The Movement Disorders Fellowship at Mount Sinai
The Mount Sinai Department of Neurology offers a two-year Movement Disorders Fellowship program. We provide comprehensive clinical training in a broad range of movement disorders. Mount Sinai has a long and illustrious history in movement disorders, and our current clinical and research faculty are continuing the tradition of excellence.
This briefly describes the program and faculty, and covers some practical matters that will help you decide if Mount Sinai is a good fit for your interests.
Fellowship Specifics and Goals
At Mount Sinai, we aim to train the next generation of leaders in academic movement disorders. The fellowship is designed to be flexible, in order to provide a broad exposure to clinical material and research opportunities.
The fellowship will usually be two years in duration, with continuation in the second year dependent on fellow performance and mutual agreement. Because our fellowship is flexible, designed principally for training rather than to meet fiscal requirements for billing, we have the flexibility of offering applicants time to pursue training critical to academic success, such as coursework in clinical trial design, epidemiology, biostatistics, and depending on their interests, imaging or genetics.
Fellows will work directly with the clinical attendings during their first year, no less than three half days per week, in order to master the skills of evaluating the full range of movement disorder patients, acquire skills in injection of botulinum toxin, learn and master all aspects of deep brain stimulation programming, and gain exposure and expertise in intra-operative assistance in DBS surgery.
Clinic days mostly take place at the Faculty Practice clinic on 98th Street. In addition to the Faculty Practice clinic, there are bi-weekly Wednesday afternoon Medicaid clinics on 102nd street and monthly visits to the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the Bronx with Ruth Walker, MB, ChB, PhD.
Fellows are expected to read widely, to take a pro-active role in participating in the clinical and research activities available at the center, to help in mentoring the residents and students who rotate through our center, and to prepare and present the results of their work at meetings such as the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, and the Movement Disorders Congress. All first year fellows will also attend the Aspen Course on Movement Disorders which occurs in late July, an opportunity to learn in depth and to also meet other fellows and attendings from around the country.
There are regular conferences within the division, including weekly video rounds at which videos of patients are reviewed and discussed, bi-weekly research meetings, monthly interdisciplinary Neurosurgery conferences with Mount Sinai Beth Israel, monthly journal clubs, and weekly Neurology grand rounds.
Fellows are expected to take an active role in participating in these conferences, and in preparing presentations for them.
Steve Frucht, MD: Director of Movement Disorders at the Robert and John M. Bendheim Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center
Catherine Cho, MD: Fellowship Director
One of the great strengths of the Mount Sinai program is the ability to interact and collaborate with our outstanding clinical and research colleagues. The deep brain stimulation program at Mount Sinai, directed by Neurosurgeon Brian H. Kopell, MD, is one of the busiest in the world, with more than 800 procedures performed over the last decade, one-third in dystonia. Dr. Kopell is a professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is a world renowned expert in DBS surgery. Heidi Bender, PhD, and Jennifer Woehr, MD, provide comprehensive neuropsychological services for patients within the DBS program, and also are actively involved in research issues related to cognitive disturbance in parkinsonism.
The department of genetics is internationally known, with an extensive clinic devoted to rare metabolic disorders, and Lakshmi Mehta, MD, provides our link for evaluation of patients with familial movement disorders who require genetic testing. Although the program does not have a Huntington Disease Center of Excellence, an arrangement with Cardinal Cooke Nursing Home (located four blocks to the North), allows access to more than 50 patients with Huntington’s who currently receive full time care.
CJ Li, PhD, and Zhenyu Yue, PhD, are extremely active in investigation of mechanisms of degeneration in LRRK-2 and related models of Parkinson’s disease, including a very active program in transgenic mouse and rat models. Coro Paisan-Ruiz, PhD, offers expertise in the genetics of movement disorders, having identified – among many other genetic discoveries – a novel gene for autosomal recessive Parkinsonism, SYNJ1. She also identified genetic causes underlying rare neurological disorders such as atypical parkinsonism [PARK14:PLA2G6] and neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation [FAHN:FA2H]. Dr. Paison-Ruiz’s research utilizes a number of different molecular biology techniques to perform genetic analysis. Kristina Simonyan, MD, PhD, is an expert in vocal dysphonia, and runs an active program in functional imaging using fMRI to evaluate patients with various forms of focal dystonia.
There are ample opportunities for fellows to pursue projects and to get involved with clinical and research activities. Mount Sinai has a firm commitment to providing mentorship and guidance to trainees.
The Fellowship Selection Process
Fellows will be selected to begin fellowship in July of 2016. Requirements for fellowship include completion of a Neurology residency within the United States or equivalent certification, to be arranged by the fellowship director, division director, and institution. All fellows must be eligible for, and apply for, a New York State license and DEA number. All fellows must provide a written personal statement which must accompany their CV, along with three letters of reference (one of which must be written by their department chairman).
During the interview process, fellows will meet with the clinical attendings and will also have the opportunity to learn about the activities of the division. Fellowship applications and interview results will be discussed by all of the clinical attendings and a rank list will be generated. Mount Sinai participates in the San Francisco match.
In mid- to late September, fellows who are selected will receive email notification of the match results and be contacted by phone. Criteria for fellowship selection will include the applicant’s past performance, academic record, recommendations, research record, and potential for achievement in the field. Selection will be based solely on merit.
Linn Katus (2015)
Debra Ehrlich (2015)
Erin Feinstein (2015)
James Battista (2014)
Amar Patel (2013)
Pichet Termsarasab (2013)
Ritesh Ramdhani (2012)
Florence Chang (2012)
Sanjeev Taneja (2012)
Tyler Cheung (2011)
Joseph Rudolph, MD (2010)
Tina Bowman, MD (2009)
Fiona Gupta, MD (2008)
Norika Malhado, MD (2007)
Cathy Cho, MD (2006)
There will be two fellowship positions in movement disorders available each year. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
- Duration: Two-year fellowship
- Start Date: July 1
- Training Prerequisites: Applicants to the fellowship program must have completed a three-year Neurology residency at an approved training program. Clinical fellows are required to be licensed to practice medicine in New York State prior to beginning the fellowship.
- Application Requirements: Applications should include an introductory letter from the candidate, curriculum vitae and three letters of recommendation, including one from the candidate’s Neurology Chair.
Movement Disorders Center does participate in the San Francisco Match.
- Application Deadline: June 1
- Interview period: July - August
- Notification: Mid- to late September
Catherine Cho, MD
Director, Fellowship Program
Steven Frucht, MD
Director, Movement Disorders Division
Movement Disorders Center
Department of Neurology
The Mount Sinai Health System
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029