Richard Robbins, MD, FACP
Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine
Dr. Robbins is chairman of the Department of Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital since 2005 where he holds the Charles and Anne Duncan Presidential Distinguished Chair in Medicine. He also has an appointments at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Houston Methodist Academic Institute as Professor of Medicine. His current research focuses on defining the natural history, exploring diagnostic strategies, and developing novel diagnostic and targeted therapies for patients with thyroid cancer.
Dr. Robbins is a graduate of the University of Dayton in Ohio, and the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his internal medicine training at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and completed an Endocrinology fellowship at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. He has held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Yale Medical School, and came to Houston Methodist from his post as associate chair of medicine for academic affairs, and chief of the endocrine service, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr. Robbins founded and has served on the board of the Pituitary Society and is the recipient of its Distinguished Service Award. In addition to numerous other awards and honors throughout his career, Dr. Robbins has more than 120 peer-reviewed publications in leading journals such as Nature, Science, and the New England Journal of Medicine. He currently serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Medicine.
Melina Awar, MD, FACP, FHM
Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
Division Head, Hospital Medicine
Dr. Awar earned her medical degree with AOA honors from the University of Hawai'i John A. Burns School of Medicine. She continued on to complete her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California where she also served an additional year as Chief Resident for the Department of Medicine. Dr. Awar is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine for the Academic Institute and served as the Division Head for Hospital Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital until 2018 when she was was promoted to Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Along with her duties as an academic hospitalist for the University Teaching Service, Dr. Awar is active in graduate medical education and provides bedside and classroom instruction to internal medicine residents and medical students. She is board certified in internal medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Society of Hospital Medicine. Dr. Awar is a member of several hospital committees focused on quality management and organizational performance. She was elected to the Society of Hospital Medicine's Hospital Quality & Patient Safety Committee which oversees national efforts in quality improvement, reduction in medical errors, and advances in patient safety. Dr. Awar was awarded the Department of Medicine General Internal Medicine Teaching Award three years in a row (2012-2014) and again in 2018. She was also the recipient of the Department of Medicine Edward C. Lynch Teacher of The Year Award for three years in a row (2013-2015) and again in 2018. In June 2022, Dr. Awar was awarded the Sherilyn A. Gordon Memorial Award for Distinguished Leadership and Professionalism in Medical Education. Awarded annually, this award recognizes a program director who consistently demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to medical education, research, mentorship and professionalism.
J. Marietta Clewing, MD
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
Clerkship Director, Internal Medicine
Dr. Clewing, MD is a board-certified Internist who joined the Department of Medicine in 2009 as an academic hospitalist. She currently serves as Associate Residency Program Director and the Clerkship Director for the Department of Medicine. Dr. Clewing received her medical degree from “Freie Universität” in Berlin, Germany and completed a few years of medical training in Germany before she joined the residency program in internal medicine at Jacobi-Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. At graduation in 2009, she received the Ambulatory Care Resident of the Year Award. Dr. Clewing has a strong interest in medical education and humanism and contributes to the training of many learners in various roles. She still serves as teaching faculty on the University Teaching Service, is a member of the Residency Evaluation Committee and the Resident Mentorship Program, serves on various committees for Texas A&M, College of Medicine, and is a mentor for the medical students on our campus. Throughout her career, Dr. Clewing had a strong interest in clinical and experimental research resulting in various publications and national and international presentations. Prior to entering her residency program, Dr. Clewing held a research appointment in genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. During her 11 years with Houston Methodist, Dr. Clewing has received several teaching and mentorship awards for her contributions in graduate and postgraduate medical training. In July 2019, Dr. Clewing was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Medical Educators of Texas A&M, College of Medicine. In 2020, Dr. Clewing was the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award for the College of Medicine, Texas A&M.
Ejaz Janjua, DO
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
Dr. Janjua graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and matched into the Houston Methodist Internal Medicine Residency Program. Upon graduating he stayed with Houston Methodist as the program’s PGY-4 chief resident. Dr. Janjua joined the Houston Methodist Academic Hospitalist Group in August 2016 and in December 2018 he was promoted to Assistant Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Janjua is very active as a mentor for the residents and regularly engages in various scholarly activities which include helping the residents with their presentations at conferences such as SHM and ACP. He is also active on various committees in the hospital including the Hospitalist, Heart Failure, and Hospice CMPI committees. In addition, since joining the program, Dr. Janjua has won several teaching awards including the Department of Medicine Faculty Teaching Award (2017, 2022), the Edward C. Lynch Teacher of the Year Award (2017, 2020, 2021, 2022), the GME Faculty Teaching Award (2016, 2017, 2020, 2021, 2022) and the Texas A&M Best Internal Medicine Faculty Award (2019).
George Taffet, MD, FGSA, FACP
Vice Chair of Education
In addition to being our Vice Chair of Education, Dr. Taffet is Professor and Robert J. Luchi Chair in Geriatrics, Department of Medicine-Section of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Chief of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital. He received his BA and MD from Brown University, followed by Internal Medicine residency and Geriatric Medicine and Cardiovascular Research fellowships at BCM. He was Section Chief (2002-2018), led the Hartford Center of Excellence and diversified training opportunities for an expanded number of fellows and advanced care providers encompassing the care continuum from house calls to hospice. He has won BCM’s highest clinical acclaim and its highest educator recognition. As a translational researcher Dr. Taffet focused on cardiovascular aging, heart failure, and advancing bench to bedside research. He designed techniques measuring cardiovascular function in mice to study the aging mouse as a model of human aging, and human studies to remedy aspects of aging. He has authored more than 150 papers, 10 book chapters, and served on several NIH Study Sections. As an accomplished clinician, educator, research scholar and administrator, Taffet still rounds on the Geriatrics inpatient consult service at HMH on a regular basis. His oldest son just graduated the IM residency program at HMH.
Academic Education Manager
Michelle joined Houston Methodist as program coordinator to the internal medicine residency in 2006. Her background in health care and recruiting along with excellent organization and interpersonal skills made her the ideal candidate. She has been instrumental in the development of the program working closely alongside the program directors to successfully create a program where residents learn in a close-knit atmosphere that provides an optimal balance of service and education. Over the years Michelle has played a key role in the program's expansion and attainment of a five-year accreditation. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Michelle takes pride in her relationships with the residents and provides both an open door and readily available ear.