Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Chairman's Message

Welcome Message from the Chairman

Rich Robbins, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Medicine

Welcome to our residency website! The Methodist Hospital is a large academic medical center which has trained internal medicine residents for over 50 years. A new categorical medicine residency was established in 2007. Between 2006 and 2013, we recruited over 75 full-time faculty members who were selected largely on their records of teaching excellence. All full-time and voluntary teaching attendings hold faculty appointments with our primary academic partner, Weill Cornell Medical College.  In this climate of rapidly changing themes and priorities emanating from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) the faculty and residents work in close collaboration to make the educational experience meaningful, rigorous and education-oriented. We have taken this opportunity to design a new residency from the ground up to introduce innovative and modern approaches to residency education.  These include frequent town hall meetings with the Chief Residents to discuss what is working and what needs change; a virtual private practice continuity clinic where residents will learn much about operations, employees, and financing of an internal medicine practice and interactions with private and federal payors; and a core curriculum which includes topics such as ethical dilemmas, legal aspects of medicine, palliative care, nutrition, and communicative skills.

The Department of Medicine at The Methodist Hospital currently has over 500 attending staff physicians encompassing every subspecialty of Internal Medicine, including Emergency Medicine and Dermatology. We focus on a comprehensive two-year core residency with a flexible third year elective structure that enables each resident to custom tailor their educational program to future needs. Since 2007, we have graduated 47 residents who have gone on to careers in hospitalist medicine, general internal medicine, and subspecialty fellowship. Our residents have taken fellowships at some of the most prestigious medical centers in the US, including our own hospital. We now have a robust menu of fellowships at TMH including Cardiology, Nephrology, and Endocrinology/Diabetes. Within the next two years we plan to open fellowships in Gastroenterology, Critical Care Medicine, and Medical Oncology.

Methodist has rapidly developed into one of the country’s safest hospitals due in large part to a large and well-supported network of quality committees, called Care Management and Performance Improvement (CMPI) committees. Residents have been directly involved with designing and carrying out clinical studies within CMPI that have, for example, dramatically reduced death rates from sepsis; deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary emboli; central line infections in the ICUs; and have improved glycemic control for diabetic in-patients.  All residents are assigned to a CMPI committee at the beginning of their internship and are encouraged to get involved in new quality initiatives. The Methodist Hospital has been consistently ranked as one of America’s safest hospitals. In fact, in 2012 Methodist was ranked #1 in the University Healthcare Consortium for the lowest mortality rate of any major academic medical center. The hospital has been praised for patient care and safety by the Leapfrog Group, US News and World Report, and Thompson Reuters. Methodist has been listed as one of the 100 Best American Companies to work for by Fortune Magazine, every year since 2006.

The categorical medicine residency is a small, young, education-oriented, innovative and collaborative program that understands that the residents are key stakeholders in the design and function of the training.  I encourage you to take a close look at our program which focuses on producing leaders who will shape the future of internal medicine.

Rich Robbins, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Charles and Anne Duncan Distinguished Chair
Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Chairman, Department of Medicine
The Methodist Hospital


Dr. Robbins is the Chairman of the Department of Medicine and the Charles and Anne Duncan Distinguished Chair at The Methodist Hospital. He is also Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College and a Senior Member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute. He previously served as Chief of the Endocrine Service and Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and as Director of the New York Presbyterian-Cornell Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program. He is on the Board of Directors of The Endocrine Society, and holds memberships in The American Thyroid Association, The Association of Professors of Medicine, and The Pituitary Society. Dr. Robbins is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He served on the Thyroid Cancer Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Dr. Robbins received his medical degree from Creighton University and completed his medical residency at the New Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He was a research fellow at the Rockefeller University and did his endocrine fellowship at Tufts-New England Medical Center, in Boston. He has held faculty positions at the University of Colorado and the Yale University School of Medicine. At Yale, Dr. Robbins served as Director of the Neuroendocrine Unit, as President of the Yale Medical School Council, and he directed the Pathophysiology and Introduction to Clinical Medicine courses for the second-year medical students. Dr. Robbins has served on Internal Medicine Training programs since 1981, was the Program Director of the Weill Cornell Endocrine Fellowship for ten years, and established the Categorical Internal Medicine residency at Methodist in 2007.

Dr. Robbins has more than 120 peer-reviewed publications in leading biomedical journals. He was the principal investigator or co-investigator for eleven clinical trials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. He serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Endocrine Today. He was President and Founder of The Pituitary Society and received the 1995 Distinguished Service Award from that Society. He has been awarded named lectureships from The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Montreal, and the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Robbins has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in New York by New York Magazine and as one of the Top Cancer Doctors and Top Endocrinologists in America by Castle Connolly.