Meet Our Internal Medicine Residency Faculty

Sindhu-Joseph-M-D

Sindhu Joseph, M.D.
Program Director

Dr. Sindhu Joseph graduated from medical school at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, and then completed her Internal Medicine Residency training at the University of Texas at Houston. She moved to Chicago in 2010, and spent four years at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County as a core faculty member and Associate Firm Chief. Dr. Joseph joined the MacNeal Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program as an Associate Program Director in 2014, and has focused on residency program innovation and development since that time.

Dr. Joseph coordinates the Quality Improvement Curriculum for the residents, and helps the residents showcase their scholarly activity at the Resident Research Day. She is intricately involved with all of the events involving the Internal Medicine residents from the first day of Intern Orientation to Graduation day.

Dr. Joseph holds a core belief that residency education is a transformational experience in the career of a physician, and the faculty and leadership of the program are essential to that transformation. She desires to create physicians who are patient-centered, compassionate, positive, and well-balanced, and aims to do this through mentorship and personalized attention.


Dr. Farah Ciftci Olsen

Farah Ciftci Olsen, M.D.
Program Director, Transitional Year

Dr. Farah Ciftci Olsen graduated from medical school in Turkey and trained in Neurology before moving to the United States in 2006 to start her Internal Medicine residency at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County. After residency graduation, she was asked to stay on as chief medicine resident and then as faculty member at Cook County, working as an attending physician for five years in the Division of Hospital Medicine and later the Division of General Internal Medicine.

During her time at Cook County, Dr. Ciftci served as a member of the core faculty and as Associate Firm Chief of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. She played a pivotal role in numerous educational initiatives in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings, serving as co-director of a resident research mentoring program, director of educational activities of the Division of Hospital Medicine, and Chair of the faculty development program for the Division of General Internal Medicine. She also created and implemented several innovative educational programs for residents including an ambulatory intern immersion rotation and addiction medicine rotation. In addition, her research work and clinical case presentations have been awarded various honors and published in several peer-reviewed journals such as BMJ, Seizure, and Journal of Neurology.

Dr. Ciftci joined MacNeal Hospital in 2016 as the Associate Program Director of the Transitional Year Residency Program and core faculty member of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Her focus is primarily in medical education innovation and faculty development to improve clinical teaching of housestaff.

As she has worked with all stages of learners in clinical medicine from medical students up to faculty, Dr. Ciftci believes in learner-centered teaching and every learner has the ability to improve and reach their goals with reflection, proper feedback, encouragement, and mentorship, regardless of whether the learner is a resident or a brand-new attending.


Christine Junia, M.D.

Christine Junia, M.D.
Associate Program Director

Dr. Christine Junia graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas Philippines and completed her post-graduate internship from the UP-Philippine General Hospital. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Dr. Junia joined MacNeal as a core faculty of the Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2016. She is currently supervising the program’s quality improvement curriculum and supplementary education provided by clinical or research electives in outside institutions. She supervises residents in inpatient and outpatient rotations and hopes to cultivate an environment of critical thinking and evidence-based medical reasoning.

Dr. Junia is committed to providing quality, patient-centered care and advocates for health equality. She is dedicated to medical education and appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with young physicians in providing holistic care.


Dr. Lauren Sullivan

Lauren Sullivan, D.O.
Associate Program Director, Osteopathic Track Director

Dr. Lauren Sullivan graduated medical school from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and Rush University Medical Center in the Primary Care Internal Medicine Program in 2015. Following residency, she joined MacNeal as chief resident in 2015, continued on as a core faculty member, and it is here that she found graduate medical education to be her professional calling.

Dr. Sullivan has advocated for our residents and the program with hospital administration, and she has contributed to the establishment of the primary care rotations and leading the chief residents in their roles. She was integral in launching our new IMS admitting system, and is passionate about teaching outpatient internal medicine. Dr. Sullivan has led nursing-resident collaboration efforts with the NRCPC, actively worked on the Schwartz Rounds Committee, and contributes weekly to resident learning on Monday and Wednesday Resident Reports.


Dr. Melissa Arredondo

Melissa Arredondo, M.D.
Core Faculty

Dr. Melissa Arredondo graduated from medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She went on to complete a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at the University of Chicago. In her last year at the University of Chicago, she served as the Education Chief for the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program.

She is currently serving as core faculty for the Internal Medicine Program. She will be overseeing the Clinical Pathophysiology Conferences as well as Journal Club. She will also be leading the curriculum committee, which strives to assess and ensure educational goals are met or exceeded by each rotation and educational conference. Dr. Arredondo is dedicated to providing quality and compassionate care to both adult and pediatric patients. She strives to encourage the residents to think critically and to use evidence-based medicine to guide clinical decision making.


Baudelio-Herrada-M-D

Baudelio Herrada, M.D.
Core Faculty

Dr. Baudelio Herrada graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria. He completed his residency training at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles and has been a hospitalist for most of his career. He has worked at MacNeal Hospital since 2009. Having grown up on the southwest side of Chicago, MacNeal Hospital serves many of his family and friends. He joined the residency faculty in 2014.

Dr. Herrada’s main focus is teaching hospital medicine. He emphasizes patient safety, efficiency, and proper documentation. He enjoys one-on-one interactions with residents and medical students during rounds and on the hospital units. He encourages thorough history-taking, broad differentials, and well-thought-out treatment plans. He serves as a resident advisor. He also conducts weekly board review sessions. He provides insight and encouragement to residents interested in a hospitalist career. Dr. Herrada enjoys working with residents that always bring a good attitude and a strong work ethic.


Komal Kaul, MD

Komal Kaul, M.D.
Core Faculty

Dr. Komal Kaul is a board certified internist who completed her clinical training at the Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu Nepal. She first came to Chicago to pursue her Internal Medicine at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

After completion of her training, Dr. Komal worked as a Hospitalist at Jeanes Hospital in the Temple University Health System of Philadelphia, working closely with medical students.

Dr. Kaul is a fierce advocate for hospital quality improvement, resource utilization, and end of life care.


Robert Lichtenberg, MD

Robert Lichtenberg, M.D.
Core Faculty

Born and raised on West Side of Chicago, now on the other side of age 65! In his youth, he climbed most of the garages in the neighborhood around MacNeal and smiles at that thought as he walks or drives through the neighborhoods of Berwyn and Oak Park.

He received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in 1982 and has completed training and remains Board Certified in: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Cardiovascular Disease, Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Nuclear Cardiology and Clinical Lipidology.

After spending more than 30 years (21 years - Academic Medicine and 10 years - private practice), in clinical medical education at the bedside; this father of four, grandfather of six (still counting) has found his Ikigai at MacNeal in the Internal Medicine Residency program where he promises to have some positive influence on training the next generation.


Jennifer-Sardonne-Ponnappan-M-D

Jennifer Sardone-Ponnappan, M.D.
Core Faculty, Clinic Director

Dr. Jennifer Sardone-Ponnappan graduated from medical school at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health in Columbus, Ohio. She then completed her Internal Medicine residency at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado. There, she practiced with a traditional internal medicine group until moving to Chicago. She started at MacNeal as a hospitalist and is now core faculty with the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Her main role is Clinic Director of the resident continuity clinic at the MacNeal Center for Internal Medicine.

Dr. Sardone believes that open communication is key in the doctor-patient relationship as well as with residents and students. She encourages candid dialogue to facilitate learning and identify areas for growth. She strives to help residents build critical thinking skills in the outpatient setting where patients stimulate thought, allow for the application of medical knowledge and facilitate  retention of medical concepts. In the continuity clinic, following patients over time also improves a resident's ability to re-evaluate diagnoses and responses to treatments. Dr. Sardone is an advocate of preventive medicine and treats patients, residents and students with compassion and respect.