Welcome to the Department of Medicine

When you come to a hospital, you expect to be treated like a person, not just a patient. At Rush North Shore, we are uniquely designed to provide a high level of attention that respects the individual person you are. We offer the quality care you might expect from a downtown
teaching hospital in a comfortable, community hospital setting.

Our doctors are some of the most respected names on the North Shore-experts with national reputations who are dedicated to serving you within your own community.

These experts specialize in many areas, including:
  • Cardiology (Heart)
  • Dermatology (Skin)
  • Endocrinology (Glands and Hormones)
  • Gastroenterology (Digestive System)
  • Geriatrics
  • Infectious Disease
  • Nephrology (Kidney Care)
  • Neurology
  • Oncology (Cancer)
  • Palliative Care (Pain Control and End-of-Life Care)
  • Pulmonary (Lung) Diseases
  • Rheumatology (Joints and Muscles)

Many of our physicians participate in clinical studies through Rush University Medical Center and other organizations. This means you can access the latest breakthrough treatments before they become available elsewhere.

Our staff also recognizes the varied cultural and religious backgrounds reflected in Skokie and the surrounding areas. For example, through the Korean Multispecialty Clinic at Rush North Shore, our physicians offer personalized care to patients in their own language. We also strive to accommodate the diverse needs of all of our inpatients and outpatients, through special religious services, kosher meals, translation services and cultural activities.

If you have any questions about our services, please call the Department of Medicine at 847/933-6018.

Lawrence Layfer, MD


Recognized Nationally for Excellence

Rush North Shore was named one of the nation's top cardiovascular hospitals according to the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success 2005 study-making us one of only 30 community hospitals nationally to be honored.

Our program offers a full range of services, starting from basic consultations with expert cardiologists to state-of-the-art non-invasive procedures including echocardiography and stress testing with echocardiographic or nuclear imaging. We also perform electrophysiology testing for patients with abnormal heart rhythms who may benefit from pacemakers or defibrillators.From diagnosis to recovery, Rush North Shore is dedicated to caring foryour heart.

Cardiac Cath Lab
Rush North Shore offers two full-service, 24-hour cardiac catheterization labs for patients who need diagnostic tests such as angiograms, or therapeutic treatments for heart disease, includuing angioplasty.

Each year, our cardiologists perform 1,200 diagnostic cardiac catheterizations and 600 angioplasties of coronary and peripheral stent placements.

The Okner Electrophysiology (EP) Lab
Rush North Shore has expanded its cardiac care services with the addition of our new EP Lab, which offers the latest in interventional technologies. Our capabilities include EP study, mapping/ablation, non-invasive programmed simulation, and the pharmacological study for a fatal condition known as Brugada syndrome.

Other Cardiovascular Services
As part of its state-of-the-art facilities for heart patients, Rush North Shore offers a six-bed Cardiac Surveillance Unit designed for patients who have had cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and stent procedures, and who require specialized supervision or monitoring.

The Echocardiography Laboratory is accreditated by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories. Tests performed in the Echocardiography Lab include echocardiograms, stress Echoes and transesophageal echocardiograms.

The Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories. The Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory performs a variety of peripheral vascular diagnostic tests such as, venous ultrasound for the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis, arterial testing for the diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease and carotid duplex exams for the diagnosis of carotid artery disease.

Finally, Rush North Shore's Heart Station performs cardiovascular stress testing, including pharmacological testing for those who may not be able to walk the treadmill. Other tests performed in the Heart Station include 30 day Event Recorders, 24 hour Holter Monitors and EKG's.

Cardiopulmonary Rehab
For patients who are recovering from heart attacks, angioplasty or bypass surgery, Rush North Shore offers a four-phase, inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program. This 12-week, post hospitalization, risk-factor modification program helps participants make all the needed lifestyle modifications-including diet, exercise and stress management-to assist in their recovery.

For more information, please click on Support Groups

Heart Scan
Prevention of heart disease is also a primary goal of the doctors and nurses at Rush North Shore Medical Center. That is why we offer a specialized CT scanner capable of detecting calcium build-up in the coronary arteries, an early sign of heart disease. The 5-minute heart scan is ideal for people with limited risk factors and no symptoms of heart disease. This painless test can help identify a risk factor that suggests the need for cholesterol-lowering medication or lifestyle changes to lower the person's risk for future heart problems.

For more information on Rush North Shore's Cardiology Services, please call one of the following numbers:

Cardiac Catheterization Lab 847/933-6160

Cardiovascular Services/Heart Station 847/933-6190

Cardiac Rehabilitation 847/ 933-6175

Heart Scan 847/674-9390


From basic skin care to advanced skin cancer treatments, the dermatologists on staff at Rush North Shore can provide you with the comprehensive care you need.

Our specialists offer:
  • Skin cancer screening, treatment and prevention (including Mohs' chemosurgery)
  • Spider vein treatments
  • Mole removal
  • Wart and keloid treatment
  • Laser surgery, including hair and tattoo removal
  • Ultraviolet light therapy for psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo
  • Wound healing
  • Botox injections, chemical peels and collagen injections
For more information, please call 847/933-6000.


Glands and Hormones

Answers to Your Healthcare Problems

Glands may be small organs, but they play major roles in our bodies, regulating our growth, energy, metabolism, fertility and other body processes.

At Rush North Shore, our endocrinologists not only provide management of diabetes mellitus and thyroid diseases but assist in the diagnosis of other hormonal problems. They also provide advanced diagnosis and treatment options for patients suffering from:
  • Over- or under-active thyroid
  • Diabetes
  • Growth and development problems
  • Infertility
  • Other types of hormone imbalance

For more information, please call 847/933-6000.


Beat Your Heartburn and Other Ailments

The gastroenterologists at Rush North Shore are there to help diagnose and treat routine and complex digestive problems.
  • Acid reflux
  • Ulcer diseases
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Colon cancer (including screening)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Diverticulosis
  • Colon polyps
  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Gallstones
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Genetic screening for colorectal cancer

With the addition of manometry equipment and 24-hour pH monitoring to the Endoscopy Center, doctors at Rush North Shore are now able to determine if some patients with chronic heartburn may be candidates for surgery to improve their health and quality of life.

In addition, our doctors are involved in a number of research studies involving patients with hepatitis C, acid reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome.

For professionals, our section offers a specialized fellowship in gastroenterology, in partnership with Rush University Medical Center.

For more information, please call 847/933-6000.

For more information on diagnosis and treatment services related to Endoscopy see Endoscopy Center.

For more information on diagnosis and treatment services related to incontinence, see Women's Health.


Living Life to Its Fullest

As we become older, our medical needs become more complex. Rush North Shore recognizes the special needs of people in their twilight years and strives to provide them with comprehensive, affordable medical services.

Our doctors and nurses can help older patients cope with a variety of chronic ailments, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia.

For more information about our services, please call 847/933-6000.


Infectious Disease
Specialized Care, Expert Physicians

The infectious disease specialists at Rush North Shore Medical Center are certified epidemiologists who provide advanced treatment for common and complex infectious diseases.

Most importantly, these doctors are called in to provide testing and investigation when there is an infectious disease process which needs to be identified, treated with the latest advances in medicine evaluated, and then reported to national agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control.

Rush North Shore Medical Center is prepared to handle even the most complex infectious disease issues as needed for our patients and for our community.

For more information, please call 847/933-6000.


Kidney Health: We Take It Seriously

People with kidney problems need special attention and the nephrology experts at Rush North Shore Medical Center provide special care.

The newly expanded Nephrology Section of Rush North Shore's Department of Medicine reinforces the medical center's commitment to providing high quality care and a full range of treatments and services for people who suffer from various kidney diseases and disorders. Rush North Shore physicians are not only active in treating patients with chronic kidney failure and end-stage renal disease, but also those with acute kidney failure, hypertension and lupus.

Prevention tactics are also emphasized at Rush North Shore, particularly among our patients with diabetes and hypertension, two of the leading causes of kidney disease. Other problems can be genetic, such as polycystic kidney disease, and may not become apparent until people are in their 20s or 30s. Kidney disease can also be caused by chemicals or a serious injury, and the earlier it is detected, the better your options for treatment.

Signs of progressive kidney disease include the following:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Itchy skin all over the body
  • More frequent or less frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting
  • Swollen limbs
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Cramps
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor. For more information about kidney care at Rush North Shore Medical Center, please call 847/933-6000.


Mending the Brain and Beyond

Rush North Shore Medical Center has 18 neurologists on staff who provide the full range of neurologic care services. Specialty evaluations are available at multiple sites throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Our neurologists are experts in the treatment of:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Stroke and transient ischemic attacks
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Parkinson's disease and tremors
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Back and neck pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • And a variety of other conditions.

We also offer the latest diagnostic techniques available, including electroencephalography and electromyography.

In addition, Rush North Shore operates a special multidisciplinary clinic for patients with Alzheimer's disease. Our friendly and compassionate staff can help evaluate people with memory loss or behavior changes and will work closely with the families and primary care physicians. For more information, please call 847/933-6593.

For more information about the neurologic services available at Rush North Shore, please call 847/933-6000.


Hope for Cancer Patients and Their Families

We provide the services you need to help you and your family manage this complicated disease - from prevention to diagnosis to treatment.

All of these services are provided with a comprehensive and compassionate approach to the patient.The diagnosis of cancer can be frightening, but it doesn't have to be as scary if you have the right team of professionals working on your side. At Rush North Shore we have a remarkable group of cancer experts from a variety of disciplines.

Our medical oncologists work together with radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, psychiatrists, plastic surgeons, advanced practice nurses and other professionals to provide a comprehensive diagnosis and, if necessary, develop a customized treatment plan that works for you.We also offer the support services and palliative care you and your family may desire.

Prevention and screening is a vital part of what we do. We offer education lectures, screenings and high risk surveillance programs for our community. We also offer specialized genetic counseling for those who may be at risk of certain kinds of inherited cancer, such as some breast and ovarian cancers.

Our diagnostic capabilities provide our medical staff the ability to detect cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage. Our Breast Imaging Center provides mammography and utilizes computer assisted diagnosis to detect the presence of breast cancer, our Endoscopy Center provides fexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy procedures to detect colon cancers, and our advanced Computer Assisted Tomography (CT) scans detect lung cancer and our Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans provide the ability to identify many types of cancers.

If cancer is diagnosed, we can provide proven chemotherapy, biological therapy, radiation therapy and surgical treatments, including reconstructive surgery. These treatments utilize some of the latest research being done in the field on oncology.

If you would like more information about our cancer care services, please call 847/933-6000.

Genetic Counseling and Risk Assessment Program for Familial Cancers

See Cancer Care


Pulmonary Diseases

The staff at Rush North Shore provides comprehensive treatment plans for patients suffering from a variety of lung conditions, including:
  • Emphysema and COPD
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Asthma
  • A variety of other conditions.
For more information, please call 847/933-6000.

Joints and Muscles

Free Up Your Body and Enjoy Life Again

Living with sore joints and muscles can be a real pain. That's why the doctors and nurses at Rush North Shore are committed to helping you regain your life without pain.

Our rheumatologists (doctors who treat joint and muscle conditions) can diagnose and treat a variety of rheumatic and autoimmune conditions, including:
  • Osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear arthritis)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Scleroderma.
For more information, please call 847/933-6000.


Training Opportunities
Train with the Best

Like other departments at Rush North Shore, the Department of Medicine is dedicated to training the next generation of medical professionals. In partnership with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the department helps train tomorrow's most promising physicians, nurses and other medical professionals.

We are actively pursuing increased numbers of fellows, including those in gastroenterology, cardiology, critical care and oncology.

For more information, please call the Department of Medicine at 847/933-6018.