Residency Program Leadership

Welcome from the Program Director

Lisa Vansaghi, M.D.Thank you for your interest in our program, and congratulations on nearing the completion of your undergraduate medical education. This is a great time to choose a career in internal medicine, and I believe you'll agree that it's also a great time to choose The University of Kansas as your residency training site.

Today's internal medicine residency graduates have more options than ever. Internists may choose to pursue subspecialty training, practice in a traditional combined inpatient/outpatient primary care practice, or specialize in ambulatory or hospital-based medicine. Advances in medical research make it possible for physicians practicing in academic medical centers such as ours to be at the forefront of translating the latest innovations to the bedside. As our patient population ages, physicians trained in internal medicine will become even more vital to their care.

I joined the program leadership in 2004, after completing my own residency and a chief resident year here. During my residency, and especially while I was a chief resident, I became interested in remaining part of an academic medical center, with its environment of lifelong learning. My mentors provided invaluable guidance, and I could think of nothing more satisfying than the opportunity to serve, in turn, as a mentor to new residents. So I have continued working with the program in an administrative capacity, in addition to my hospitalist responsibilities, because I am proud of our success and committed to further improving our inpatient training.

Applicants may find that, after a few interviews, residency programs tend to blend together, and distinguishing between them can be difficult. I encourage applicants to consider not only tangible factors such as geography, availability of fellowship opportunities and work schedules, but also the intangible characteristics that define a program. Perhaps the most important factor in your happiness during residency will be whether you can develop friendships with your colleagues, and whether you are treated with respect by your attending physicians. At KU, our residents enjoy each other's company, both in the hospital and during their free time, while our faculty members are engaged in the learning process and excited about teaching. Such characteristics are difficult to convey within the confines of the interview day but are paramount to a resident's quality of life.

We understand that you face pivotal choices when it comes to selecting a training program, and we want to help. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with questions about our selection and interview process, or about our program in general.

I wish you the best of luck and safe travels this interview season.


Lisa Vansaghi, M.D.
Program Director
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Update October 2013 - Leadership Realignment

Leigh Eck, MD

As we move into the Next Accreditation System, we will be realigning our medical education team to meet the needs of the Internal Medicine Milestones Project.  With this change in evaluation and reporting of resident performance required by the ACGME's Next Accreditation System,we have elected to use this opportunity to separate duties once managed solely by our program director.    As of July 2014, Dr. Leigh Eck will take over the day to day management of the Internal Medicine Residency Program as the Program Director.  Dr. Lisa Vansaghi will move into the role of Chair of our Clinical Competency Committee.  Under the Next Accreditation System, the function of the Clinical Competency Committee has become even more robust with a need for semi-annual reporting on the achievement of all our residents to the ACGME thus requiring a greater time commitment for this leadership position. 

Dear Applicants --

As outlined above, I am transitioning into the role of Program Director for our Internal Medicine Residency training program as of July 2014.  It is with much enthusiasm I take over the reins of running the day to day logistics of our residency training program.  I have had the opportunity to be involved in medical education since 2005 - initially as a chief resident under the direction of Dr. Steven Stites, current Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and then subsequently joining the leadership team in 2008 as an Associate Program Director working with Dr. Lisa Vansaghi.  Dr. Vansaghi has developed a strong leadership team made up of outstanding Associate Program Directors, creative and enthusiastic Core Faculty, and dependable and involved Site Directors.  Our solid medical education team will allow for this transition into the Next Accreditation System to happen seamlessly.  By allowing Dr. Vansaghi to focus on her work as the Chair of our Clinical Competency Committee we expect to be well positioned for success within the ACGME's Next Accreditation System.  This transition will allow our department to harness Dr. Vansaghi's tremendous knowledge regarding medical education in this senior leadership role.

Our goals for the program will remain similar to our objectives over the last decade:

  • Attract the best and brightest medical students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Provide a rotational framework that ensures a high level of competency in all areas of Internal Medicine but still allows for an individualized education plan for our residents.
  • Create an educational environment that expects excellence from our educators and learners as we know our learners will rise up to the environment that surrounds them.

We are looking to recruit physicians with a strong work ethic, a kind and empathetic personality, and an internal drive towards the achievement of excellence with maintenance of humility.  We look forward to meeting you, and we are confident that you will leave KU with the sense that we are the right fit for you.


Leigh M. Eck, MD
Executive Associate Program Director
Incoming Program Director - July 2014
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, University of Kansas School of Medicine

Last modified: Nov 05, 2013
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