Dell Medical School chooses inaugural chair of Internal Medicine

Estefania Espinosa

The UT Dell Medical School chose Dr. Michael Pignone as its first chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.

According to a Dell Medical School press release, Pignone, who is nationally recognized for his work in the treatment and prevention of chronic illness, will use his expertise to develop and implement systems that prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as promote patient care for those at risk of being diagnosed.

“I’m excited about working with everyone at the Dell Medical School to help build the most innovative medical school in the U.S. and create a high-value health system for the 21st century,” Pignone said in the press release. “This is a unique opportunity to build a forward-looking medical school with wonderful colleagues at a top-flight university in a great city.”

Pignone currently serves as chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, director of the Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

After earning his medical degree in 1993 and completing residency training in primary care and internal medicine in 1996 at the University of California-San Francisco, Pignone was appointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2013.

Having published over 225 peer reviewed journal articles, Pignone has also participated in several national guideline and quality improvement panels, adding his perspective to organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and the National Committee on Quality Assurance in Healthcare, according to the press release.

Pignone’s focus includes heart disease prevention, colorectal cancer screening and management of diabetes and heart failure. Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural Dean of the Dell Medical School, said Pignone will help Austin’s citizens reach their health potential.

“Mike is a perfect fit for what we’re trying to achieve,” Johnston said in the press release. “Leveraging his deep expertise and passion, he will work with the community to accelerate the pace to becoming a model healthy city.”