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 whether or not 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.

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, a monthly neurosurgery conference, monthly journal clubs, and other meetings of interest (monthly neurogenetics conference, and weekly neurology grand rounds).

Fellows are expected to take an active role in participating in these conferences, and in preparing presentations for them.

Clinical Attendings

Seven clinical attendings are active within the division. The division chief, Steve Frucht, MD, recently joined Mount Sinai in January of 2011. He sees a very broad range of patients with clinical movement disorders, with a special interest in hyperkinetic movement disorders, focal task-specific dystonia (e.g. affecting musicians), myoclonus, and pediatric movement disorders. He maintains an active practice injecting patients with botulinum toxin for torticollis, blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, sialorrhea and tics. He is also involved in clinical trials in dystonia and Parkinson’s disease.

The fellowship director, Cathy Cho, MD, is an expert in vertigo and balance disorders, with active research projects in the biomechanics of gait disorders in parkinsonian patients. She sees a variety of movement disorders patients, injects patients with botulinum toxin for spasticity and dystonia, has extensive experience in DBS programming, and is actively involved with intraoperative monitoring. She is also currently participating in clinical trials in PD.

Winona Tse, MD, also sees a wide variety of movement disorders patients, injects botulinum toxin, is involved with clinical trials in DBS, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia, and performs DBS programming adjustments. She also is actively involved in resident and medical student education.

Miodrag Velickovic, MD, sees patients two days per week at the center, and is involved with the full spectrum of movement disorder patients. Ruth Walker, MD, PhD, is one of the world’s experts in the evaluation and management of patients with chorea---her recent text is the definitive reference on the topic. Her laboratory is involved with investigating basal ganglia physiology in rodent models of parkinsonism. Warren Olanow, MD, chairman emeritus of the department, is one of the most prominent members of the field, with an international reputation in transplantation and clinical trials in neuroprotection. He sees patients with a variety of movement disorders and is the current co-editor of the Movement Disorders Journal.

Clinical Collaborators

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.

Research Collaborators

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. Laurie Ozelius, PhD, and Coro Paisan-Ruiz, PhD, offer unparalleled expertise in genetics of movement disorders, having been responsible for the discovery of DYT-1, DYT-6, RODP (Laurie) and PARK-8 (Coro). They are both very interested in studies of new loci in parksinonism, dystonia and unusual movement disorders. 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

Two fellows will be selected to begin fellowship in July of 2012. 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 collective match agreement, along with about ten other institutions. No offers of fellowship will be given until Monday, October 3, 2011 .

On Monday, October 3rd at 10 AM EST, fellows who are selected will be contacted by phone and offered an opportunity for training. It is critical that fellows be available by phone on Monday, October 3rd. Fellow applicants should decide before this time whether or not they are interested in attending, as there will not be the opportunity to give applicants time to decide, since other applicants might accept an offer elsewhere. It is expected that fellowship applicants who agree to attend the fellowship will be able and willing to confirm their acceptance by email that day. Accepted fellow applicants will receive a written offer within five days, and are expected to return that offer as soon as possible. Once the fellowship has been filled, candidates who cannot be offered a spot will be notified as soon as possible, by email or 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.

Faculty 

Stuart C. Sealfon, MD, Chairman, Department of Neurology
Steven Frucht, MD,  Director, Movement Disorders Division
Catherine Cho, MD, Fellowship Director

Associated Faculty

Brian H. Kopell, MD
Martin Goldstein, MD
Winona Tse, MD
Miodrag Velickovic, MD
Ruth Walker, MD, PhD

Fellows

Future
Amar Patel (2013)
Pichet Termsarasab (2013)

Current
Ritesh Tamdhani (2012) 
Florence Chang (2012)

Previous
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)

Application Information

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:  October 1

Contact Us

Catherine Cho, MD
Director, Fellowship Program
Send e-mail

Steven Frucht, MD
Director, Movement Disorders Division
Send e-mail

Tel: 212-241-5607
Fax: 212-241-1593

Movement Disorders Center
Department of Neurology
The Mount Sinai Health System
Box 1138
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029