Internal Medicine Residency

Meet our Core Leadership

Dava Szalda, MD, MSHP. Dava Szalda MD MSHP is the Program Director of the Med-Peds Program. She grew up in New York and went to SUNY Stony Brook for medical school. She came to Penn-CHOP for her med-peds residency and served as the inaugural chief resident for the program. Following her chief year she completed a Pediatric Hematology-Oncology fellowship at CHOP, with focused time in cancer survivorship. She completed the Masters in Health Policy Research Program at Penn, allowing her explore health services for adult survivors of childhood cancer and adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology patients. She remained active in medical education becoming an Associate Program Director of the Med-Peds Program prior to becoming Program Director.

Dr. Szalda currently works in pediatric oncology and serves as an Internist with an expertise in adult survivors of childhood cancer. Her academic interests are in cancer survivorship and transition from pediatric to adult medical care for all patients with pediatric-onset chronic illness. She is involved in several institutional initiatives to improve care for such patients. She is an educator at heart and enjoys teaching, learning from and advocating for students, residents and Med-Peds as a discipline at all available opportunities.

Outside of the hospital she can usually be found blocking traffic on Philadelphia side walks with her (husband, sons and dogs) as they enjoy the city. She also enjoys trying to make her way down the Philadelphia top 20 restaurant list each year and hiking in the Wissahickon park.

Oana Tomescu, MD, PhD. Oana, one of the program's Associate Program Directors, has been at Penn for 20 years, coming here for medical school and staying on as faculty. She is passionate about medical education and teaches at all levels of medical training. As both an Adolescent Medicine specialist and an adult primary care doctor, she has an interest in healthcare transitions of young adults with special health care needs. Another of her clinical interests is Mind-Body Medicine and she cares for her patients using an Integrative Medicine approach. She oversees the Physician Wellness curriculum for the Med/Peds and categorical Internal Medicine programs and is the faculty mentor of the Resident Wellness Initiative, a resident-run committee that sponsors wellness events throughout the year. Her research focus currently is studying the effects of the Physician Wellness curriculum on resident burnout, coping strategies and resiliency.

Chad Johr, MD Dr. Chadwick Johr is a rheumatologist, general internist, pediatrician and enthusiast of medical education. He went to Penn State for medical school, Brown for residency, and the University of Iowa for fellowship prior to joining the faculty here at the University of Pennsylvania. Aside from supporting our med-peds residents, Chad enjoys attending on the general medicine wards, caring for rheumatology patients in his young-adult transition clinic and as a co-director of the Penn Sjogren’s Syndrome Center. When not teaching learners about the wonders of methotrexate, Chad can be found beating residents and fellows at various “euro-style” board games, running up and down the Schuylkill river trail, learning Turkish on his iPhone, playing guitar, and trying not to spend his life savings eating out at all of the ridiculously delicious restaurants Philadelphia has to offer.

Nikki Jaffe, MD Dr. Jaffe is Core Faculty in the Medicine-Pediatrics Program.  She hails from the great city of New York, though is now proud to have adopted Philly as her second home town.  She completed medical school at Boston University, and then came to CHOP for residency and hasn’t looked back since!  She has an interest in children with special health care needs, and in serving an underserved population both of which she is able to do while working as a primary care doctor at one of the CHOP resident clinics in West Philadelphia.  She also spends time in the CHOP Leukodystrophy Center of Excellence.  She is passionate about teaching and enjoys helping all the residents who cross her path discover their hidden love for primary care.  When not hanging with the kids of West Philly Dr. Jaffe can be found exploring the city with her favorite side kick, her 90 lb dog.  She can also be found exploring the delicious foods of Philly with her husband or friends. 


Charmaine, MD, MSHP Dr. Wright is Core Faculty in the Medicine-Pediatrics Program. She grew up in Illinois, then went to Harvard for college and medical school. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Harvard's Combined Med-Peds Proram and was selected Chief her final year. During residency, she nurtured her interest in maternal-child health and nutrition throughout the lifespan. She completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and Masters in Health Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently as Assistant Professor at Penn. She works to understand the associations that exist between pregnancy behaviors, mother and child, and designs family weight loss interventions with and for vulnerable communities. She is a past Associate Program Director of Penn's Med-Peds Program and currently mother of 3 children. Current out-of-the-hospital activities include eating a Philadelphia's fabulous BYOB's with husband Sean at a ridiculously early time, acquiring baby sitter for said dinner, hiding her son's pacifier as she attempts to wean him from it, teaching her daughter about early 90's fashion and TV shows and phone conversations with her large extended Jamaican family who always remind her that academic medicine is great, but that making an Olympic track team would be even better.

Laura Robinson, MD Laura is the Med-Peds Chief Resident for the 2017-2018 academic year. Laura grew up in Indiana, then went to Duke for college where she studied cultural anthropology, biology, and French. After college, she spent a year working for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger as an Americorps VISTA volunteer. She returned south and crossed basketball enemy lines to attend UNC for medical school. Laura completed her residency training in the Penn/CHOP Med-Peds program in 2017. Her clinical and academic interests include primary care for children and adults, transitions of care for adolescents and young adults with chronic illness, caring for caregivers, and narrative medicine. Over the past 4+ years, Laura has become an avid fan of all things Philadelphia and currently lives in the East Passyunk neighborhood in South Philly with her husband. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and shopping in the Italian Market.