How can I learn more about fellowship opportunities in the Neurosurgical Innovations and Training Center?

We currently offer a voluntary (unfunded) Research Fellowship in Skull Base and Microneurosurgery in our Neurosurgical Innovations and Training Center (NITC). 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 1–2 years in advance of their requested visit. For more information please see our Fellowship Description page and contact Dr. Antonio Bernardo at [email protected].


Are they any learning or research opportunities in the Neurosurgical Innovations and Training Center for medical students?

The Weill Cornell Neurosurgical Innovations and Training Center 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 over 40 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 NITC 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. For more information please see the question below.


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

Fellows: It is very important to apply for the correct type of visa, otherwise your visa application will be denied. As we do not provide visa sponsorship (see above), you will need to apply for a B1 or B1/B2 visa (do not apply for a B2 visa) as a clinical observer. The use of this visa for your stay is permitted under 9 FAM 402.2-5(F)(3)(U), which defines “a medical doctor 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.” Here is an example of a B1 visa issued to a former fellow, note the annotation.

Medical Students: If you require a visa, you should also apply for a B1 visa. The use of this visa for this type of clerkship is permitted under 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…”

Fellows or medical students coming for less than 90 days and who qualify for a visa waiver, 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 60 days 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 money order with you for the specified amount.

**On your first day, bring a certified check or money order for $200."

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 or for short-term housing options.

Dormitory style rooms may also be available at the 92nd Street Y.

A number of previous fellows have rented nearby private apartments at 1367 First Avenue. To inquire, please contact Ms. Betty Kim at (917) 583-9233.

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. An instrument deposit, returned at the completion of the fellowship, may also be required.


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, 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 [email protected].