Program Leadership 

Mario A. Affinati, MD, FACP, Program Director

Medical School: University of Rome, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
Residency: Internal Medicine, Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL






Khan Ahmed
Mohammed Ilyas Ahmed Khan, MD, Associate Program Director

Dr. Khan is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine with added certification in Hospice and Palliative Care. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford Campus.

Dr. Khan is a graduate of Deccan College of Medical Sciences. He completed residency at the State University of New York-Buffalo and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Khan will support the program director in the oversight, supervision, and mentorship of residents.

Patient Care Philosophy: “The goal of palliative medicine is to manage symptoms associated with advanced illnesses and ease the transition between curative and comfort care.”


Susan Sweeney, Manager of Graduate Medical Education, Rockford

Sue Sweeney is the Graduate Medical Education Manager for Mercyhealth GME Consortium in Rockford. She is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and holds a Masters Degree from the University of St. Francis in Health Services Administration. In addition to working in ACGME-accredited residencies, she has experience in health system operations, quality improvement, compliance and privacy.





Program Faculty

Syed Ahmed, MD, Nephrology
Private Practice Provider

Medical School: Deccan College of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, India
Residency: Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Fellowship: Emory University, Atlanta, GA




Vibhav K. Bansal, MD, JD, Neurology

Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati
Residency: Neurology, University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago
Fellowship: Vascular Neurology, Michigan State University/Sparrow Health Systems, Lansing; Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology, Michigan State University/Sparrow Health Systems, Lansing





Venkata Dontaraju, MD, Internal Medicine

Medical School: Andhra Medical College, Andhra Pradesh, India
Residency: John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago
Fellowship: Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, United Kingdom




Harry Ginsberg
Harry L. Ginsberg, MD, Program Director Emeritus

Medical School: Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago
Residency: Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center, Evanston Hospital, Evanston, IL






Robin Hovis, MD, Rheumatology

Medical School: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City
Residency: Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City
Fellowship: Rheumatology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City





Aliya Naseer, MD, Endocrinology

Medical School: Dow Medical College, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Residency: Richland Memorial Hospital, Columbia, SC
Fellowship: Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Richland Memorial Hospital, Columbia, SC






Kushal Patel, MD, Hospitalist

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Residency: Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee


Zaher QassemZaher Qassem, MD, Critical Care, Geriatrics & Pulmonary Disease

Medical School: Damascus University Medical School, Damascus, Syria
Residency: Morehouse School of Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta
Fellowship Critical Care: Pittsburgh University, Pittsburgh
Fellowship Geriatrics: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ Fellowship
Pulmonary Medicine: Marshall University, Huntington, WV





Arthur Rone, MD, Internal Medicine

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago
Residency: Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago






Jagpal S. Sahota, MD, Hospitalist

Medical School: Government Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, India
Residency: Internal Medicine, St. Joseph Hospital, Chicago







Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith, MD, Cardiology & Electrophysiology

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago
Residency: Northwestern University, Chicago
Fellowship Cardiology: Northwestern University, Chicago
Fellowship Cardiac Electrophysiology: Northwestern University, Chicago






Digestive System specialist
Eugene Vortia, MD, Internal Medicine

Medical School: University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana
Residency: Michigan State University-Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, Kalamazoo