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Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship

The Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship Program at Westchester Medical Center aims to train the next generation of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and radiologists in the science and art of the treatment of the neurovascular patient. Based in a clinically and academically rich environment, fellows are exposed to the entire spectrum of the most current treatments for adult and pediatric neurointerventional pathology, with a focus on developing both technical skills and outstanding clinical acumen. With expanding faculty, state-of-the art neurointerventional space, and the backing of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, this is an exciting time of growth and innovation for our program, which I invite you to explore.

Chirag D. Gandhi, MD
Professor and Vice-Chair of Neurosurgery
New York Medical College
Director of Neurovascular Surgery
Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The primary mission of the WMC Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship is to provide fellows with the training necessary to become leaders in academic endovascular surgery through an intensive clinical and educational experience. Fellows will acquire knowledge and expertise to:

• Satisfy the six core competencies outlined by the ACGME

1) Fellows acquire medical knowledge through a series of didactic and Socratic mechanisms and self-directed reading programs. Skills and knowledge are assessed by faculty on a continuous basis.

2) Patient Care skills are developed by the fellows through evaluation, participation, and treatment of patients with cerebrovascular pathologies in the outpatient clinics, the emergency room, the neuroangiography suites, and by taking care of patients on the Endovascular Surgical Services in the ICUs and ward. Neurointerventional skills are assessed on an on-going basis by the respective faculty.

3) Communication skills are developed, enhanced, and evaluated via ATLS, Life Wings training, evaluation in the ICUs, communication with the neurosurgical, surgical and medical teams, and communications with families of critically and non-critically ill patients.

4) Professionalism is highly valued and reinforced throughout the program. This is done by evaluation of the fellow’s behavior and skills by faculty and nurses, mentorship through fellow’s participation in administrative duties.

5) Systems based practice is mandatory throughout these specialties. Fellows are involved in faculty meetings, retreats, PI/QA mechanisms and are actively involved in enhancement of systems based practice throughout their fellowship. The ICU services are systems’ based and this permeates all aspects of care and training.

6) Practice based learning and improvement is achieved through numerous integrated mechanisms. Fellows participate in all aspects of the Endovascular Surgical and Critical Care Services to develop and maintain evidence-based “best-practice” medicine and be on the forefront of the delivery of acute care management. Fellows are involved in development and reviewing management and practice guidelines, order set development, PI/QA, educational and research initiatives that enhance knowledge, direct care, and improve outcomes.

• Manage complex endovascular surgical cases

• Become administratively and academically ready to direct the Endovascular Surgical Services

• Be able to conduct independently research

1. Rotations

Year 1
The fellow will be assigned to the ESN clinical service on a weekly basis at which time his/her primary responsibility will be the clinical as well as operative management of inpatients. The fellow will participate in the pre- and post-procedure evaluation of patients with attending faculty supervision. The fellow, in collaboration with the supervising attending, will insure compliance with established ESN and institutional policies during and following interventional procedures. Case-based learning will integrate case-specific imaging modalities including MRI, MRA, MRV, CT, CTA and CT Perfusion technologies. Instruction will include review of contribution of each modality to case management with particular attention to radiation physics and radiation biology to insure patient safety and appropriate systems based practice.

In addition to neuro-interventional procedures, the latter will include direct participation in rounds structured for post-operative patient care and didactic as well as working clinical conferences. The fellow will present timely, accurate pre- and post-procedure documentation that includes operative report and separate interpretive report, daily documentation of patient’s course, discharge physical examination and neurological status, inpatient medical therapies and reconciliation of physician order entries. The fellow will actively participate in daily inpatient rounds with ESN faculty on all ESN inpatients and effectively communicate ESN specific management plans with other participating services. The fellow will participate in continuity of ambulatory care of patients following discharge from Westchester Medical Center including communication of discharge neurologic status, interventions during inpatient status, findings on serial imaging surveillance and medication reconciliation with primary care providers and referring physicians. The fellow will participate in regularly scheduled, supervised inpatient and ambulatory ESN specific consultations with assigned attending faculty as well as related didactic/working conferences. Ambulatory assignments will be coordinated with protected time allowing scholarship activity. The fellow will complete at least one research project with peer-reviewed publication per year.

Year 2
In addition to year 1 responsibilities, the fellow will gain greater independence and responsibility for these functions with demonstrated, documented proficiency and experience during his/her fellowship. The fellow will review, interpret and integrate into patient management all pertinent diagnostic studies under the graduated supervision of the attending faculty and with interdisciplinary collaboration and consultation. The fellow will perform diagnostic and therapeutic advanced endovascular surgical neuroradiology procedures under the direct supervision of the attending with requisite post-procedure care that includes interdisciplinary collaboration. All procedures performed by the fellow will reflect demonstrated skills and competencies identified by participating attending. The case-based training structure of the ESN fellowship and recurring one-to-one attending supervision will guide competency-based assignment of fellow’s role and responsibilities during interventional procedures.

2. Didactic Sessions and Teaching Methods

Daily Morning Report/Rounds: Designed to improve faculty-fellow-resident interaction and educational opportunities, facilitate the management and transfer of patient care information, and allow a forum for the discussion of patient care and management. An organized sign out process will utilize the presence of post-call neurosurgical team members, physician assistant, nurse practitioners, and a digital reviewer allowing access to previous radiographic studies obtained over the previous 24-hour period.

Weekly Neurosurgical Conference: Designed to enhance the educational opportunities to learn from different neurosurgical specialties from both academic and community settings regarding the management of neurovascular pathologies.

Monthly Morbidity and Mortality Conference: Critically assess all complications and mortality on the Endovascular Surgical Service with input from specialties involved in the care of those patients.

Monthly Journal Club:
Review and discuss, using Evidence-Based Medicine tools, cerebrovascular related articles. Monthly Interdisciplinary Neurovascular Conference: Rotating didactics and case review focusing on index topics in cerebrovascular disease and the medical and surgical management. The fellow is expected to present a one-hour presentation each quarter with the supervision of the core neuroendovascular faculty.

Monthly Stroke Quality Meeting:
By attending this meeting, the fellow learns administrative, quality and performance improvement tools necessary to lead a multidisciplinary Endovascular Stroke Surgical Service.

Vikas Patel, MD
Fellow Year 2

Language(s): English
Department: Neurosurgery

Vikas Patel was born and raised in central New Jersey, and attended Rutgers University where he earned his undergraduate degree in biological science. After medical school, he completed his neurology residency at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on cerebrovascular disease. He then went on to a complete a fellowship in vascular neurology at New Jersey Medical School. He has written a book chapter on endovascular stroke treatment and contributed to research publications regarding endovascular treatment for intracranial aneurysms. His hobbies include sports, running, traveling, and outdoor activities.

Medical School: St. Matthew’s University SOM, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Neurology Residency: Emory University Hospital
Vascular Neurology Fellowship: University Hospital, Newark, New Jersey

Gurmeen Kaur, MD
Fellow Year 1 

Language(s): English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu
Department: Neurosurgery

Gurmeen obtained her medical degree magna cum laude from University of Delhi. She completed her Neurology residency and chief residency from Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, followed by a Vascular Neurology fellowship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. She is an active blogger at 'Blogging Stroke' by the American Heart Association. Her other interests include trainee education through stroke simulation and improving stroke systems of care. She has won multiple local and national awards, including the American Association of Neurology (AAN) Resident Leadership award. Outside of work, she loves to bike, hike and bake!

Medical School: Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
Neurology Residency: SUNY Upstate Medical University
Vascular Neurology Fellowship: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Ahmad Thabet, MD (2018)
Current Position: Michigan Head & Spine Institute, Neuroendovascular Surgeon & Neurointensivist

Chirag D. Gandhi, MD
Professor and Vice Chair of Neurosurgery,
New York Medical College
Fellowship Program Director
Chief, Neurovascular Surgery
Specialties: Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Surgery

Fawaz Al-Mufti, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology and Radiology,
New York Medical College
Specialties: Neuroendovascular, Neurocritical Care

Justin G. Santarelli, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology and Radiology,
New York Medical College
Specialties: Neurosurgery, Endovascular and Cerebrovascular Surgery
Applicants interested in the Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship at Westchester Medical Center should contact the Program Director and Program Coordinator and submit the following items for review:

• Application Form
• Brief Personal Statement
• Curriculum Vitae
• Minimum of two letters of reference
• Residency Verification Letter
• Fellowship Verification Letter
• Neurology Applicants: Stroke, Vascular Neurology, or Critical Care Fellowship
• Radiology Applicants: Diagnostic Neuroradiology Fellowship
• USMLE I, II, III Scores

Interviews for the Endovascular Neurosurgery Fellowship occur in November/December of every year, and applicants are accepted a year in advance to accommodate other fellowship training.
Chirag D. Gandhi, MD
Program Director
Email: Chirag.Gandhi@wmchealth.org

Christine Loscri
Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: 914.493.8795
Email: Christine.Loscri@wmchealth.org

Mailing Address
Westchester Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery
Macy Pavilion, Suite 1325-1333
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Fax: 914.493.2424