Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship at The Mount Sinai Hospital

The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Fellowship, part of the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is a nationally recognized program and a core component of the Department. The SCI program is the only service of its kind to be accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in New York City. We are also fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for the Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Fellows in SCI medicine treat a diverse patient population through training at three hospitals—The Mount Sinai Hospital, the James J. Peters VA Medical Center (VAMC), and NYU Langone Medical Center. All of the affiliated hospitals are within a 30-minute drive of the main campus. Inter-hospital transportation is provided by regularly scheduled shuttle bus service that operates between The Mount Sinai Hospital and the VAMC.

The Rehabilitation Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital includes a 50-bed acute inpatient facility with 25 beds devoted to providing acute rehabilitation services to those with spinal cord injuries as well as those with ventilator-dependent tetraplegia. The unit is staffed by physiatrists with substantial expertise in SCI medicine: Thomas Bryce, MDMiguel Escalon, MD, and Avniel Shetreat-Klein, MD. In addition to acute inpatient SCI rehabilitation, fellows participate in inpatient consults, continuity clinic, private outpatient SCI care, neurourology conferences, and biweekly neuro ICU acute care rounds. Other rotations throughout the Hospital may be arranged based on the fellow's interest. 

The James Peters VA Medical Center (VAMC) provides comprehensive care for veterans with SCI, both on an acute and chronic basis. The 80-bed SCI unit is directed by Arthur Cytryn, MD, who is board certified in SCI medicine. Fellows are exposed to inpatient SCI medicine and additional specialty areas including a wound care clinic, telemedicine, and urologic testing. Fellows also participate in a home visit program for veterans with SCI.

Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center provides fellows with experience in outpatient pediatric SCI. Pediatric rehabilitation services are directed by Joan Gold, MD, who has been in her position for nearly 20 years and is known for her outstanding teaching and her encyclopedic knowledge of pediatric rehabilitation. During the Rusk rotation, fellows participate in neuroradiology image interpretation and adult clinics for multiple sclerosis, wound care, and fertility.

Fellows receive training by rotating through inpatient and outpatient programs at The Mount Sinai Hospital, the James Peters VA Medical Center, and Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center. Fellows are expected to practice within our continuity outpatient clinic, building a panel of outpatients for whom they serve as the primary medical contact. Fellows are also required to complete a scholarly project related to SCI. Practical experience, didactic training, and scholarly work prepare the fellow to sit for the subspecialty examination in SCI medicine administered by The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation each fall. For the past five years, 100 percent of our fellows have passed the SCIM Specialty Board exam.

Our program includes a weekly journal club, weekly formal SCIM didactics, and weekly formal training on research methodology. Fellows have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of intrathecal pump management for spasticity. Other procedures performed include urodynamics, nerve and muscle blocks with neurotoxins, and diaphragm pacer programming and management. Fellows have the opportunity to participate in our community outreach programs, which includes a swimming program and life challenge activities for SCI patients. Fellows are expected to participate in the education of residents and staff members through formal lectures, informal teaching, and the development of a quality improvement project. Fellows are also expected to participate in research and prepare scholarly work. 

All fellows receive a comprehensive benefits package including four weeks of paid vacation, major medical insurance, a free hepatitis B vaccine, prescription plan, dental insurance, life insurance, malpractice insurance, disability insurance, and discounts for recreational activities in New York City.

We ask that all fellows complete a residency training program in either physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, internal medicine, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, surgery, urology, or plastic surgery. For more information, contact our program director, Vincent Huang, MD at Vincent.huang@mountsinai.org.