Internal Medicine
Residency Program


to educate, mentor, and develop the next generation of Internal Medicine physicians fully qualified to deliver outstanding, efficient medical care with compassion, integrity, and respect

Located in the largest city on Interstate 4 between Orlando and Tampa, the Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) Internal Medicine Residency Program provides its trainees with robust exposure in a diverse multinational population resulting in a uniquely well-rounded training experience.

This ACGME-accredited program is designed to provide trainees with a wide array of clinical experiences and leadership skills aimed to develop tomorrow’s leaders in academic medicine. In a nationally recognized community hospital, the residency program is tailored to a versatile balance of clinical excellence, academic pursuit, and well-being.

Why Train at LRH?

At 864 beds, Lakeland Regional Health is among the largest hospitals in Florida and boasts as one of the busiest stand-alone Emergency Departments in the nation. With a diverse rural population, the pathology and patient variety is unmatched. Residents will have direct access to our experienced faculty across numerous specialties without competition from other medicine fellows.

Commitment to Excellence: Residents will train in an organization that continuously serves as an international leader in patient safety and quality improvement. Lakeland Regional Health’s long-standing reputation has earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status seven times since 2013 and has since earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review.

Residents will complete a focused and intense clinical and didactic curriculum, mentored by ABIM/AOBIM board-certified faculty members with a variety of backgrounds and expertise, and centered around excellent patient care and bedside learning. Our graduates will be well-prepared to become board-certified leaders in medicine and pursue careers within academia, community or fellowship training.

Lakeland Regional Health is one of Forbes Best-in-State Employers for 2022. We aim to remain thriving workplace for everyone on our team. We are excited to welcome our residents into our organization and support their personal and professional growth.


Internal Medicine Residents will participate in a robust educational program with many opportunities to teach peer residents, medical students and staff. All didactic activities are time protected from clinical duties. Residents are expected to participate in hospital committees and research activities.

Additional Details:

  • To ensure that graduates are equipped to adapt to changes in medicine throughout their careers, residents participate in interactive sessions focused on developing skills in inpatient and outpatient rotations.
  • Protected half-day didactic sessions with coverage of clinical duties allows residents to immerse themselves in the learning environment without outside distractions. 
  • Monthly recurring sessions include:
    • Simulation Center: Procedures and Communication
    • Point of Care Ultra Sound (POCUS)
    • Journal Club
    • Multi-disciplinary Conference
    • Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Conference
    • Diversity and Equity Inclusion Conference
    • Leadership Skills and Resident-as-Teacher
    • Step 3 Prep & Board Review
    • …and more!

From Quality Improvement (QI) projects to bench research, LRH’s dedicated research team and Institutional Review Board (IRB) supports residents throughout all stages of the research process.

  • Diverse panel population ranging from uninsured/undocumented patients to commercial insurance payors, fostering the confidence to enter independent practice in any kind of setting.
  • Each resident will have ownership of their own primary care patient panel, fostering continuity and relationship building between physician and patient.
  • Block scheduling allows immersive ambulatory experiences without distractions from inpatient rotations. Similarly, practicing in a ‘Pod’ of providers with co-residents, ensures patients receive timely care while PCP is on other rotations. 
  • Rotate through subspecialty clinics, and learn from subspecialists 1-on-1, to expand the knowledge base and confidence to care for primary patient panel.
  • Longitudinal mentoring relationship with Clinic Preceptors from internship to residency graduation.

LRH is committed to each individual's needs for success. Residents have access to wide variety of resources, including “Residents as Teachers” modalities and dedicated mentorship at multiple levels.

No 24-Hour Call

  • Block scheduling allows for immersive outpatient rotations in addition to primary care practice, including experiences in outpatient specialty clinics and longitudinal mentorship with ambulatory preceptors.

Didactics and Education

The didactic portion of the Lakeland Regional Health’s Internal Medicine Residency includes:

  • Core Curriculum Conferences
  • Internal Medicine Grand Rounds
  • Morbidity & Mortality Conferences
  • Primary Care Didactics
  • Updates in Medicine and Journal Club
  • Morning Report
  • Point-of-Care Ultrasonography
  • Board Review Series
  • Evidence-based medicine didactic conferences
  • Systems-based practice and quality improvement conferences

Program Leadership


Luis Daniel Lugo, MD, MBA

Program Director

melissa rusli md

Melissa Rusli, MD

Executive Associate Program Director

keisha ellis

Keisha Ellis, MD

Associate Program Director

Core Faculty


Anas Bizanti,

andrew michalsky

Andrew Michalsky,

amon arch

Arch Amon,

Image from iOS (3)

Amarilis Perez,

derek hansen

Derek Hansen,


Dhruv Panchal,

Image from iOS (2)

Fahmida Keya,


Felix Carrillo,

laura fox

Laura Fox,


Lauren Martinez,

muhammad ghabra

Muhammad Ghabra,

pranavkumar patel

Pranavkumar Patel,

sarah gaugler

Sarah Gaugler,

soniya patel

Soniya Patel,

vivian loveday-laghi

Vivian Loveday-Laghi, MD

Program Benefits and Highlights

Lakeland Regional Health offers a competitive benefits package. Click here to view the benefits package provided to LRH team members.

Beyond our standard tuition reimbursement program, retirement plans, paid time off and a comprehensive health and benefit plan, we also offer the following extended benefits for residents of our Graduate Medical Education Program:

  • Meal subsidy for on-call residents
  • Educational stipend for professional development
  • LRH GME Fitness Center
  • Expenses of USMLE Step 3/COMLEX 3 fees covered

About Lakeland

Lakeland, the largest city in Polk County, has kept its small-town personality over the years and yet continues to become a vibrant and growing city. Conveniently located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakelanders have many ways to celebrate the climate, culture and opportunities available both in the local area and throughout Central Florida. World-class shopping, major sports franchises and entertainment venues in Tampa and Orlando and beaches on both the east and west coasts of Florida are all a quick drive away.

How to Apply

We have received initial accreditation for a new Internal Medicine Residency Program, and will begin on July 1, 2023 with 20 PGY-1 positions.

Applicants must submit a complete application via ERAS. Residents will be chosen through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

NRMP Number: 2323140C0

Required Supporting Documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Medical School Transcript
  • Personal Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation


We are excited to welcome all candidates to apply for our Graduate Medical Education programs. However, please note that applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of employment Visas at this time. Thank you for understanding.

Contact Us

Therisa Humphries – Internal Medicine Program Administrator

863-687-1100 Ext. 1326

or email us