Neurosurgery Fellowships

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Thank you for your interest in Cleveland Clinic Neurosurgical Residency and Graduate Medical Education Program. Our program is fully accredited by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, meets or exceeds all ACGME requirements and is designed to train future leaders in neurosurgery.

Neurological surgery has a long and esteemed tradition at Cleveland Clinic. Nearly 75 years ago, W. James Gardner, MD, our first chairman in Neurological Surgery, established the department’s direction with his keen interest in teaching, research, and quality patient care. Today, Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeons remain dedicated to those same principles.

Our staff of 19 full-time surgeons sees one of the largest and most diverse patient populations in the country. Therefore, we offer training in all neurosurgical subspecialties. In addition to a wide variety of complex neurosurgical problems, our training program offers two years of research to prepare residents for a career in academic neurosurgery. Staff members from each subspecialty conduct their own research and coordinate their efforts with investigators from other sections and departments to ensure patients receive comprehensive, state-of-the-art care. Through a choice of elective rotations in clinical and research areas, we offer a flexible program that fosters individual interests. Residents are expected to participate in basic and clinical research projects and encouraged to present their findings at national meetings. The two year segment of training can be approached in many ways. The goal is to help the resident develop and mature an academic niche. Basic science research is one way this may be accomplished. Alternatively, clinical research and the pursuit of non-research, but academic endeavors, such as healthcare policies or training that augment academic potential are welcome.

Cleveland Clinic has always been committed to excellence in patient care and researching the diseases that affect our patients. We take special pride in training future neurosurgical practitioners and look forward to meeting and visiting with you.

Sincerely,

Richard Schlenk, MD
Residency Program Director

Edward Benzel, MD
Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery














Neuroendovascular/Interventional Neuroradiology (NES/INR) Fellowship»

The Section of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery oversees patient care and postgraduate education in both basic and clinical research pertaining to the microsurgical or endovascular treatment of cerebrovascular disease. Post-graduate fellowships in endovascular and cerebrovascular micro-neurosurgery are offered. Unique to Cleveland Clinic is the integration of the cerebrovascular surgery and the endovascular neurosurgery departments, optimizing patient care. It represents a vital component of a multispecialty cerebrovascular center providing a seamless environment for interaction with diagnostic neuroradiology, neuroanesthesia, neurosurgical intensive care, stroke neurology, and radiation oncology clinical services and the basic neuroscience research group. Since the inception, both surgical and endovascular case volumes have increased steadily.

Endovascular fellows on the unified cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery service will find it both busy and challenging. Specialists in the section provide microsurgical and endovascular treatment for occlusive cerebrovascular disease, cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformation and other extra- and intra-cranial cerebrovascular diseases. In addition to cerebrovascular disorders, additional experience is gained in the management of skull base lesions (pre-operative embolization and test balloon occlusions), as well as functional testing (WADA testing). Moreover, fellows will gain experience in other interventional techniques, including treatment of cranial facial vascular malformation, intra-arterial chemotherapy administration, and percutaneous therapeutic spinal procedures.

Section members view fellowship training education as an extremely important responsibility. The educational objectives include mastery of key interventional skills in cerebrovascular disease including management of patient data to provide unified care plans. In addition, there is an emphasis on real time development of problem-solving skills in the endovascular suite, intensive care unit ward and in the outpatient clinic. Routine interaction with the cerebrovascular surgeons allows the fellows opportunities to participate in a wide variety of microsurgical treatment options for patients with cerebrovascular disease.

The section has active clinical and basic research programs and fellows are strongly encouraged to participate in the cerebrovascular research laboratory under the supervision of the appropriate basic scientist or clinical faculty. Endovascular training is an ACGME-eligible endovascular neurosurgery curriculum.

All applicants must have successfully completed an ACGME-accredited residency program in the United States or RCPSC-accredited residency program in Canada in one of the following specialties: Neurology, Neurosurgery, or Neuroradiology. All International Medical Graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program. The program duration will be two-three years depending on the candidates background. The variation in the program length beyond two years is to accommodate applicants differing residency background.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:
Preparatory Experience
  • One year dedicated NES/INR experience.

The specialty requires significant clinical training in the logic of cerebrovascular therapeutics, and therefore, the program would include clinical (including NICU) experience, neuroimaging, medical physics, radiation safety; and catheter work in NES/INR.Training in NES/INR will be conducted primarily in the bi-plane angiography suite in the neuroradiology department, at the CCF neurosurgical operating rooms, as well as the investigational angiography suite in the animal vivarium at L10.

Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery »

Cleveland Clinic Department of Neurosurgery offers two one-year fellowship positions in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. Areas of specialty training include surgery for the management of movement disorders (including Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, and spasticity), chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, and other central nervous system disease states. All Cleveland Clinic functional surgeons are actively involved in peripheral and central neurostimulation, intra-axial medication delivery, and ablative procedures for pain and movement disorders including dystonia.

Numerous opportunities for both clinical and laboratory research are available within the section of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. Ongoing functional neurosurgery laboratory projects include research into mechanisms of deep brain stimulation, targeted gene therapy strategies for neurorestoration, and MRI characteristics of implantable stimulation systems. A wide range of clinical studies are also underway in the field of functional neurosurgery, including deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disorders, functional MRI in patients with implanted neurostimulators, frameless techniques for deep brain stimulator placement, and development of cortical interfaces for neural prostheses.

Fellows are expected to participate actively in one or several functional neurosurgery related projects, and to produce presentations and publications. Participation in weekly Functional Neurosurgery didactic lectures, journal club, and patient management conferences is required. Our goal is to graduate fellows who are prepared to enter an academic environment with the expectation of developing their own successful programs in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.

Interested applicants must have successfully passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK and 2CS. Applicants requesting an H-1B visa must also have successfully passed USMLE Step 3. International medical graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:

Non-ACGME

Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery»

Cerebrovascular neurosurgery is an ever changing discipline that continues to be increasingly complex and sophisticated. Special intra-cranial surgical techniques continue to evolve and are now being integrated with neuroendovascular techniques. Special expertise as a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon can be gleaned through fellowship training during which the fellow devotes full-time attention and scholarly activity to the diagnosis, management and academic research of these complex diseases and patients.

Concomitant with the increasing complexity of these procedures is the increase in the patient volume seen at Cleveland Clinic with cerebrovascular disease. Over the past five years, the number of patients being treated here with complex cerebrovascular disease has more than doubled. There is a plethora of patients from which both residents and fellows alike can benefit from.

Cleveland Clinic's Cerebrovascular Center offers fellowship training in Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery. The fellowship program is one or two years in length, depending on the individual fellow's academic and clinical needs. Interested applicants must have completed a residency in neurosurgery and passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK and 2CS. Applicants requesting an H-1B visa must also have successfully passed USMLE Step 3. International medical graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:

Epilepsy Surgery»

Cleveland Clinic's Epilepsy Surgery program exists as a unique collaboration between surgeons and medical specialists in the departments of neurosurgery and neurology. We exist to diagnose, investigate, and treat surgical epilepsy, which has become increasingly more complex as our referral base has grown to an international level. This complexity, together with our superb results has made Cleveland Clinic's Epilepsy Surgery program one of the best in the world. Our mission remains to alleviate suffering in those afflicted with epilepsy while furthering our understanding of the disease.

Fellowship participation may involve one year. Participation in the surgical and medical adult and pediatric treatment programs is required, as is clinical research. Basic research in epilepsy is available, but not required. A three month electrophysiology course is also required for all fellows.

More than 200 epilepsy surgeries are performed annually, including the adult and pediatric patient populations. Surgeries range from temporal lobectomy to complex invasive mapping and resective procedures to hemispherectomies. Palliative and investigational surgical treatments for epilepsy are also offered in a highly select group of medically intractable patients. Our state of the art facilities include an eight bed adult epilepsy-monitoring unit, a six bed pediatric monitoring unit, nuclear imaging, functional and anatomic magnetic resonance imaging, and new operative suites equipped with the latest neurosurgical technology.

Clinical research programs in both departments involve every aspect of epilepsy. Specific surgical research interests include patient outcome studies and multi-modality imaging and fusion display for intra-operative treatment of lesional epilepsies. Basic research programs include the characterization of molecular markers for malformations of cortical development and development of animal models studying subthalamic stimulation for epilepsy. Furthermore, resected epileptic tissue from surgery supports many neuroscience research studies across Cleveland Clinic's campus.

National activities include dozens of publications annually in peer-reviewed journals, papers and posters at national meetings, and a strong annual presence at the American Epilepsy Society meeting. Cleveland Clinic's epilepsy program hosts the Cleveland Clinic-Bethel Epilepsy Symposium every two years. This international conference focuses on a specific area of epilepsy and draws hundreds of participants from all over the world.

Interested applicants must have completed a residency in neurosurgery and passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK and 2CS. Applicants requesting an H-1B visa must also have successfully passed USMLE Step 3. International medical graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:

Neurosurgical-Oncology-Neurosurgery Fellowship»

Cleveland Clinic Department of Neurosurgery and the Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center offer fellowship positions in Neurosurgical Oncology. The Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center is a unique, stand alone department, which is comprised of neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists. Our surgeons perform about 600 major surgical cases and 350 radiosurgical cases each year. Clinical programs include gliomas, metastases, neuro-endocrine and skull base tumors. In addition to its own Phase I-III trials, the center participates in the New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy (NABTT) NCI-sponsored consortium, South West Oncology Group (SWOG), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACoSOG) and Children’s Cancer Group (CCG). Advanced novel therapies utilized by the BTI neurosurgical group include blood brain barrier disruption with IA chemotherapy, convection enhanced drug delivery, and intra-operative MRI. In addition to basic research in immunotherapy, apoptosis, molecular genetics, and angiogenesis, the program has recently embarked on large scale preclinical testing of novel agents for treating brain tumors with the aim of bringing these to clinical trials.

A fundamental goal of this two-year, combined clinical and laboratory research fellowship program is exposure to the design and operation of clinical trials, as well as contributing to the neuro-oncology literature. Among current trials are several ongoing clinical projects including use of convection enhanced delivery of immunotoxins for the treatment of malignant gliomas, blood brain barrier disruption for delivery of chemotherapeutic agents, as well as the molecular analysis of chemotherapy responsiveness in gliomas. Fellows are expected to participate in the design, IRB application process and management of new clinical trials during this fellowship, and to produce clinical presentations and reports.

Interested applicants must have successfully passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK and 2CS. Applicants requesting an H-1B visa must also have successfully passed USMLE Step 3. International medical graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:

Pediatric and Congenital Neurosurgery»

Members of the Section of Pediatric Neurosurgery deal with a wide variety of congenital and acquired lesions of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Approximately 5,500 children are seen in the pediatric neuroscience outpatient clinic, resulting in over 300 operative cases per year. The program includes multidisciplinary cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus brain tumor clinics and conferences. An active program in neuroendoscopic procedures includes tumor, cysts and congenital anomaly treatment in children and adults.

Neurosurgical residents usually spend two, three-month rotations as junior residents on the pediatric neurosurgery service. Fellows spend one year participating in surgery, and in- and out-patient care. During this time, they are encouraged to undertake a clinical or experimental research project for presentation and publication.

The following subspecialty programs comprise Cleveland Clinic's Section of Pediatric and Congenital Neurosurgery:

  • Pediatric Brain Tumors
  • Birth Defects
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Epilepsy Surgery
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Neuroendoscopy

Interested applicants must have successfully passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK and 2CS. Applicants requesting an H-1B visa must also have successfully passed USMLE Step 3. International medical graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:

Radiosurgery»

Cleveland Clinic's Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center will offer a one year combined intracranial and spinal Radiosurgery fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide neurosurgeons interested in neuro-oncology with significant experience and up to date knowledge of radiosurgical decision making, treatment planning, patient management and research concepts as they relate to benign and malignant brain and spine tumors. The fellowship is intended to supplement the radiosurgical treatment training in neurosurgery providing advanced knowledge and skills with a higher level of expertise in stereotactic Radiosurgery including Gamma Knife Surgery and Spinal Radiosurgery. The rotation schedule will include a Radiosurgery outpatient clinic and a Radiosurgery Case planning and treatment over the course of the year with dedicated research time of ½ day per week. This fellowship is intended to include both clinical and educational training such that the following educational objectives are met.

  • Knowledge in basic radiosurgery science including principles.
  • Knowledge of the pathophysiology, natural history and epidemiology and clinical manifestations of various CNS tumors, in particular, metastatic brain tumors and spinal tumors.
  • Knowledge of indications, contraindications of stereotactic radiosurgery.
  • Sufficient training to be competent in the techniques of radiosurgical procedure.
  • Generation of more than one manuscript for publication based on a clinical, IRB-approved research project.

Interested applicants must have successfully passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK and 2CS. Applicants requesting an H-1B visa must also have successfully passed USMLE Step 3. International medical graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:

Skull Base Surgery»

The Section of Skull Base Surgery (SSBS) works as an interdisciplinary team in conjunction with specialists in interventional neuroradiology, otolaryngology, neuro-ophthalmology and plastic surgery. The SSBS consists of one of the largest meningioma programs in the country, evaluating over 200 new patients with meningiomas annually, of which approximately 100 operations are performed. In addition to meningioma surgery, the SSBS surgeons perform approximately 50-60 MVD procedures for trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm in addition to a growing number of minimally invasive endoscopic procedures for selected anterior skull base pathology.

The primary goals of this fellowship is to train future academic leaders and clinical scientists in the subspecialty of skull base surgery by providing advanced training in the overall management of patients with complex skull base pathology. During the fellowship year, the fellow also actively participates in on-going clinical research in the areas of outcomes research, surgical technique refinement and elucidation of the natural history in meningiomas/schwannomas. Our past fellows and the current SSBS staff have won several prestigious awards from the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Tumors for their excellence in clinical research (Mahaley Award 2002, Integra Foundation Award 2006, Synthes Award 2007, Integra Foundation Award 2008, Synthes Award 2009).

Interested applicants must have successfully passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK and 2CS. Applicants requesting an H-1B visa must also have successfully passed USMLE Step 3. International medical graduates must have received a currently valid ECFMG certificate in order to apply to our program.

Interested candidates can apply for a fellowship position by submitting the following documentation:

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter from Residency Program Director in lieu of Dean’s Letter
  • At least two letters of recommendation from physicians whom have supervised you in a clinical setting
  • USMLE/COMLEX Score Reports
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Certified copy of your currently valid ECFMG certificate (applicable for International Medical Graduates only)
Contact Person:

Commitments to excellence in patient care, innovation and education have long been integral components of Cleveland Clinic’s mission. As a part of that overall commitment to education, the Neurosurgery Department takes special pride in training future neurosurgical practitioners who practice putting patients first to deliver the highest quality of medical care. Below are the recognized current neurosurgery fellows - the future leaders in neurosurgery.



2013-2014 Neurosurgery Clinical Fellows

Functional & Restorative Neurosurgery»

Danilo Silva, MD

Medical School: 2005 Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil
Residency: 2011 Neurosurgery, Restauracao Hospital, Brazil
Fellowship: 2012 Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

Pediatric Neurosurgery»

Allison Rathmann, DO

Medical School: 2007 New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury, N.Y.
Fellowship: 2011 Endoscopic Endonasal Surgery, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Residency: 2013 Neurosurgery, St. Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, N.J.

Radiosurgery»

Mahmoud Abbassy, MD

Medical School: 2006 Alexandria University, Egypt
Residency: 2011 Neurological Surgery, Alexandria University, Egypt

Epilepsy Surgery»

Bradley Lega

Medical School: 2006 Baylor University, Houston, Texas
Residency: 2013 Neurological Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

Demitre Serletis, MD

Medical School: 2003 University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Internship: 2004 Neurosurgery Intern, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Doctor of Philosophy: 2010 University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Residency: 2012 Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Neurosurgical Oncology»

Biji Bahuleyan, MD

Medical School: 1997 University of Kerala Medicine College
Residency: 2005 Neurosurgery, Christian Medical College, India
Fellowship: 2012 Spine Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Symeon Missios, MD

Medical School: 2004 Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, N.H.
Residency: 2010 Neurosurgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.

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