Starting my training in Neuroanesthesia Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic was a major milestone in my career. I used to work as an anesthesiologist in Egypt and my goal was to progress both clinically and academically, especially in neuroanesthesia. This dream has become a reality during my current fellowship.
The Neuroanesthesia Fellowship program offered by Cleveland Clinic is exceptional and has a long-standing reputation, since its starting in 1982 and has graduated many fellows. The impressive success of these alumni testifies to the program’s commitment to fostering expertise and preparing individuals for impactful careers in neuroanesthesia. The program stands out for its unwavering commitment to maintaining high standards and shaping future leaders in the field of anesthesia.
Moreover, the program has earned accreditation from the International Council for Perioperative Neuroscience Training (ICPNT), which aims to raise the educational standards across international training programs by focusing on standardized curricula and competency-based assessments. Additionally, the program provides the opportunity to become a member of SNACC. Being part of this membership entitles you to numerous educational advantages, including access to JNA clubs, podcasts, classrooms, and annual meetings. These gatherings offer a valuable chance to connect with neuroanesthesiologists globally, facilitating the exchange of clinical and academic experiences.
This training program is unique due to its wide range of neurosurgical procedures. It also includes a comprehensive training curriculum that equips any enrolled anesthesiologist with the expertise to handle complex cases in neurosurgery. The neuroanesthesia fellowship lasts for a year, with eight months of dedicated operating room (OR) training and one day per week allocated to research. So far, I am actively involved in two projects, one on Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and another on Sedline monitor. Additionally, I am working on a review article on epilepsy surgeries and prepared a case report, which I will present on Safety Day at the Cleveland Clinic.
The curriculum includes a four-week immersion program in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to provide a holistic understanding of neuroanesthesia and effective pre and postoperative management. There is also a two weeks-long training program focused on transcranial doppler and another two weeks training on transthoracic echocardiography, which presents a valuable opportunity for honing skills to be an efficient anesthesiologist. An additional five weeks are dedicated to an EEG course, including daily lectures, and a two-week segment on neuromonitoring. These seven weeks are instrumental in monitoring patients during surgery and fine-tuning anesthesia levels. This approach ensures the judicious administration of anesthesia medications, enhancing the overall quality of anesthesia while minimizing the risks associated with overdoses.
Finally, the program provides a four-week elective rotation, which allows participants to focus on a particular subspecialty. I chose acute pain to take advantage of the opportunity to improve my skills in regional anesthesia.
In summary, this fellowship program is an excellent way to receive top-notch training and mentorship for those who are interested in becoming skilled and compassionate neuroanesthesiologists. I am thankful to Dr. Rafi Avitsian, the former program director, for giving me this chance to start this fellowship and to Dr. Shobana Rajan, the current program director, whose commitment to teaching and guidance has helped me to excel both academically and clinically.