Nephrology Fellowship at Elmhurst Hospital Center

Nephrology is considered to be among the most intellectually demanding subspecialties. Expertise in this field is a result of lifelong learning built upon the foundation of excellent fellowship training. The Nephrology fellowship program at Elmhurst Hospital Center provides that foundation.

Established in 2006, the Nephrology Fellowship Training Program at Elmhurst Hospital Center is a two-year program accredited by the ACGME to train two fellows at each level, leading to eligibility for subspecialty certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine. The program has an optional, combined, three-year fellowship in Nephrology and Critical Care Medicine.

The fellowship provides clinical experience complete with exposure to all forms of end-stage renal disease treatment such as peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, and transplant. Elmhurst Hospital Center has an inpatient and outpatient dialysis units which provide both modalities as well as home hemodialysis. Fellows also see patients with glomerulonephritis and acute kidney injury. Our active Interventional Radiology suite adds support and further training in vascular access. There is also a robust outpatient transplant service that complements the time spent on Mount Sinai’s inpatient transplant service.

Fellows participate in clinically based research projects. Our relationship with the critical care program at Mount Sinai enhances these research opportunities. Current ongoing projects include effects of hypertonic saline in neurocritical care patients, the social and clinical aspects of Hispanic patients, and end stage renal disease and dialysis modalities in the ICU setting.

Our program serves the multiethnic and multiracial communities of Queens, the most diverse county in the United States. In doing so, the program offers a wide variety of clinical experience, active consult services, and ample biopsy and pathology opportunities.

Our program includes rotations at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Queens Hospital Center, and The Mount Sinai Hospital, which provides a wide array of pathological experience and training in chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute kidney injury (AKI), end-stage renal disease, and transplant. Most of the clinical experience takes place at Elmhurst in outpatient CKD and transplant clinics, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, and the acute consult service dealing with AKI and electrolyte issues. The Mount Sinai experience offers inpatient and outpatient transplant experience, while the consult service at Queens allows the fellow the experience of treating a diverse patient population. In the Critical Care track, fellows have the option of spending their first or third year in Critical Care Medicine, training primarily within The Mount Sinai Hospital's intensive care units. In this track, there are also rotations in the critical care units at Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Queens Hospital, James J. Peters VA Medical Center and Elmhurst Hospital Center.

The training is divided into 13 four-week blocks. Those experiences include: 

  • A busy renal consultative service that exposes our fellows to a number of interesting and challenging renal issues from patients all over the world. The fellow will learn the management of acute and chronic inpatient renal diseases, including fluid and electrolyte disorders, acid-base disorders, and glomerular diseases. Since at least one-third of consults are from one of Elmhurst’s three intensive care units, there is ample exposure in managing and providing renal replacement to the critically ill. 
  • A dialysis center within Elmhurst Hospital Center where our fellows learn the complex management of the dialysis patient in the outpatient setting. This includes the treatment and management of peritoneal dialysis patients. 
  • A transplant month at the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai, where our fellows are part of the team of surgeons and nephrologists who perform 150 renal transplants per year. 
  • A weekly renal clinic on Thursday afternoons managing our chronic kidney disease patients, focusing on hypertension, diabetes and other forms of chronic kidney disease. 
  • A weekly renal/immunology clinic on Friday mornings managing our glomerulonephritis patients and outpatient renal transplant patients. 
  • A consultative and clinical month at Queens Hospital Center, where the dominant population is West Indian and offers enhanced experience in hypertensive chronic kidney disease and its complications. 
  • An interventional nephrology elective where fellows receive a hands-on experience with the interventional radiologist and assist on CT-guided renal biopsies, fistulograms, catheter placements and other vascular access related procedures. 
  • A Urology elective is available to get close experience in the surgical management of kidney disease with a focus on nephrolithiasis and lithotripsy. 
  • An elective month in the surgical intensive care unit (for those who do not select the critical care track) 
  • A renal pathology elective 
  • Other self-designed electives based on the fellow’s chosen track
  • One month of vacation time, and time for multiple educational conferences.

The wide range of clinical experience allows the fellow numerous opportunities to identify a particularly interesting clinical question. The program’s scholarly activity provides the fellow an opportunity to analyze a problem and to incorporate knowledge into practice, important future tools to be used when formulating an accurate differential diagnosis or assessing the literature. 

Fellows have the opportunity to attend national Nephrology conferences, including the renowned, annual renal pathology conference at Columbia University Medical Center, and the annual ultrasound course at Emory University. We also offer a one-week biostatistics course.

Current areas of research focus include: 

  • Outcomes study of the use of sustained low efficiency daily dialysis in the ICU setting 
  • The presentation of various ethnic groups to ESRD 
  • Travel transplant 
  • The use of hypertonic saline in the neurocritical care patient

Please click here for a list of recent Abstracts and Publications

  • Weekly Clinical Conference 
  • Weekly Journal Club 
  • Monthly Renal Pathology Conference 
  • Transplant Core Curriculum 
  • Twice-weekly Nephrology Core Curriculum 
  • Weekly Medicine Grand Rounds 
  • Daily Medicine Noon Conference 

Below is a list of core faculty with whom our fellows train:

MARITZA BROWN, MD is the Chief of the Division of Nephrology, the Director of In-Patient Hemodialysis, the Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, and the Clerkship/Acting Intern Site Director of Icahn School of Medicine at Elmhurst Hospital.

JOSEPH J. LIEBER, MD is the Director of Internal Medicine at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Associate Professor of Medicine, Site Director for the Mount Sinai Internal Medicine Residency Program, Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Associate Program Director Icahn School of Medicine-Elmhurst. His research interests include Mesoamerican Nephropathy.

ISHITA BANSAL, MD is an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also the Director of the Nephrology Fellowship Program.

SAAD A. BHATTI, MD is an Attending of the Mount Sinai Health System, board certified in Critical Care and Nephrology. He is the Wellness Director of the Nephrology Fellows.

AARON STERN, MD is an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also the Medical Director at the Broadway Dialysis Center and the Director of Research.

ELLENA LINDEN, MD is a Nephrology Attending Physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and certified in Nephrology and Transplant. Her research interests include access to transplantation for undocumented immigrants.


The program participates in the National Resident Matching Program. Interviews will occur during the winter and spring and the Match will occur in June. Please refer to the NRMP Specialties Matching Service Web site for details.

All applications are accepted only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Please access the ERAS Web site at to apply. Applicants can set up accounts in the ERAS beginning in July (two years prior to start of fellowship). The applicant will need to inform our office of his or her interest in critical care so that we may schedule interviews at both campuses.

Application Checklist 

  • Transcripts 
  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Personal Statement
  • Photo
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • USMLE scores