Mountainside Residency Program

Internal Medicine

Program Leadership and Core Faculty

Bijal S. Mehta, M.D. FACP

Program Director, Associate Director of Medical Education
Department of Medicine

BS: Interdisciplinary Biological and Medical Sciences (Junior Honors), University of Florida

M.D.: University of Florida, Alpha Omega Alpha

Residency: University of California – San Francisco

“I have tremendously enjoyed my time as Program Director of the Internal Medicine residency at HackensackUMC Mountainside after spending 17 years in New York City.  We have an amazing faculty that is dedicated to teaching and treating patients from all different backgrounds who come in with every conceivable pathology. We have a wonderful hospital staff that truly works as a team alongside the doctors to provide the highest level of care to every patient.  Of course, what sustains me is the house staff. They are caring, energetic, open to new ideas and receptive to learning.  To top it all off, this hospital has an incredibly supportive administrative leadership with a vision for the future and a vested interest in training doctors who will be integral to its continued success.”

Valerie Allusson, M.D., SFHM

Chair, Department of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Director, Hospitalist Services

Medical School: University of Medicine Paris, France

Residency: Albert Einstein, Bronx NY

Fellow Health Management Academy
Senior Fellow Hospital Medicine

 In the 21st century, the key to practicing great medicine is to train residents in the three fundamental aspects of patient care:  the application of best evidence medicine, providing patient centered care and providing high quality, cost conscious care.

Working with residents is to me a representation of what I would call the “Circle of Learning.”  The most exciting moment comes when one is able to transition from knowledge to the state of "connaissance" which involves the integration and application at the bedside of what one knows.  Our departmental philosophy also emphasizes teamwork and communication -  learning how to better communicate,  build bridges, connections and relationships between individuals. It is a wonderful experience from which we all learn every day.


Douglas H. Zaeh, M.D., FACP

Associate Program Director

BS in Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Cum Laude, Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society

MS in Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

M.D.: University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, Alpha Omega Alpha

Residency: University Hospital, UMDNJ- New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School

Coordinator of third year medical clerks from Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School Awarded "Outstanding Teacher Award"

“My career is dedicated to Internal Medicine, specifically the teaching of residents.  I specialize in hypertension, diabetes, and diagnosis.  A doctor must gather each clue from the patient and piece them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Meticulous care is needed to discover what is wrong, make a patient better and then help the patient maintain health.  Medical knowledge and a dash of bedside manner are the keys.  This is the core of what I try to pass on to the residents.”


Jennifer Knight, M.D.

Director, Adult Health Center

BS: Florida State University

M.D.: Ross University, Dominica

Residency: St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY

“Teaching tomorrow’s physicians is a privilege.  After spending at a little more than three years in private practice, I‘ve tremendously enjoyed becoming a clinician educator and Director of the Adult Health Center at HUMC Mountainside.  My goal is to mentor residents and develop their superior clinical skills, empathy and ability to adapt and function in today’s ever-changing outpatient health care environment.  The house staff at HUMC Mountainside continuously impresses me with the compassionate care they provide to our patients and their dedication to learning the craft of medicine.”

Zaza Cohen,  M.D., FCCP

Director, Intensive Care Unit

M.D.:  University of
Vermont School of Medicine

Residency: Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts

Fellowship: Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut

Faculty Appointment: Assistant Professor Medicine, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School

“It is said that a physician is entrusted with the health of an individual, while a teacher is entrusted with the health of a generation. If that is true, then imagine the impact of a physician educator, whose task is to make every patient encounter a ‘teachable moment’. It’s hard and fun, challenging and rewarding all at once. There is no prize better than a feeling that while helping patients through their illnesses, you are also importing morsels of knowledge into young physicians’ minds that will stay with them the rest of the way. I get multiple opportunities to do so every day in our ICU and hope that these mountains of knowledge accumulated by our residents throughout their training will positively affect countless patients they will treat in the future.”


Ali El-Sayed, M.D.

Critical Care Medicine

M.D.: University of Gezira, Sudan

Residency: Oakwood Hospital, Dearborn, MI

Fellowship: University of Virginia, Charlottesville

“Teacher of the Year” 2015

“I enjoy working with house staff. I believe my role is to nurture critical thinking and allow autonomy while providing a framework upon which to build a process of lifelong learning. Our pathology is diverse and our residents learn a broad-based approach to Critical Care Medicine.  Watching house staff grow and mature as they learn is a very rewarding experience.”


Zoric Proskurovsky, M.D.

Clinical Instructor

B.A.: City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College

M.D.:  Windsor University School of Medicine at St. Kitts.

Residency: HackensackUMC Mountainside

After finishing my residency in Internal Medicine at HUMC Mountainside, I realized that it offered a vast opportunity for  teaching - as well as learning.

As a new teaching attending, I have been granted a tremendous opportunity to not only hone my own clinical skills, but to help others just like me get through the challenges of residency.

The house staff at HUMC Mountainside has impressed me since I started here over three years ago. I look forward to working closely with them in developing their clinical skills, increasing their already broad level of knowledge, and guiding them on the path to being superior, and satisfied, physicians.



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