Neurocritical Care Fellowship

Program Overview

Our Neurocritical Care Fellowship is a two-year United Council for Neurological Subspecialties (UCNS) – accredited program. The fellowship is organized to ensure fellow eligibility for subspecialty certification in Neurocritical Care through the UCNS. The University of Chicago Neurosciences Intensive Care Program faculty have distinct interests and backgrounds. Each faculty member offers vital contributions that complement the spectrum of each fellow's experience.

Fernando Goldenberg MD is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Neurocritical Care. He is an internationally known and a highly regarded specialist in Neurocritical Care. He was recruited to the University of Chicago from Argentina, where he was the Director of Critical Care at two hospitals. He is a very talented clinician and acclaimed educator who is consistently involved with provocative clinical research projects addressing the care of patients with catastrophic brain injury. His extensive experience in internal medicine and pulmonary critical care offers another perspective in the fellowship program.

Alejandro Hornik MD treats critically ill neurologic and neurosurgical patients with conditions such as ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, hydrocephalus, status epilepticus, myasthenia gravis crisis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and meningitis. He does not provide general outpatient neurology care.

Christopher Kramer MD specializes in neurocritical care and vascular neurology. As a neurointensive care specialist, he offers diagnostic evaluations, advanced monitoring, and individualized treatment plans for adults with severe injuries and disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Dr. Kramer is active in clinical research and medical education. In addition to presenting neurocritical care research at national and international conferences, he has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has also reviewed articles for the The Neurologist and the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases.

General Fellowship Description

Neurosciences Intensive Care is an exciting specialty, and the demand for specialists in our field is growing rapidly. Our fellowship program reflects our group's enthusiasm for our specialty. Neurosciences Critical Care bridges the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuroanesthesiology, and critical care medicine, and our fellowship provides wide exposure to all these disciplines. Beyond learning the care of critically ill patients, our fellows participate in the rapid assessment of patients with acute stroke symptoms and decision-making reperfusion therapies. They also perform consultations in patients with neurologic problems located in the other critical care units at our institution. Our fellows receive training in critical care procedures and bedside ultrasound, and they participate in educational conferences including the weekly Stroke Morning Report and the weekly Multidisciplinary Vascular Conference. One unique aspect of our program is the strong collegiality across all specialties within our medical center that participate in the care of our patients. In addition to the outstanding clinical experience our fellowship provides, fellows participate in research activities, either clinical or basic, and education of the residents and medical students. Special efforts are made to guide the fellows in designing and organizing his/her own research, quality improvement, or education projects that can be realistically accomplished during the two-year fellowship. Scholarly product through publications and presentations will be fostered. At the completion of the fellowship, University of Chicago Medical Center-trained neurocritical care fellows are uniquely skilled clinically, have a track record of scholarly and educational accomplishments, and are ready to either build their own programs or contribute to established programs.

Fellowship Experience

The fellowship provides a balanced exposure to medical and surgical intensive care with focused experience in neuroscience intensive care, primary and consultative. Acute stroke management is an important aspect of the fellowship program. Uniquely, each fellowship experience is tailored to the professional goals of each fellow, but it focuses on cultivating a broad clinical experience in neurosciences critical care. In addition, critical care unit management skills, team building, critical review of relevant literature, writing/speaking skills, and design and participation in clinical research will be nurtured. While the work is intense and rigorous, the work atmosphere is collegial and enjoyable. Scholarly productivity is important during the fellowship experience, and efforts are made to organize interesting projects with the fellows that can be realistically accomplished during the training period. Reference is made to the neurocritical care research page and cerebrovascular research page for an overview of some of the relevant research happening at The University of Chicago Medicine. As a UCNS-accredited fellowship, all fellows are eligible and prepared to sit for their neurocritical care boards at the completion of their fellowship. All fellows who have sat for their boards have readily passed.