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Neurology Residency Program

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Message from Program Director

On behalf of the Faculty and Staff, it is my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to you and introduce you to our Program.

Our neurology residency turns 60 years old this year! We have a proud history of neurology education. Since its inception in 1962, the neurological training program at Westchester Medical Center and New York Medical College has remained continually accredited and prides itself on uncompromising clinical excellence. Firmly anchored in the tradition of classic Neurology which focused on precise anatomical localization, our Program has evolved over the ensuing six decades to reflect the dynamic multi-dimensional neuroscience of today. Neuroscience is burgeoning and our specialty is fast changing; it is an exciting time to be in Neurology!

Our program has a strong academic focus and prepares residents to become outstanding clinicians. The didactic teaching curriculum is well balanced with exposure to a wealth of clinical experience. Upon completion of residency training, our residents are well prepared for fellowships in competitive academic programs or to enter private practice. We accomplish these goals in a supportive, educationally innovative, and friendly atmosphere which fosters teamwork and collegiate collaboration.

Our four-year Categorical program accepts three residents per year. The structure of the Program is based on the tenets of ACGME core competencies, facilitating progression of resident training along established milestones guidelines. Our highly qualified subspecialty trained Faculty are totally committed to patient care and education, and accessible to Residents at all times.

New York Medical College, our academic partner was founded in 1860. After many decades of historic association with New York City institutions – notably the Flower and Fifth Avenue and Metropolitan Hospitals – the College moved in 1977 to its present sprawling campus in Valhalla at Westchester County, NY, and affiliated with Westchester Medical Center (WMC), which is now our primary teaching Hospital and ACGME Sponsoring Institution. We have a history of welcoming all to training.

WMC is a 652-bed academic hospital and the flagship of WMCHealth in Valhalla, located in Westchester County. As a tertiary and quaternary care hospital, Westchester Medical Center serves as a referral base for a population of more than 2.4 million people. Its location in New York’s Hudson Valley affords both population density and diversity that assures a rich clinical environment for Resident education.

Westchester is just less than an hour away by car or train from New York City. Our residents enjoy both the bustling vibrancy of NYC and the scenic serenity of Hudson Valley. Surrounded by outstanding academic and cultural institutions of the area, Westchester is quintessentially an ideal place to live, work and raise a family.

I began in 2021 as Chair of Neurology at New York Medical College and Program Director of the Neurology Residency and Department of Neurology at Westchester Medical Center. We are continuing to grow with the infusion of new programs and subspecialized faculty. We have a sense of optimism and great expectations for the near future. We are proud of our program and look forward to meeting you and exploring ways to shape your future through our program.


Tracey Milligan, MD, MS, FAAN
Program Director
Chair of the Department of Neurology

GME-Program Director with Dr. Tracey Milligan from WMCHealth on Vimeo.


Program Overview and Curriculum

The goal of the program is to provide high quality comprehensive training in Clinical Neurology with a strong foundation in basic Neurosciences. The four-year program is structured to provide progressive education in Clinical Neurosciences with increasing levels of patient care responsibilities. Six months of the first year are spent in Internal Medicine to obtain broad clinical experience in general internal medicine. The second year resident will spend the majority of time on Neurology adult inpatient services. A required one-month rotation in Psychiatry, as well as one month of Ambulatory experience, is also offered in the second year. The third year provides subspecialty training in neurocritical care, clinical neurophysiology (EEG-EMG), radiology, and child neurology. At the fourth-year level the Resident is well prepared to provide inpatient neurology consultations to other departments. Residents are offered a three-month elective during their training during their Third and Fourth year.

PGY-1

  • 6 months IM
  • 1 month IM/ subspecialties
  • 1 month Vacation
  • 4 months Neurology 

PGY-2

  • 5 months Inpatient/Stroke service
  • 3 months Epilepsy/General Neurology service
  • 1 month Child Neurology
  • 1 month Neuro Critical Care
  • 1 Month Outpatient
  • 1 month Vacation

PGY-3

  • 2 months Inpatient/Stroke service
  • 1 month Epilepsy service
  • 2 months Child Neurology
  • 1 month EMG
  • 1 month Elective
  • 1 month Consult Service
  • 1 month Neuro Critical Care
  • 2 months Outpatient
  • 1 month vacation

PGY-4

  • 1 month Child Neurology
  • 2 months Elective
  • 7 months Consults
  • 1 month Neuro Critical Care
  • 1 month Vacation

Duty Hours

The New York Medical College Neurology training program at Westchester Medical Center strictly adheres to all work hour policies per NYS and ACGME requirements.

A night-float system minimizes 24-hour calls, and the residents are provided an on-call room in the main hospital close to the Neuroscience Floor.

Academic Conferences

Our residents enjoy a vigorous academic curriculum to prepare them for the in-service exam, the Neurology boards and their professional careers. Most of the teaching sessions are held in the hospital conference center, which is fully equipped with audio-visual and computer LCD projection systems. Grand Rounds and combined multidisciplinary conferences with Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology are held in similarly equipped conference halls. An advanced clinical skills center is used for simulations in neurologic care and procedures.

  • Weekly Basic Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy lectures
  • Weekly Chair Rounds
  • Weekly Neuroradiology Conference
  • Monthly Department of Neurology Grand Rounds
  • Monthly Morbidity and Mortality Rounds
  • Monthly Quality Conference
  • Monthly Stroke Quality Conference
  • Monthly Stroke Case Review Conference
  • Monthly Journal Club
  • Monthly Research Conference
  • Monthly Combined Neurology/Neurosurgery Cerebrovascular Conference
  • Biweekly Board Review
  • Quarterly Combined Conference with Neurosurgery
  • Quarterly Residency Retreats
  • Annual Resident Retreat

A Day in the Life of a Neurology Resident

Mon

7:00 a.m. Resident Rounds

9:00 a.m. Patient Rounds with family

Tues

7:00 a.m. Resident Rounds

8:00 a.m. Emergencies in Neurology Series (Jul-Aug) /

Neuroscience Lecture Series (Sep-Mar)

9:00 a.m. Patient Rounds with family

1:00 p.m. Chairman Rounds

2:00 p.m. Board Review

Wed

7:00 a.m. Resident Rounds

8:00 a.m. Emergencies in Neurology Series (Jul-Aug) /

Neuroscience Lecture Series (Sep-Mar)

8:30 a.m. Cerebrovascular Conference (Every other month)

9:00 a.m. Patient Rounds with family

3:00 p.m. QA Meetings 1st of Month Neurology QA; 3rd of month Stroke

3:00 p.m. Grand Rounds

Thurs

7:30 a.m. Morning Report

9:00 a.m. Patient Rounds with family

Fri

7:30 a.m. Morning Report

9:00 a.m. Patient Rounds with family

3:00 p.m. Wellness with Program Director (biweekly)

 

Resident Mentorship and Wellness

A multi-faceted mentorship program underscores Westchester Medical Center Neurology Residency Program's commitment to individualized career development. We recognize that mentorship is needed during training and beyond, which is why we have established a formal mentorship program for all residents. This is a unique support program that aims to assist each resident in developing their own skills, strategies, and capabilities as a physician through the guidance of a mentor. The mentor will enable their mentee to tackle the next hurdle more effectively with or without the mentor’s presence and to support the following:

The goal of the mentorship program is to empower the resident, help them foster effective time management skills, while helping them demonstrate responsibility and commitment and professionalism.

Westchester Medical Center, as an institution, and Neurology, as a department, considers resident wellness a top priority. Residency can be stressful and we believe that a healthy mind and healthy body are paramount to having a healthy resident. Hence our residents participate in quarterly retreats and social events at outside venues.

Guidelines

  • Residents meet with Faculty mentors at least once on a quarterly basis (September, December, March and June) and more often as needed.
  • Suggested topics for discussion during Faculty-Resident meetings
    • Work and patient care related issues
    • Professionalism
    • Ethical dilemmas in practice
    • Research and scholarly activities
    • RITE and Board Examination
    • Career (Fellowships) counseling
    • Stress management, Health and Well-being
    • Other

These meetings will be friendly, informal and confidential. They are meant to support and guide the Resident. Faculty members are not required to report to the Program Director or the Chairman the content or details of the meeting.

Life in Westchester

New York is an epicenter for health, cutting-edge technology and medical research. With over 20,000 acres of parkland, miles of Hudson River and Long Island Sound shoreline, many historic sites representing 300 years of American history, Westchester is the perfect blend of outdoor beauty, rural character, and urban/suburban lifestyles dictated by its proximity to New York City. In the spring and summer, you can enjoy festivals, outdoor concerts and cultural gatherings.

A picture is worth a thousand words.


Current/Past Residents

Current Residents: 2022 - 2023

PGY-4

Syed Faizan Ali, MD St. George’s University of Medicine Syed was born in Pakistan and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He received the Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Scholar Fund Scholarship to obtain his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Loyola University of Maryland. Subsequently, he went on to earn master degrees in both Public Health (MPH) as well as Cellular & Molecular Biological Sciences (MSc). During graduate studies, he spent three years performing wet-bench neurosciences research studying motor stereotypy disorders, subventricular zone changes in a model of post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus, as well as glaucoma at the Kennedy Krieger Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He went on to publish several studies as well as present his findings of changes in cerebellar nuclei and granule cells in a mouse model of stereotypies during the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, April 2017. Faizan is currently open-minded about the many exciting sub-specialties within neurology; he is particularly intrigued by the fields of neuro-critical care, vascular/stroke neurology, and interventional neuroradiology/neuroimaging. During personal time, Faizan loves to create things (especially through baking and drawing/painting), lifting weights, swimming, jogging, as well as spending quality time with his lovely wife and daughter Liyana.

Daniela Galluzzo, MD Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia

Daniela was born and raised in Connecticut. She attended medical school in Milan, Italy, at Vita-Salute San Raffaele Medical School. Italy has always felt like a second home to Daniela, her parents were born in the south of Italy, and she had the pleasure of traveling to Italy to visit her grandparents. Daniela is interested in comprehensive Oncologic care, having shadowed in Neurosurgery, Radiation, and Medical Oncology. After residency, she has her sights set on a Neuro-Oncology fellowship. She completed her medical school thesis on the treatment of Cavernous Sinus Meningiomas with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, and has conducted research in Neuroradiology and Primary CNS Lymphoma. She is interested in furthering the research on brain tumors.

Osher Rechester, MD New York Medical College

Osher is originally from the Boston area. He completed his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Prior to medical school, he conducted research at Massachusetts General Hospital in the lab of Shaw Warren, MD, where he contributed to multiple projects, including one that employed a hemorrhagic shock model of systemic inflammation. His hobbies include biking, playing ping pong, and studying various forms of martial arts. His interest in neurology includes neuro-immunology, dementia, and vascular neurology.

PGY-3

Serena Wong, MD St. George’s University School of Medicine
Serena was born and raised in Hong Kong until she moved to Southern California with her family in 2003. She graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a BA degree in Psychology. She was an undergraduate psychology research scholar at her college, and presented a poster concerning heritage language proficiency on children behavioral problems in Chinese immigrant families. She was one of the authors of a published research titled “Prevalence of Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) in Neurosurgical ICU Patients – The Overdiagnosis of UTI.” She hopes to focus on Vascular Neurology or Neurocritical care in the future. In her spare time, Serena enjoys traveling, salsa dancing, playing table tennis, watching animation and exploring new restaurants.


Yarden Bornovski, MD
St. George's University School of Medicine

PGY-2

Martin Kafina, MD St. George's University School of Medicine

 

Adithya Nagaraja, DO Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

 

Brittany Russo, MD Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo

PGY-1

Ahya Ali, MD

C.M.H. Lahore Medical College

 

Gular Mammadli, MD

Ankara Universitesi Tip Fakultesi

 

Terry Park, MD

New York Medical College

Zhimin Xu, MD

Shandong Medical University

Alumni/Program Graduates

Jessica Bloomfield, MD  – Chief Resident Frank H. Netter, MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University

Michelle Bravo, MD – Chief Resident
Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Christopher Bondoc, MD
Lewis Katz SOM at Temple University

Hussein Alshammari, MD
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Kristina Maselli, MD
St. George’s University School of Medicine

Sydney Moseley, MD
St. George’s University School of Medicine

Vaibhav Goswami, MD 
Manipal University
Fellowship: Vascular Neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – 2019

Kavneet Kaur, MD 
MGM Medical College India

Rafia Shafqat, MD PGYIIV
St. Georges University

Sania Atta, MD
Ayub Medical College (AMC)

Scott Wolf, DO 
Western University COMP-NW

Ervis Xhihani, MD 
New York Medical College

Graduation Fellowship/Private Practice

Year

2022 Mt. Sinai Epilepsy Fellowship, New York, NY

2022 Brigham and Women's Headache Fellowship, Nyack, NY

2022 University of Miami Headache Fellowship, Miami, FL

2021 Sleep Medicine Einstein Montefiore, Bronx, NY

2021 Neuo Critical Care Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

2021 Neuro Critical Care Duke University Durham, NC

2020 Clinical Neurophysiology (EMG) Colombia, NY

2020 Clinical Neurophysiology (EEG) Stony Brook, NY

2018 Vascular Neurology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC

2018 Neurologist, Memorial Hospital of Sweet Water Country, Rock Springs, Wyoming

2018 Neurohospitalist, Hudson Valley Hospital – New York Presbyterian

2017 EEG/Epilepsy, North well (LIJMC), Manhasset. NY

2017 Neurocritical Care, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

2017 Neurocritical Care, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

2016 Vascular Neurology Fellowship, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

2016 Vascular Neurology Fellowship, USC, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Neuro Hospitalist, Vidant Medical Center, Greenville, NC

2015 Sports Medicine,  Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Center, Los Angeles, CA

2015 Vascular Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

2015 Private Practice, Queens, New York 

2014 Neuro Critical Care, Wayne State Medical Center, Detroit, MI

2014 Neuro-Rehabilitation, Burke Rehabilitation, White Plains, NY

2014 Vascular Neurology, Westchester Medical Center 

2013 Vascular Neurology at UMASS - Worcester

2013 Clinical Neurophysiology - SUNY Downstate Medical Center

2013 Neuro Critical Care - Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

2012 Clinical Neurophysiology - NYU/Hospital for Special Surgery

2012 Clinical Neurophysiology - Mt. Sinai, NY, NY

2012 Clinical Neurophysiology -  Georgetown University Hospital

2011 Headache - University of South Florida

2011 Vascular Neurology - NYMC/WCMC

2011 Vascular Neurology - NYMC/WCMC

2010 Private Practice

2010 Private Practice

2010 Movement Disorders - Boston University Medical Center; Sleep Medicine Boston University Medical Center 

2009 Clinical Neurophysiology - University of Texas

2009 Private Practice

2009 Pain Management - New York University  Hospital

2008 EEG/Epilepsy - Long Island Jewish Medical Center

2008 Sleep Medicine - University of Missouri at Kansas City

2008 Clinical Neurophysiology - Georgia Health Sciences University 

2007 Headache - Montefiore Medical Center

2007 Vascular Neurology - UMDMJ

2007 Neuro Oncology Memorial Sloan Kettering  

2006 Vascular Neurology - Mt. Sinai, NY, NY

2006 Neurocritical Care at UCLA Medical Center

2006 Clinical Neurophysiology -  Jacobs Neurological Institute SUNY Buffalo; Sleep Medicine - Winthrop University Medical Center

2005 Clinical Neurophysiology - Long Island Jewish Medical Center

2005 Clinical Neurophysiology -  Jacobs Neurological InstituteSUNY Buffalo

2005 Clinical Neurophysiology - Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center


Clinical Research and Education

Research is an integral part of the mission of the department of Neurology. Excellence in clinical care is interwoven with advances in education and clinical research. As an academic medical center, our affiliation with New York Medical College, one of the oldest and most prestigious medical schools in the country, has uniquely positioned us to become premier educational and research sites for our Neurology residency and fellowship training.


Although research has always been of paramount importance to the department, the recent addition of research oriented faculty have expanded the opportunities residents have to work on projects related to cerebrovascular disease, neurocritical care, epilepsy, headache, neuroimmunology and many other areas. Through a systematic curriculum focused on biostatistics and research design, our trainees learn the critical skills required to pursue increasingly sophisticated research projects. According to their interests, residents are matched with collaborating research mentors. Our residents meet quarterly with their research mentors who help them get started on projects in their areas of interest and are available to assist. 

View Publications Here

Our Faculty

We have a well-qualified experienced core faculty of 9 adult and 3 pediatric full time neurologists. The size of the Department is conducive to close supervision and training of the Residents by the faculty.

  • Board certified
  • Represents all subspecialties of Neurology
  • Active in clinical practice and research

Tracey Milligan, MD, MS, FAAN
Program Director
Chair of the Department of Neurology

Fawaz Al-Mufti, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Radiology
Attending, Neuro Critical Care, Neuroendovascular 
Director of Neuroendovascular Surgery and Neurology Research
Associate Program Director Neurology Residency Program
Associate Program Director Neuroendovascular Surgery Fellowship

Ji Chong, MD
Medical Director Stroke Program
Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program Director

Robert Fekete, MD
Assistant Professor and Student Clerkship Director for Neurology
Attending Neurologist
New York Medical College

Jin Li, MD, PhD
Associate Program Director Neurology Residency
Clinical Associate Professor
Section Chief, Neuromuscular Disease 
Attending Neurologist
Westchester Medical Center
Associate Professor of Neurology
New York Medical College

Shyla Kodi, MD
Attending Professor
Attending Neurologist (Epilepsy Section) 
Westchester Medical Center
New York Medical College

Anila Thomas, MD
Attending Physician
Assistant Professor of Neurology
New York Medical College

Stephan Mayer, MD
Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Director of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurological Services

Christeena Kurian, MD
Assistant Professor 
Attending Neurologist (Stroke Section)

Gurmeen Kaur, MD
Director of Education Neurology Residency Program 
Assistant Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Radiology
Attending, Stroke and Neurocritical Care
Director of Education Neurology Residency Program

Venkat Ramani, MD
Chief, Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory and Epilepsy Section
Attending Neurologist
Westchester Medical Center
Professor of Neurology
Residency Program Director
New York Medical College

Brij M. Singh Ahluwalia, MD
Attending Neurologist
Westchester Medical Center
Professor of Neurology
New York Medical College


How to Apply

In alignment with the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), our national professional society, and to ensure a uniform interview process that is equitable to all applicants, our residency interviews for applicants in 2021-2022 will be held exclusively virtually. We will not offer in-person site visits. The full recommendation is available here.

Interviews and Resident Selection
We begin downloading applications from ERAS as soon as they are available. Candidates will be notified in late October if they have been selected for an interview. Virtual Interviews are conducted on Wednesdays in November, December and the first week of January.

Match Information

All residents must register with ERAS and the NRMP. ERAS can be reached at 202.828.0413. Visit the ERAS website to get started. All applications must be submitted through ERAS to be considered.

Vacancies
We are currently accepting ERAS applications for three PGY 1 positions for July through the Main NRMP ERAS Match Program.


Selection Criteria

• USMLE Scores above 220 in Step 1 & 2 (1st attempt pass)
• Graduation from Medical School maximum of 5 years 
• Strong motivation and commitment to Neurology as evidenced by:
– Background/education
– Personal statement
– Letters of recommendation
– Scholarly activities
– Communication skills

Visas Sponsored

Our institution sponsors J-1 visa status through the ECFMG Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program.


Contact Us

Residency Contacts

Nadia Tilden-Dassler
Residency Program Coordinator
Phone: 914.493.5181
nadia.tilden-dassler@wmchealth.org