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Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship Program

Thank you for your interest in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship program at Westchester Medical Center. We aspire to world-class training and mentoring of the next generation of clinicians, educators and researchers in the field of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. The program is based in Valhalla, NY, which is one of the bucolic northern suburbs of NYC located in Westchester County extending along the eastern bank of the Hudson River.

The fellowship is a three-year program fully accredited by the ACGME. Three to four fellows are accepted each year for a total of eleven fellows. Westchester Medical Center, the main training site for the program, is a 652-bed tertiary referral center and flagship hospital for a large healthcare system spanning the lower Hudson River valley. It is also the primary teaching hospital for New York Medical College. WMC is known for having the highest case mix index in the United States, meaning that its patients are the most clinically complex of any hospital in the country. At this site, PCCM fellows learn to care for a population spanning all medical and surgical sub-specialties, including transplantation of the kidney, liver, heart, pancreas, and bone marrow. Additionally, fellows gain non-medical critical care experience through a Level 1 Trauma ICU, Neurosciences ICU, Burn ICU, as well as through exposure to patients receiving ECMO. The Medical Center also contains the hub of a highly developed tele-ICU service. WMC is the interventional pulmonology center for a large catchment area, and the fellows have the option of rotating with the hospital’s interventional pulmonologist. In collaboration with the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, WMC is home to a large cystic fibrosis program, which affords fellows the opportunity to learn about the management of this unique and challenging population. The weekly chest clinic staffed by the fellows offers them an opportunity to exercise supervised autonomy in the care of a diverse, underserved patient population with complex needs, among them a heavy burden of sleep-disordered breathing. A large simulation center used for fellow training is located on the grounds of New York Medical College.

For a contrasting community-based experience, the fellows rotate at affiliate sites that are part of the NYC Health + Hospitals municipal hospital system. Lincoln Hospital is a busy inner city public facility known for its advanced asthma care and intense critical care service. Metropolitan Hospital provides exposure to the outpatient care of the prototypical community patient with pulmonary disease. We believe that this combination of complementary training sites offers the broadest possible clinical scope, preparing fellows for practice in any environment upon graduation.

As part of a program based at an academic medical center and closely allied with NYMC, the fellows are granted at least four months of research time in their third year to pursue scholarly projects with the encouragement and mentorship of the faculty. They also interact with NYMC medical students in multiple settings. There is an extensive list of conferences designed with trainees in mind, including Chest X-ray and CT conferences, Pathology conference, Thoracic tumor board, clinical case conference, M&M, and CF conference among others. Currently in evolution is a divisional Grand Rounds series as well as a “boot camp”-style preparatory lecture series for first-year fellows in the summer months. Running weekly is a core curriculum lecture series composed of both faculty and fellow presentations.

The WMC PCCM fellowships participates in ERAS and invite applications from candidates interested in its mission of providing premier clinical training in an environment conducive to scholarly output.


Dipak Chandy, MD
Program Director

Oleg Epelbaum, MD
Associate Program Director

The Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program at Westchester Medical Center was established in 1980 and is fully accredited by the ACGME. It currently consists of 11 fellows covering 3 training sites: Westchester Medical Center, Lincoln Medical Center, and Metropolitan Hospital Center.

Westchester Medical Center is the primary training site for the PCCM fellowship at WMC. The WMC experience consists of the following rotations and approximate durations over 3 years of training:

1. Pulmonary Consultation (6-7mo)
2. Medical ICU (3-4mo)
3. Neurological ICU (3-4mo)
4. Research/Elective (3-4mo)
5. Night Float (3-4mo)

Fellows assigned to all rotations other than Night Float attend weekly continuity Chest Clinic. Opportunities are available to rotate on the Interventional Pulmonology service during Research/ Elective time. Scholarly initiatives are encouraged and promoted by the faculty, resulting in consistent fellow participation in international conferences and numerous fellow-authored publications in reputable journals. Reimbursement is provided for conference presentations, hands-on courses, and pulmonary board review preparation.

The fellows rotating at WMC attend and take part in the following conferences:

1. Case Conference
2. M&M
3. Pathology Conference
4. Chest x-ray Conference (led by the chief of Radiology)
5. Chest CT Conference (led by a dedicated thoracic radiologist)
6. CF Conference
7. Journal Club
8. Physiology Conference
9. Faculty Lectures
10. Thoracic Tumor Board
11. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Grand Rounds

Lincoln Medical Center (division chief: Dr. Riyad Basir) is a bustling NYC municipal hospital located in the Bronx. The fellows at LHC rotate on the following services:

1. Pulmonary Consultation
2. Medical ICU
3. Pulmonary Clinic

The LMC rotations expose the fellows to a different spectrum of disease than the one encountered at WMC, specifically new presentations of infectious disease, challenging toxicology, and refractory asthma. Fellows also play the primary role in the evaluation and management of patients with ischemic stroke beginning in the Emergency Department and continuing in the ICU. Every day prior to ICU rounds, they gather with the faculty for an hour-long morning report during which management decisions regarding the ICU patients are discussed. Fellows rotating at LMC also attend other conferences organized by the LMC faculty. LMC has its own busy internal medicine residency program, and the fellows interact extensively with LMC house-staff.

Metropolitan Hospital Center (division chief: Dr. Thomas Newman) is a venerable Manhattan institution that, like LMC, is part of the NYC municipal hospital system and home to its own internal medicine residency program. While at MHC, the fellows rotate on the following services:

1. Pulmonary Consultation
2. Medical ICU

MHC is known for its “bread and butter” mix of critical care and pulmonary cases. Close interactions between faculty, fellows, and house-staff are the norm in the small-scale environment of MHC.

Class of 2019

Aashish Valvani, MD (Chief Fellow)
Residency: Metropolitan Hospital Center

Hussein Assalum, MD
Lincoln Medical Center

Ricardo Velasquez-Saldana, MD
St. Barnabas Hospital

Priyasha Srivastava, MD
: Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences

Class of 2020

Laura Miranda, MD
Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College

Alvaro Martin-Menjivar, MD
St. Barnabas Hospital

Mohammad Abu-Hishmeh, MD
Lincoln Medical Center

Class of 2021

Precious Macauley, MD
Maimonides Medical Center

Natalya Kozlova, MD
Lincoln Medical Center

Zeeshan Hafeez, MD
Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center

Anna Shengelia, MD
Lincoln Medical Center
This program participates in ERAS, the Electronic Residency Application Service. Applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS) using the following link: www.aamc.org/eras.

To be considered complete, an application must have the ERAS Common Application Form, medical school transcript, official USMLE transcript, Dean's letter (MSPE), Step ,II, III Exam scores, letters of recommendation from Program Director of any previous medical residency training, and at least three letters of recommendation from Faculty who have worked with the candidate within the past year.

Ines Richardson
Program Coordinator
Pulmonary/Critical Care/Sleep Medicine
Office: 914.493.7518
Email: Ines.Richardson@wmchealth.org