How can I learn more about fellowship opportunities in the Surgical Innovations Lab?

We currently offer a voluntary (unfunded) Research Fellowship in our Microneurosurgery Skull Base Laboratory. The fellowship focuses attention on the training of neurosurgeons in the care of patients with pathologies in the skull base region. The training is of variable duration from 4 to 6 months and is available to senior residents in neurosurgery or to neurosurgeons who have completed their residency training and would like to pursue specialized training in this area. Prospective applicants are encouraged to apply 2 years in advance of their requested visit. For more information please see our Fellowship Overview page and contact Dr. Antonio Bernardo at anb2029@med.cornell.edu.

 

Are they any learning or research opportunities in the Surgical Innovations Lab for medical students?

The Weill Cornell Surgical Innovations Lab for Skull Base Microneurosurgery offers a research elective in surgical neuroanatomy that provides medical students with the basic concepts of neurosurgery. This elective is designed for medical students nearing the end of their schooling who wish to peruse post-graduate specialty training in neurology, neurosurgery, or otolaryngology. For more information please visit Surgical Neuroanatomy Elective page. Students are encouraged to apply 6 months prior to their desired rotation.

 

Is United States Citizenship a requirement to apply for a fellowship or elective?

No, we accept fellows and students from all over the globe. To date we have hosted individuals from 37 countries. To see a list of former fellows by country, visit our Former Fellows page.

 

Do you require international fellowship applicants to possess Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification?

No, applicants for our Research Fellowship in the Surgical Innovations Lab are not required to have taken the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam or possess ECFMG certification.

 

Do you provide visa sponsorship for foreign fellowship or medical student applicants?

No, we do not provide visa sponsorship and cannot support F, J, or H visas. More information please see the question below.

 

As a foreign applicant, what type of visa should I apply for?

For Fellows, it is very important to apply for the correct type of visa, otherwise your visa application will be denied. As we cannot provide visa sponsorship (see above), you will need to apply for a B1 or B1/B2 visa (do not apply for a B2 visa). Some consular officers may not be aware of the provision allowing for a B1 visa to be used for this purpose, thus we encourage you to mention 9 FAM 402.2-5(F)(3)(U) during your application process. This statue defines the following category for issuance of a B1 or B1/B2 visa, “a medical doctor otherwise classifiable H1 as a member of a profession whose purpose for coming to the United States is to observe U.S. medical practices and consult with colleagues on latest techniques, provided no remuneration is received from a U.S. source and no patient care is involved. Failure to pass the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) is irrelevant in such a case.” Here is an example of a B1 visa issued to a former fellow, note the annotation.

Medical students who require a visa should also apply for a B1 visa and should refer to this elective formally as a clerkship. Most consular officers are familiar with this use of a B1 visa as defined by 9 FAM 402.2-5(E)(3)(U) paragraph b, “an alien who is studying at a foreign medical school and seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to take an “elective clerkship” at a U.S. medical school’s hospital without remuneration from the hospital…”

If you are coming for less than 3 months and qualify for a visa waiver, you should apply for this instead of a visa using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). More information on visitor visas can be found here.

 

What type of health documentation must I provide?

The type of health screening required by the university depends on the duration of your time here and your level of training. Please see the four different categories below and the required documentation for each:

  • Medical Doctor Staying 90 Days or Less: Applicants who hold an M.D. (or equivalent) and are staying 90 days or less will be required to complete a self-certification form attesting to their medical fitness. The form cannot be completed greater than 3 months prior to the specified start date. Applicants who fall into this category will be required to pay a $15 fee upon arrival.*
  • Non-Medical Doctor Staying 90 Days or Less: Applicants who do not hold an M.D. and are staying 90 days or less will be required to submit a medical attestation form completed by both the applicant and the applicant’s primary care physician. The applicant will be required to complete IGRA testing (or 2-step TST skin testing) within 1 month of the specified start date. No attachments or vaccination histories will be accepted, the primary care physician must complete the form. The form cannot be completed greater than 3 months prior to the specified start date. Applicants who fall into this category will be required to pay a $25 fee upon arrival.*
  • Any Applicant Staying Greater Than 90 Days: Applicants staying greater than 3 months must complete a mandatory health examination at the Weill Cornell Workforce Health and Safety Clinic. Applicants who fall into this category will be required to pay a $200 fee upon arrival.**
  • Any Applicant Staying Less Than 30 Days: Applicants staying 30 days or less will be required to submit a form completed by their primary care physician showing proof of immunity for Rubella, Measles, Mumps, and Varicella in the form of assays of anti-viral antibodies or immunization records as well as the results of a PPD test within 1 month of starting.

*On your first day, bring a certified check or money order for the specified amount made payable to “Weill Cornell Medical College Neurosurgery”

**On your first day, bring a certified check or money order for $200 made payable to “WCMC/Human Resources Department”

To obtain a money order visit the U.S. Post Office near the hospital and purchase one using cash.

The above does not apply to WCMC and WCMC-Q students.

 

Do you provide housing opportunities for fellows or visiting medical students?

Unfortunately, we do not provide any housing opportunities. We suggest incoming Fellows and students check RotatingRoom.com or Airbnb.com for short-term housing options.

On occasion, dormitory style rooms in the New York Presbyterian Annex may be available for rent at a rate of $800/month. Each small room includes a bed and a desk. Once you have received an invitation letter to join our Fellowship program, you can fill out an Annex Residence Application and submit it to Zeynep Sanli at zeynep.sanli@cis.cushwake.com. Please include “Annex Dormitory Room Request” in the subject line of your e-mail. Please also indicate in the body of the e-mail that you will be a visiting fellow under Dr. Antonio Bernardo in the Department of Neurological Surgery. Availability is very limited and is not guaranteed. If a room is available, you will be required to submit a month and a half security deposit of $1,200 one week before your move in date. This deposit must be provided as a certified bank check or money order in US dollars. To obtain a money order visit the U.S. Post Office near the hospital and purchase one using cash (bring cash with you as banks and ATM’s usually have a $1,000 per day withdrawal limit). For more information about the Annex Dormitory, please see the Annex Resident Handbook. If you have any questions, please contact Zeynep at the e-mail address above or by phone at 212-746-1968.

In addition to the above options, NYInns offer extended stay reservations. They have three properties, Union Square Inn (approximately $2,200.00/month + application fees), Hotel 99 (approximately $2,400.00/month + 300.00 application fee + 100.00 for maid service), and Central Park Inn (approximately $1,600.00 per month). To inquire about availability, you may contact ccwintal@nyinns.com, please mention that you were referred by Weill Cornell.

Please understand that any referral made to non-Weill Cornell or New York Presbyterian real estate property shall not be construed or reported as an endorsement or approval by Weill Cornell Medicine or a warranty or representation by Weill Cornell Medicine as to the quality, safety or other features of such property, and/or its owners or management agent(s). Weill Cornell Medicine expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any issues that may arise with regard to such property or rental units or with regard to disputes between landlords and tenant concerning such property or rental units. All prospective tenants are encouraged to exercise their own judgment when evaluating a prospective rental unit or landlord.

For more information about living in NYC, visit our page on Living in New York City.

 

Do you provide any financial assistance or stipends to fellows or visiting medical students?

No. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any form of financial assistance, honorarium, or stipends. Additionally, fellows are required to purchase their own cadaveric specimen at a cost of $1,500.

 

Do you support applications for the AANS International Visiting Surgeon Fellowship?

Based on the large number of applicants, we can only support a single application for the AANS International Visiting Surgeon Fellowship per year. If you would like us to consider supporting your application, please submit to us a copy of your comprehensive education plan, as per the AANS eligibility criteria found here, as well as any other supporting documents. In general we believe that a successful education plan should describe what you plan to learn during your fellowship, a detailed description of your planned educational activities, a structured description of how you will spend your time here, what you hope to accomplish by the end of your fellowship, and how this fellowship will impact your practice when you return; as well as a novel research plan, centered around your educational plan, that has the possibility for publication in one of the main neurosurgery journals. This structured plan should be about 4–5 pages in length.

 

What should I do if I have been accepted and can no longer participate in the fellowship?

If, for any reason, you are unable to attend and participate in our fellowship program after receiving an acceptance letter please let us know at least 6 months prior to your scheduled start date.

 

Do you have any tips for living in New York?

Yes! Please see our Living in New York page for more information.

 

Where can I found out about upcoming Skull Base Dissection courses?

To learn more about or to register for our upcoming courses please visit our Courses page.

 

Do you offer individual intensive training courses?

We are pleased to offer a unique individual one-on-one training opportunity for residents, fellows, and surgeons wishing to gain a deeper understanding of skull base neurosurgery. This 5–6 day hands-on dissection course taught by Dr. Antonio Bernardo features instruction in skull base approaches, surgical anatomy, and microsurgical techniques and may be custom tailored to the individual surgeons’ preferences. This individual training course is offered throughout the year. If you would like to learn more about this course or to inquire about scheduling and pricing options, please e-mail skullbasecourses@med.cornell.edu.