Program Directors

Omar Canaday, M.D., FACP

Associate 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

Sujatha Pitani M.D., FACP

Associate Professor; Associate Program Director 

Dr. Sujatha Pitani is a board certified Internal Medicine specialist practicing in Reno. Dr. Pitani graduated from Andhra Medical College, India and finished residency training at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine in 2006. Since then she has been an Assistant Professor at the University. Her primary job responsibilities include being the Ambulatory clinic director for the residents and outpatient practice. She is also a specialist in HIV medicine. Hobbies include cooking, traveling, fun with her family—skiing, swimming, running and biking with her kids.

Michael Philippone D.O.

Assistant Professor; Associate Program Director

Dr Michael Philippone is an American Board of Internal Medicine-certified hospitalist, practicing at St Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno, NV. He is a graduate of Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine: California. Dr Philippone completed a traditional rotating internship at College Medical Center in Long Beach, CA and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Unity Health, White County Medical Center in Searcy, AR. He then came to Reno and served as chief resident for UNR Internal Medicine.

Research and practice interests include bedside procedures, critical care & resuscitation, mechanical ventilation & related devices, and fluid resuscitation.

Dr Philippone's hobbies include cycling, catching up on podcasts (RadioLab, EMCrit, IBCC, Curbsiders), hiking, and generally spending time with family outdoors.

Steven Zell M.D.

Professor; Associate Program Director, Director of Primary Care Track

Dr. Steven C. Zell is a professor of medicine with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, board certified in internal medicine. He holds a certificate in HIV and AIDS from the American Academy of HIV Medicine, where he is recognized as a skilled clinician, teacher and researcher in HIV medicine.

Dr. Zell's interests are in travel medicine and he provides trip consultations for those traveling to underdeveloped countries.

Dr. Zell has been recognized by the Consumer's Research Council of America and is designated as one of "America's top physicians."

He offers an age and gender specific adult preventive health exam that provides patients with recommendations for appropriate screening and laboratory testing to optimize one's state of health.