research225pxDepartment of Medicine

Division of General Internal Medicine


The General Internal Medicine Division continues to foster growth and development of clinical research and quality improvement in the outpatient medicine setting. Current funded Faculty Research Projects include:

  • HIV vaccine clinical trials
  • Smallpox vaccine
  • Plague vaccine
  • Depression Screening in Clinical Practice
  • Communicating About Medical Errors
  • Flu vaccine
  • Quality of Geriatric Care in the Internal Medicine Residents’ Continuity of Care Clinic

Dr. Shan Lu 

Shan Lu new07 Dr. Shan Lu is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).  Besides being an active internist, providing primary care service at the University campus clinic, he is a well-known expert on novel human vaccine development against a wide range of major human pathogens.   He has designed a novel candidate human HIV vaccine which showed promising immune responses in a recently completed phase I clinical trial study.  His group is also developing a pre-pandemic flu vaccine in order to reduce the threat of a potential avian flu infection to humans.  He has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health to find safer vaccines for protection against diseases such as smallpox, plague and anthrax.  He also holds joint appointments at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and in the Immunology and Virology Program at UMMS.  Dr. Lu is associate director of the Medicine Residency Program in charge of research training.  He is a recipient of numerous awards including the Howard Hughes Research Award for Physician Scientists and the Worcester Foundation Research Award.  

“Vaccines have played a very successful role in modern medicine to control large scale human infections and should continue to be an important part of healthcare service in the 21st century.”   

Dr. Melissa Fischer 

MFisherDr. Melissa A. Fischer is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Division of General Internal Medicine.  She went to medical school at NYU, completed Residency, Chief residency and Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Stanford University where she also obtained a Master's Degree in Education. Dr. Fischer is the Director of the 3rd year Internal Medicine Clerkship and co-chair of the orientation to clinical years.  She also sits on numerous curriculum committees.  She is an active member of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine, serving on its sub-internship and educational research committees.  Dr. Fischer’s research interests focus on using reflection and portfolios to promote and document learning and improvement, teaching and learning from medical errors, pharmaceutical industry influences on patient care and integrating medical education across the learning continuum from medical school to practice.  Dr. Fischer is the first recipient of the Sarah L. Stone, MD Endowed Fellowship in Medical Education.  She has also received the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant. 

“We must teach medical students skills and processes that will help them become life-long learners.” 

Dr David Hatem 

dave hatemDr. David Hatem is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  His teaching at the Medical School has centered on an integrated approach to physician patient communication and clinical reasoning.  He directs the Physician Patient and Society Course, a two year long course that integrates medical interviewing, clinical reasoning, medical ethics, and the personal and professional development of first and second year medical students.  He is also extensively involved in faculty development activities and is the Associate Director of the Clinical Faculty Development Center and the Center for Clinical Communication and Performance Outcomes.  Faculty development activities involve teaching educational planning strategies to ambulatory preceptors, and planning and leading a Medical Education Fellowship for junior faculty.  He is currently focused on teaching practicing physicians the strategies to enhance the patient experience of care as a measure of individual and organizational performance.  His research interests include measuring clear outcomes of faculty development programs, and investigating the multiple influences on the personal and professional development of learners.  These interests are served through projects designed to determine the influence of significant relationships, the learning environment, and reflection through writing, on the development of physicians.  

“Humanistic physicians can only be developed by treating our learners in a humane way.” 

General Medicine
University Campus
55 Lake Avenue North
Benedict Building
Worcester, MA 01655