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Adult Surgical Critical Care Fellowship

The one-year Adult Surgical Critical Care Fellowship is accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The fellowship is administered through McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University.

Clinical training for the fellowship includes rotations through multiple units at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, including the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), Cardiothoracic/Transplant Intensive Care Unit (CTICU), Neuro-Sciences Intensive Care Unit (NSICU) and Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). Elective rotations in Infectious Disease, Nephrology, Echocardiography, Hospice & Palliative Care, Coronary Care (CCICU), as well as Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units are offered at Northwestern. All elective and customized rotations have documented educational value and clear goals approved by the ACGME; they proceed under the supervision of experienced faculty.

 Message from the Program Director

Welcome to the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Northwestern!

The Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Northwestern is a one-year ACGME-accredited fellowship for graduates of ACGME-accredited general surgery residency programs. The program accepts two fellows each year. Two features distinguishes our fellowship program: first, we create “Individualized Learning Plans” to accommodate the specific needs and aspirations of each fellow based on their chosen career trajectory. Second, we foster collaborative, multi-disciplinary and multi-specialty innovative educational programs and provide our fellows with immersive experiences through rotations on a number of diverse critical care units and related consulting services to provide comprehensive clinical experiences to manage all aspects of critical illnesses.

SCC fellowship rotations are based primarily at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) in the heart of the beautiful city of Chicago next to the touristic Magnificent Mile. The Surgical Critical Care service manages critically-ill surgical patients including those from general surgery, trauma, vascular, thoracic, surgical oncology, urology, ENT, gynecology, as well as pre- and post-transplant patients.

NMH reputation as one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers continues as we develop additional world-class facilities and expanded clinical programs with our academic partner, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. This is a 894-bed academic medical center hospital, with at least 115 ICU beds that is the primary teaching affiliate for the Feinberg School of Medicine and has nearly 1,900 affiliated physicians representing virtually every medical specialty. According to U.S. News & World Report (2019-20), Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the No. 1 hospital in Illinois and Chicago and is recognized among the top hospitals in the country ranking No. 10 on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll.


The goal of the Surgical Critical Care (SCC) fellowship training at Northwestern is to graduate SCC specialists who are able to fulfill and advance the clinical, administrative and research expectations of future leaders in SCC.

Graduates of the Northwestern SCC fellowship are expected to:

  1. Implement best evidence-based practices that are cost-effective, adhere to patient safety principles and improve patient outcomes
  2. Demonstrate advanced decision-making abilities during complex clinical situations
  3. Operate effectively within multidisciplinary patient care teams
  4. Practice effective and comprehensive communication skills with patients, families and teams of healthcare providers
  5. Participate in quality control projects to achieve institutional and national quality benchmarks and improve patient outcomes
  6. Design and conduct research projects that are relevant to the science of critical care
  7. Develop essential administrative and managerial skills that improve resource utilization within the critical care unit and the institution
  8. Illustrate competence in utilizing monitoring and support devices essential for patient care


The comprehensive curriculum was designed to ensure that fellows are prepared for independent practice as SCC specialists who are excellent and compassionate clinicians, thorough scientists and visionary leaders in the field.

Curricular elements for SCC fellowship at Northwestern were adopted from four main sources:

  1. The Society of Critical Care Medicine (Guidelines for Advanced Training for Physicians in Critical Care, Crit Care Med 1997; 25:1601-1607)
  2. The Surgical Critical Care Program Directors Society (Training and certification in surgical critical care: a position paper by the Surgical Critical Care Program Directors Society. J Trauma. 2010 Aug; 69 (2): 471-474)
  3. The ACGME Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Surgical Critical Care
  4. American Board of Surgery- Content Outline for the Certifying and MOC (Recertification) Examination

Educational Events

  • Bedside multidisciplinary rounds (daily)
  • Morning report (Monday-Wednesday every week)
  • Multidisciplinary Critical Care Core Curriculum Series (once or twice a month)
  • Multidisciplinary Journal Club (once a month)
  • Pulmonary CCM (once a month)
  • Anesthesia CC Conference (once a month)
  • CCM Journal Club (once a month)
  • Simulation Series (October - May)
  • SICU M&M (last Wednesday of the month)


  • SICU
  • MICU
  • CCU
  • Acute Care Surgery
  • Nephrology
  • ID
  • Echo

 Requirements & Eligibility

This program is available to individuals seeking additional training in surgical critical care who have:

  1. Satisfactory completed the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps 1, 2, and 3
  2. Completed a United States ACGME-accredited residency program
  3. Eligible for medical licensure in the State of Illinois

 Application Process

Candidates are asked to submit all application documents through the SCC and ACS Fellowship Application Service (SAFAS). Access the SAFAS application service and follow the Applicant Instructions located on the homepage. Requested documents are:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from your program director
  • ABSITE scores
  • USMLE scores

 Why Northwestern?

Housestaff training through McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University provides diverse and challenging clinical experiences and world-class education located in the heart of the beautiful city of Chicago. Learn more via the links to the McGaw website below.

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 McGaw resources

two fellows in conversation

Training with McGaw

McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University offers exceptional training experiences at nationally ranked hospitals and fosters a culture of diversity, innovation and excellence.


Why Northwestern?

Learn more about the benefits of training at a world-class academic medical center in a diverse and vibrant city of Chicago. Further program details, including the Department of Medicine housestaff manual and a sample training contract, are available on our McGaw Medical Center Graduation Website.


Chicagoans and tourists enjoy the Crown fountain at Chicago's Millennium Park

Contact Us

Nabil Issa, MD

Nabil Issa, MD

Program Director

Faculty Profile

Brenna Land

Brenna Land

Program Coordinator

brenna.uporsky( at )


Current Fellows

Kelsey Hoidal, MD

Kelsey Hoidal, MD

MD: The University of Arizona College of Medicine
Residency: Banner University Medical Center

Linda Yala, MD

Linda Yala, MD

MD: The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Residency: University of Illinois - Metropolitan Group Hospitals

Graduated Fellows

Ali Amro, MD

Ali Amro, MD

Fellowship AY: 2020-2021
University of Balamand
Residency: Henry Ford Hospital

Yuriy Moklyak, MD

Yuriy Moklyak, MD

Fellowship AY: 2020-2021
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Residency: University of Minnesota

Giang Quach, MD

Fellowship AY: 2019-2020
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Beaumont Trenton

David Testrake, MD

Fellowship AY: 2019-2020
University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine
Residency: Wright State University Program

Michael Masteller, MD

Fellowship AY: 2018-2019
Indiana University School of Medicine
Residency: Mount Sinai - University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago

Alexander Johnston, MD

Fellowship AY: 2018-2019
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Residency: Guthrie Clinic - Robert Packer Hospital

Rahul Rasheed, MD

Fellowship AY: 2017-2018
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Residency: Texas Tech University Health Science Center in El Paso

Kulsoom Laeeq, MD

Fellowship AY: 2017-2018
Khyber Medical College
Residency: Creighton University School of Medicine (Omaha) Program

Joliette N Barnum, MD

Fellowship AY: 2016-2017
University of Missouri School of Medicine
Residency: University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals Program

Jonathan F Bean, MD

Fellowship AY: 2016-2017
University of Illinois College of Medicine
Residency: University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago Program

Leah Tatebe, MD

Faculty Profile

Fellowship AY: 2015-2016
University of Texas, Southwestern
Residency: Baylor University Medical Center

Ragavan Narayanan, MD

Fellowship AY: 2015-2016
Geisel Shcool of Medicine at Dartmouth
Residency: Arrowhead Regional Medical Center/Kaiser Permanente

Raelene Kennedy, MD

Fellowship AY: 2014-2015


Nicole Siparsky

Fellowship AY: 2014-2015


Jon Gale, MD

Fellowship AY: 2013-2014


Robert Bertellotti

Fellowship AY: 2013-2014


Physician-Scientist Training & Resources

We offer a wide range of resources, mentorship opportunities and formal training programs to help our residents and fellows excel as physician-scientists. Explore all of the resources and hear from housestaff who are making research a major part of their career development plans.


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