EVMS has recruited an experienced academic clinician and manager with a passion for studying the genetics of heart disease to lead the school’s Internal Medicine department. 

Rehan Qayyum, MBBS, MHS, inaugural Chair of the Division of Hospital Medicine and Professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, will join EVMS Jan. 25, 2021. Dr. Qayyum was selected following an extensive nationwide search, says Richard V. Homan, MD, EVMS President and Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine.

“We desired to recruit an established academic leader with broad clinical and educational experience who understands the role of an academic medical center,” Dr. Homan says. “Dr. Qayyum has extensive administrative, clinical and research experience and expertise and will advance the clinical and academic reputation of the department and EVMS.”

Dr. Qayyum succeeds Jerry Nadler, MD, who left EVMS in 2019 to become Dean of the School of Medicine at New York Medical College. Robert Palmer, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the EVMS Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, has served as the interim Chair since Dr. Nadler’s departure.

EVMS conducted a comprehensive national search for the new Chair of Internal Medicine, one of the school’s largest academic department, according to Alfred Abuhamad, MD, Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who led the Search Committee.

“Internal Medicine plays a fundamental role at any medical school, so it was essential for us to find the right person to lead this critical department,” Dr. Abuhamad says. “Dr. Qayyum’s hospital experience, combined with his passion for patient care, education and research make him the ideal candidate.”

During his visits to EVMS, Dr. Qayyum says he was impressed with the commitment to excellence, compassion and passion for academic medicine demonstrated by leadership and department faculty alike.

“Internal Medicine can have a major clinical and academic impact on the region through its collaboration across EVMS, partnering institutions and the community,” Dr. Qayyum says. “The unprecedented challenges faced currently by the healthcare system provide tremendous opportunities to enhance patient-centered and personalized care, improve understanding of human health and refocus our efforts to maintain the health of the whole community.”

“I am passionate about nurturing an innovative and dynamic environment that is also inclusive, transparent and engaging,” he adds. “I plan to partner with the many distinguished faculty and staff to enhance the impressive accomplishments and reputation of EVMS, expand access to the excellent clinical care, strengthen educational programs, support research endeavors, reduce clinician burnout and reinforce bridges with collaborating institutions and community.”

A native of Pakistan, Dr. Qayyum earned his medical degree from King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan. He did his internal medicine residency training at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut., and completed a Chief Residency year at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana, Illinois. He earned a Master of Health Science from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and holds a certificate in Leadership and Development for Physicians from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard.

Before he joined VCU in 2016, Dr. Qayyum was an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and an attending physician at Erlanger Baroness Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Previously, he spent eight years at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an Academic Hospitalist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine.

At VCU, Dr. Qayyum led a team of 80 clinicians who cared for more than 8,000 hospitalized patients during the past year. He worked with departments throughout the hospital to improve patient care effectiveness and efficiency. He mentored and helped develop junior faculty in leadership, education and research — winning the department’s mentoring award earlier this year.

Over his career, Dr. Qayyum has developed expertise in clinical trial design and project management.

He was Principal Investigator of a three-phase study, “Pharmacogenomics of Antiplatelet Response,” to better understand the impact of aspirin therapy on atherosclerosis. His extramural-funded research also includes a $2.8 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for a study of “Gene Transcripts and Proteomics in Families with Platelet Hyperaggregation,” and a $8.4 million grant from the same agency for “Functional Genomics of Platelet Aggregation using IPS and Derived Megakaryocytes.” He was co-investigator on both studies.

Drawing on his research experience, Dr. Qayyum helped strengthen his division’s research program at VCU, resulting in a three-fold increase in peer-reviewed publications and scholarly activity.

He has 72 published/accepted research manuscripts. Among his professional editorial responsibilities, he is Associate Editor of the Journal of Hospital Medicine and Senior Chief Editor of the Journal of Pioneering Medical Science.

Dr. Qayyum is a senior fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine, a fellow of the American Heart Association and a member of the American College of Physicians.