José Choca Community

Physician House Advising Faculty

Dr. Bernice Man

Dr. Bernice Man is a general internist and faculty member in the Division of Academic Internal Medicine. She has been at UIC since 2008 and has spent much of her career devoted to serving urban vulnerable populations. Most recently, she completed a masters degree in clinical translational science at the UIC School of Public Health. She is originally from New York City and still considers herself a New Yorker. It was quite a surprise to her friends, family and even herself when she moved to the west coast for medical school and residency. Although the first year was rough, it was one of her best life decisions. What inspired her to go into medicine (30!) years ago is still what inspires her work today. It’s the patients. She’s thrilled to be a house advisor and feels this is the perfect trifecta in her work as a physician, researcher and advisor. Her 3 daughters are her greatest accomplishments, 1 is in college, and the other 2 are in high school. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking and running with her dog. Dr. Man is doing a research meeting today, so can not join us for this celebration today.

Dr. Anna Gramelspacher

Dr. Anna Maria Gramelspacher is a general internist and faculty member in the Division of Academic Internal Medicine. She grew up in Indiana, but fell in love with Chicago during her two years here as a Teach for America Corps Member. Since joining the faculty at UIC Dr. Gramelspacher has taken an active interest in medical education, most specifically in Narrative Medicine and Health Humanities. Dr. Gramelspacher is passionate about her work as a primary care physician and thrives on the relationships she is able to build with patients. When she’s not at work Dr. Gramelspacher enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.

José Choca, MD (1959-1994)

Dr. José Ignacio Choca was born in 1959 in Havana, Cuba. His family, including 5 siblings, migrated to the US when Choca was still an infant. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Johns Hopkins University, Choca received his MD/PhD from the University of Illinois College Of Medicine. He took great pride in his work to help minority medical students continue in school. In addition, he tutored international medical graduates for medical board exams. Choca’s advocacy for the primacy of teaching in universities was reflected in his 1992 letter to the Chicago Tribune, wherein he took issue with the bias toward research over teaching in government sponsorship and university culture.

His passion for research on sensory pathways and teaching continued despite learning he was HIV+ in 1991. He died of complications of AIDS in 1994 at the age of 35.


Dr. Choca was a 3-time winner of the Golden Apple Award at the University of Illinois in his 5 years on faculty. This award is based on students‘ election of a teacher that exemplifies the highest standards in education.

1994- Dr. Choca was posthumously awarded the Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA)Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from AAMC. This highly prestigious award is given to only one of 4 faculty in the nation annually.

Full Bio