Internal
Medicine

The Kennestone Internal Medicine Residency Program offers new doctors a chance to learn from extraordinary teachers and clinicians who enthusiastically give back by sharing their skills and experience. At Kennestone the focus is on the whole doctor—healer, colleague and life-long learner. Faculty members know you not just as a resident, but also as an individual with a family, friends and a future.

Whole doctors treating whole patients

Experience excitement, challenge and personal growth as you learn to practice medicine in a vibrant community setting without the feeling of being lost in a huge academic program. The WellStar Kennestone Internal Medicine residency program is built on the belief that the best healthcare is a partnership between patient and provider.

Unlike some programs, ours does not rely on residents to fill essential clinical positions. This is residency education developed with the learner in mind. Extraordinary teachers and mentors are dedicated to their patients and to your personal and professional development.

Curriculum & Requirements

Acceptance to the WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center Residency Program in Internal Medicine is based on medical school performance, board exam results, letters of recommendation and in-person interviews. We especially encourage applicants who are committed to improving the health of Georgia residents. WellStar Health System is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Internal Medicine curriculum is designed to comply with requirements to train residents to practice independently and to take, and pass the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) specialty board certification exam. The educational plan is designed to meet/exceed the educational requirements of the ACGME, Internal Medicine Residency Review Committee (RRC-IM), and the ABIM. The program’s structure gives residents the flexibility to configure learning opportunities to meet professional interests and to help them achieve their goals.

Interns will typically spend five months on the inpatient medicine wards. During the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years, the inpatient ward experience is characteristically four months. Those who select elective primary care may do as few as three ward months during the final two years of training.

Continuity Clinic is an ongoing part of training in internal medicine.  The RRC-IM requires residents to complete a minimum of 130 continuity clinics over the 36 months of residency training. It is also required that at least a third of internal medicine residency training be in an outpatient setting. With multiple schedule possibilities, we estimate that over 40% of the typical WellStar Kennestone resident’s training schedule will be in an outpatient setting and the requirement for a minimum number of Continuity Clinics will be comfortably exceeded.

Core Rotations:
Residents will rotate through the foundational subspecialties that make up much of internal medicine, including cardiology, endocrinology, rheumatology, nephrology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, pulmonology and hematology/oncology. The program requires residents to rotate through a minimum of 6 of these 8 subspecialty rotations.

Additionally Required Rotations:
In addition, rotations in neurology, geriatrics, emergency medicine and critical care are required by the RRC-IM. Interns will complete a one-month rotation in neurology. A one-month rotation and geriatrics is typically scheduled during the PGY-2 year. Emergency medicine (minimum 4 weeks and maximum 8 weeks) rotations occur during the intern and PGY-3 years. Interns will spend one month in the MICU and one month in the CCU. PGY-2 residents will work an additional month as supervising residents in the CCU. A supervising MICU rotation is scheduled to occur during the PGY-3 year.

Additional Non-Internal Medicine Elective Rotations:
In compliance with RRC-IM requirements, additional elective experiences are available for allergy/immunology, psychiatry, dermatology, medical oncology, women’s health/GYN, non-operative ENT, non-operative orthopedics/sports medicine, palliative care, sleep medicine, rehabilitation medicine and medical ophthalmology.

Novel Elective Rotation Possibilities:
Leveraging strengths of the WellStar Health System, curriculum and clinical experiences have also been developed in areas including community health, student health, research, population health, health policy/advocacy, urgent care, international health, complex care and bariatric medicine. Residents interested in primary care have the option of a special primary care elective during both the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years of training.  For residents with compelling interest, additional rotations are available for heart failure, arrhythmias, hospitalist medicine and transplant medicine.

Conferences:
A variety of learning conferences augment resident education. These have been designed to address particular learning needs traditionally identified by residents. Included are Medicine Grand Rounds, Ambulatory Morning Report, Inpatient Report, Journal Club, Quality Improvement Conferences, Scholarship and Teaching among Residents (STAR) Conferences, Critically Appraised Topics (CAT) Conferences, a board review course and Morbidity/Mortality/Improvement Conferences. We also offer workshops and educational sessions related to leadership development.

  • Join a winning team. Kennestone Regional Medical Center is one of the busiest hospitals in Georgia and our Emergency Department is the second busiest in the state.
  • Innovative, rotating educational conferences hone your skills in research, teaching and scholarship.
  • Teach and learn from other healthcare professionals in an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Rotations are built around a 28-day schedule and all switch on the same day.
  • Learn and perfect skills using state-of-the art simulation systems.
  • Explore the possibility of customizing a curriculum to match your interests.
Unique Features

Modern Experience

Gain valuable exposure in trending areas like population health, quality of care and medical ethics. Learn patient care from our highly successful Accountable Care Organization (ACO), recognized nationally for substantial cost-savings and improved patient outcomes.

Residents follow a panel of clinic patients throughout their residency, gaining experience in longitudinal follow-up. You’ll also develop in-depth quality of care initiatives that keep patients safe and improve health outcomes.

Non-traditional Rotations

In addition to standard IM offerings, residents can choose from non-traditional medicine rotations in areas like anesthesiology, sports medicine, women’s health, sleep medicine, student health, rehab, dermatology and ENT.

While we do not have a separate match listing for a primary care track, our flexible curriculum design makes it possible to incorporate two primary care rotations, working alongside highly successful practitioners.

Diverse Methodologies

The program uses data-driven systems like Lean Six Sigma to teach residents to avoid waste and work more efficiently. We help you learn the business, as well as the practice, of 21st century medicine.

Benefit from faculty involvement in specialties like population health management and healthcare advocacy.

Let our resource diversity be your competitive advantage.

Staff & Leadership
G. Waldon Garriss III
MD, MS, MBA, MHA, FAAP, MACP
Program Director, Internal Medicine
Certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics, Dr. Garriss is a dedicated career medical educator who served on the Vanderbilt faculty for 12 years, where he was named one of the university's Master Clinical Teachers. He retains faculty appointments at Vanderbilt and at Georgia Regents University, Emory University and Mercer University.
Zenobia JonesFoster
MD, MPH
Associate Inpatient Program Director, Internal Medicine
Dr. JonesFoster gained a unique perspective by working as a healthcare consultant before becoming an internist. She has worked with diverse pathology and populations including inner-city residents and veterans. A hospitalist at Kennestone Regional Medical Center, Dr. JonesFoster links her business background with her clinical knowledge to train medical residents to be well-rounded physicians who practice strong evidenced-based medicine, while treating patients and their teams with respect and empathy.
Janet Pak Memark
MD, MPH, FACP
Associate Ambulatory Program Director, Internal Medicine
Dr. Memark has a keen interest in treating under-served populations. Following training at the University of Miami and Loyola University, she worked with a Cook County primary care clinic and served on the Loyola faculty. She has been Medical Director of WellStar's community health clinics since 2013.
Sheila Lawshea
Coordinator, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Sheila brings to WellStar over 15 years of experience as a residency/fellowship coordinator, and over 25 years in healthcare. She has worked at Atlanta Medical Center and, more recently, at Loyola University Medical School in Chicago. She is happy to return to the Atlanta area to join the WellStar GME team.
Salary & Benefits

Our salary and benefits program reflects our concern for the resident who has a life, not just a medical degree. Internal Medicine residents earn a starting salary of $56,000 and enjoy the same top-tier benefits offered to other WellStar Health System employees. Resident health and wellness is a top priority. We’ve got people and programs to help you stay healthy, stay focused and not get overwhelmed.

How To Apply

We invite qualified candidates to apply for the WellStar Kennestone Residency Program through the national resident matching program. Use this link to the program’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®).