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Welcome from the Program Directors

Drs. Fred Zar, Adam Mikolajczyk, and Anne Polick
Adam Mikolajczyk, MD, FAST, FACP

It brings me great pleasure to introduce you to University of Illinois Chicago Internal Medicine Residency Program.  Unquestionably, being able to work alongside, educate, and mentor our residents has been the most enjoyable part of my job as a physician, and I am honored to serve as Program Director.  Our residency program celebrates diversity and inclusivity, fosters autonomy in clinical care, offers a wealth of educational opportunities, and personifies the overarching commitment of the university to the underserved communities.  I hope you will consider joining our family; doing so for me, has been a privilege unlike any other.

I have lived in the Midwest my entire life.  I was born and raised in the Chicagoland area, received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!), and then completed medical school, Internal Medicine residency, Chief Residency, and Medical Education, Gastroenterology, and Transplant Hepatology fellowships at the University of Chicago.  I then joined the University of Illinois Chicago as a faculty member in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  While here, I have led research efforts focused on the implementation of hepatology-focused curricular interventions within undergraduate and graduate medical education and developed new approaches to education within Internal Medicine training.  In my current role, I am very fortunate to have the mentorship of Dr. Fred Zar, our former Program Director and current Senior Associate Program Director, the partnership of Dr. Anne Polick, our Deputy Program Director and the unfailing assistance of our team of Associate Program Directors, Chief Residents, and Administrative Team.

Anne Polick, MD

I am a general internal medicine physician in the Division of Academic Internal Medicine.  I trained here, was a chief resident here, and have been on faculty ever since.  I spent my first two years in practice as part of a Patient Centered Outcome Research Initiative Grant which looked at putting a PCP in the hemodialysis center.  Through my clinics in two dialysis centers, I’ve continued my interest in the care of the HD and post-transplant patient.  I have a particular interest in the doctor-patient relationship, the health of women, and the care of the underserved, as I believe that accessibility and inclusivity are vital in building an effective, compassionate medical home for our patients.

I currently practice inpatient, outpatient and observation medicine.  As a teaching attending on both the wards and the clinic, and through structured didactics, I have the opportunity to teach and to learn with the residents, which I absolutely enjoy.  My favorite part of internal medicine is making a diagnosis, and I love working up complex cases on the ward with residents and students in a collaborative environment.

In addition to my clinical work, I have served as a creator and delivery faculty for the UIC M1 curriculum, and I just love having medical students of all levels at the bedside.  I find my roles in graduate and post-graduate education have made me a better internist, and I feel passionately about the importance of continued education as a way to improve patient care.  As a mother of three small, incredibly cute, cuddly children (and a dog and a cat!), I’m learning the importance of self-compassion and balance in providing care to ourselves, our families and our patients.

Please contact me with any questions about our program, or my arc through it.  I am proud of where I trained and honored to be part of this program!

Fred Zar, MD

I am a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine and, shortly after completing my Internal Medicine Residency and Infectious Diseases Fellowship, I started my career in medical education as a Program Director for the next several decades and, in that role, trained over 800 residents. I am proud to be the Senior Associate Program Director and continue my work as part of a wonderful team dedicated to educating physicians in a diverse, welcoming, and educationally rich environment.

Full disclosure, I am a chess nerd. I became a master in college and, although my rating has decayed faster than most radioactive actinides in the periodic table (please don’t look that up) I still am active nightly on I also enjoy running and have completed the Chicago marathon a dozen times.

My research interests have been focused on development of new therapies for infections that emerged during my career. I participated in the first trial of zidovudine to treat human immunodeficiency virus, and the initial studies of aztreonam as a safe ß-lactam in patients with penicillin anaphylaxis, atovaquone in the treatment of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, rifabutin for the prevention of Mycobacterium-avium complex infection, and ganciclovir to treat cytomegalovirus infections in immunocompromised individuals. Later work codified the role of vancomycin as first-line therapy for Clostridioides difficile infection. I have also contributed to the literature on validating a trainee assessment tool that optimizes predictability of success in graduate medical education that we currently use as an evaluative and formative instrument in our residency program.

Clinically I am a hospitalist at the University of Illinois Hospital where we serve an underserved population of patients throughout the Chicagoland area that trust us with their health care and literally teach us medicine at the bedside every day. I also join the residents several hours a week during our protected education time, during one of which I am presented with an unknown case and work through with the help of the wisdom of our residents.

In addition to my clinical work, I enjoy giving back to our medical school that allowed me the opportunity to become a physician. I am the Director of Integrated Science Education as well as Co-Director of our Synthesis Course which spans the M1-M2 years and helps synthesize the basic sciences into clinically relevant constructs. This allows me to teach and mentor hundreds of medical students on their journey to this incredible place that you will all be at sooner than you think…graduation from medical school, becoming a physician, and spending the rest of your careers healing others.