Cook County Health offers an AGME-accredited, three-year training program in Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.
The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Cook County Health has a rich tradition of providing high-quality care, research and house staff training. Providing high-quality and compassionate care to all regardless of their ability to pay is at the heart of all that we do. The faculty, fellows and staff of the division welcome you to our website. We hope you will find all the information you need to understand our mission better.
The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine offers a fully accredited, competitive three-year fellowship program in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The mission of our program is to provide rigorous training in state-of-the-art pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. We achieve this mission by instructing our fellows in a diverse and rich clinical setting. We offer cutting-edge training and provide close personal supervision to the fellows.
Our strongest asset is our diverse patient population with a wide spectrum of illnesses and the commitment of our system to make a meaningful impact for those who need us most. We are a tertiary referral center for a large network of community and ambulatory care sites throughout the city such as Austin, Cicero and Logan Square, as well as our affiliate Provident Hospital in Bronzeville. We are also the regional referral center for tuberculosis care, and work closely with the state and county tuberculosis programs. In addition, the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center provides HIV care to one of the largest HIV positive cohorts in Chicago. Our medical oncology program is one of the few centers in the city to provide cancer care to all regardless of their ability to pay. Our emergency room is one of the busiest in the city and is well known for its excellent trauma care.
We have one of the most diverse groups of physicians and patients of any hospital in Chicago. The faculty, trainees and nurses are highly experienced in the management of a vast variety of pulmonary and critical care diseases. Our division is composed of a united team of physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, and respiratory, sleep and physiology technicians all working to serve our patients.
All our fellows complete three years of clinical training, which primarily occurs at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, a public hospital serving the residents of Cook County. The following are some of the rotations that are offered:
Medical Intensive Care Unit
The hospital has 82 adult critical care beds divided between six units. The medical intensive care unit has 22 beds. The fellows supervise medical students, interns and residents; assess and triage admissions to the MICU; and lead the cardiopulmonary arrest team in the hospital. Our fellows are trained to be proficient in all aspects critical care, such as airway management and intubations, advanced ventilator management, central and arterial line placements, critical care ultrasound, and resuscitation.
Pulmonary Consult Service
The fellow in consultation with an attending manages our inpatient pulmonary consult service. We offer a wide range of pulmonary procedures, and our fellows routinely perform basic and advanced bronchoscopies, as well as pleural procedures. In addition to basic bronchoscopies, our graduates are expected to be proficient in EBUS-TBNA. Fellows also have the opportunity to learn Radial EBUS and to participate in complex surgical cases in conjunction with Cardiothoracic Surgery. Our fellows get ample exposure in managing pleural disease, and placing small and large bore chest tubes, along with tunneled pleural catheters, ultrasound-directed pleural biopsies.
Our pulmonary physiology laboratory is outstanding and offers the full range of resting, exercise and bronchoprovocation studies, as well as a superb pulmonary rehabilitation program. The fellows will learn how to interpret spirometry, lung volumes, arterial blood gases, bronchoprovocation challenge tests and cardiopulmonary exercise tests.
Additional ICU Rotations
Fellows also rotate through critical care units other than the medical intensive care unit such as:
Neurocritical Care Unit – Rush University Medical Center
Cardiovascular Critical Care Unit – Advocate Christ Medical Center
Surgical Critical Care Unit – Stroger Hospital
Electives include Trauma ICU at Stroger Hospital and elective rotations at other Chicago hospitals on a case-to-case basis, depending on the fellow’s clinical interests.
We share a close relationship with our anesthesia colleagues. Elective anesthesia rotations are offered by the program to provide airway experience in the operating room setting, in addition to a robust experience in the ICU.
The outpatient clinical exposure in our program is vast. All fellows attend a half-day general pulmonary clinic for three years. In the second year, the fellows attend an additional half-day asthma clinic and sleep clinic. In the third year, they attend the interstitial lung disease clinic, pulmonary hypertension clinic and tuberculosis clinic.
Sleep Medicine: The fellows learn how to evaluate patients with sleep disordered breathing, as well as patients with other sleep disorders like narcolepsy, parasomnias and insomnia. They also learn the basics of interpreting polysomnograms.
The division runs a complete phase II outpatient pulmonary rehab program and offers phase III outpatient maintenance pulmonary rehabilitation. Our fellows learn how to screen the candidates for the program, how to write rehab prescriptions and how to evaluate program outcomes.
The ultrasound curriculum is aimed at developing proficiency in acquiring and interpreting point of care ultrasound in critical care. There are dedicated ultrasound faculty that lead image review and didactics.
Active participation in research is an integral part of our fellowship training. A wide range of opportunities exist for involvement in clinical research and quality improvement projects. Our faculty are involved in mentoring fellows during their research training. Fellows are introduced to research towards the end of the first year, and will receive input and help in choosing the correct mentor for their research experience.
Conferences & Lectures
Weekly Clinical Conferences:
Core Conference – in conjunction with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Rush University Medical Center
Chest Conference – Multidisciplinary Team Discussion of Cancer Patients by Pulmonologists, Oncologists, Cardiothoracic Surgeons and Pathologists
Clinical Case Conference in conjunction with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Rush University Medical Center
Medicine Grand Rounds
Monthly / Quarterly Conferences:
Interstitial Lung Disease Conference – Multidisciplinary Team Discussion of Patients with Interstitial Lung Disease by Pulmonologists, Rheumatologists, Pathologists and Radiologists
Mortality and Morbidity Conference
Pulmonary Hypertension Conference in conjunction with the Division of Cardiology
During the interview process, candidates will have the chance to see both teaching sites, visit all labs, and meet with the fellows and faculty.
Every year, we receive more than 450 applications of which we interview 50-60 for the three available positions. All applicants must use the ERAS system. A completed file must have: three current letters of recommendation, medical school transcripts, ECFMG certificate, USMLE scores, a complete CV, a personal statement explaining the applicant’s interest in Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and the ERAS application. The deadline for accepting applications is August 1. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. We only offer positions to fellows through the NRMP. At present, we support J-1 and H-1 visas.
We look forward to your application. If you have further questions, please contact the program administrator Keisha Bibbs at (312) 864-7383.
Aiman Tulaimat, MD
Sherene Fakhran, MD, MPH
Director of Fellowship Program
Elias Alhanoun, MD
Medical Director of Respiratory Care
Neha Jain Bhandari, MD
William Clapp, MD
Medical Director of Pulmonary Physiology Laboratory
Joseph Deters, MD
Renaud Gueret, MD
Medical Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit
Richard Lenhardt, MD
Anne Levenson, MD
Director of Procedure
Swamy Nagubadi, MD
Assistant Medical Director of Sleep Medicine
Kathryn Radigan, MD
Here are our current individuals in the Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Clinical Fellowship Program.
3rd Year Fellows:
Residency: Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, Chicago
Medical School: International American University College of Medicine, St. Lucia
Residency: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Medical School: Sir Salimullah Medical College, Bangladesh
Residency: Northwell Health / Staten Island University Hospital
Medical School: Deccan College of Medical Sciences, India
2nd Year Fellows:
Residency: Tufts Medical Center
Medical School: Poznan University of Medical Sciences Center for Medical Education in English
Giovanni Córdoba Solis
Residency: St. Barnabas Health System, Bronx, NY
Medical School: Medical Science University, Costa Rica
Residency: Temple University/Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown, PA
Medical School: University of Cairo, Egypt
1st Year Fellows:
Tala Eneizat Mahdawi
Residency: St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine
Medical School: University of Jordan Faculty of Medicine, Jordan
Residency: Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA
Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica
Residency: St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI
Medical School: Aga Khan University Medical College, Pakistan