Program Directors

Lisa Calvo, M.D.

Associate Professor; Associate Program Director

Lisa Calvo, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and recently served as the interim Associate Dean for Medical Education from 2019 until 2022. She is an attending physician on the inpatient wards at Renown Regional Medical Center, where she supervises both medical students and residents. She also serves as a Block Director for the Practice of Medicine, the first-year clinical skills course. She is passionate about medical education and tells people that she’s “a teacher that happens to teach people how to be doctors”. In her free time, Dr. Calvo enjoys eating, being active, being outside and spending time with her two young sons.  

Omar Canaday, M.D., FACPOmar Canday

Assistant Professor; Program Director 

Dr. Canaday has adopted a love for Reno after moving here for residency in 2008, upon obtaining his MD from Wake Forest University. He was awarded the Outstanding Senior Resident Award in his 2011 graduating class, as well as received the Professionalism Award for Respect and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence Award in Teaching. His passion for teaching residents and medical students continued when serving as the Chief Resident 2011-2012. His current role since 2012 is that of a ABIM board-certified academic internist at the VA. In addition to his interests of clinical duties and resident education, he is also passionate about administrative duties. Since 2012 he has served as one of our associate program directors and site director at the VA. He also served as the VA Deputy Chief of Medicine from 10/2016-11/2017, as well as the VA Acting Chief of Medicine from 6/2017-11/2017.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and his Shih-Tzu named Fluffy

Lorrel Toft M.D.lorrel toft

Associate Professor; Director of Didactics

Lorrel Brown Toft, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and is a practicing clinical cardiologist at Carson-Tahoe Medical Center. Dr. Toft is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a BS in Biology (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2007 (Alpha Omega Alpha). She completed her internal medicine residency training at Johns Hopkins in 2010 and was selected to serve as Assistant Chief of Service/chief resident. She then completed her cardiology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins and joined the faculty at the University of Louisville in 2014. At University of Louisville, she served as the Cardiology Fellowship Program Director as well as the Clinical Director of the medical student cardiovascular curriculum. She won many local and national teaching awards, including the Stuart Urbach Award for resident teaching, the Golden Apple award for medical student favorite, the Dean's Outstanding Educator Award, the University of Louisville Trustee's Educator Award for most outstanding educator at the University, and the Young Leader to Watch in Residency Education from the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. In 2021, she was honored to receive the American Heart Association Women in Cardiology Mentor award. Dr. Toft’s cardiology critical care lecture series ( is a hit with medical students, residents, and practicing physicians, having over 750,000 national and international views. Dr. Toft is recognized as a national leader in cardiovascular education.

Sean Kandel, D.O., M.S., FACP

Associate Professor Director of Research, Associate Program Director for Research

Sean Kandel, DO is an Associate Professor and physician of Internal Medicine. He provides primary care to the full spectrum of adults: from preventative counseling and screening for healthy adults to the management of medically complex cases. He works with patients to provide a holistic, evidence-based plan of care and is particularly interested in healthy lifestyle interventions that can prevent future health problems. In addition to clinical medicine, he loves teaching and research. As faculty at UNR, he trains medical students and residents. Dr. Kandel also runs a research program on anxiety disorders. In his free time, he enjoys waterskiing, simply being outdoors by a lake, playing volleyball, pretending to play guitar, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Sonila Ziu, M.D.

Associate Professor, Associate Program Director

Sonila Ziu, MD is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine proudly served for Renown Group from 2016-2018 as a Primary Care physician and then transitioned in 2018 to Inpatient Service as a Hospitalist. She is very passionate about patient care, diversity, teaching, and being an advocate. She believes that each of us shares similar values, and interests and in the meantime each of us is unique. By keeping this in mind her main goal is to contribute to her community and giving her best by focusing on each her own strengths and weaknesses to have a balance and a positive attitude.

In her free time, she loves traveling, cooking, and spending quality time with her children (3) and her family and friends.