USC Neurocritical Care Fellowship

The USC Neurocritical Care Fellowship program has been accredited by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) since 2013. The fellowship is a 1-2 year program housed within the USC Department of Neurology and is designed to provide a foundation upon which fellows are trained to identify and treat neurological emergencies as the primary treating physician.

General Structure

The program is based at two hospitals: Keck Hospital of USC and Los Angeles County Hospital. This provides a wide range of clinical experience from the private setting to an indigent Level 1 trauma center.

The program provides instruction and upfront management of acute ischemic stroke and neurocritical care patients. This provides the graduate with the ability to work in a variety of clinical and academic institutions.

The training program exposes the fellows to a wide variety of critical care disciplines including trauma, SICU and anesthesia to ensure a well-rounded education.
Interpretation of continuous EEG and TCDs.

Fellowship Candidates

The candidates must be board eligible in Neurology or Neurosurgery and are independently licensed through the state of California. The fellowship consists of a 1-2 year period of time of dedicated clinical training and research.

The Keck School of Medicine encourages foreign physicians who hold a J1 visa to apply to our Neurocritical Fellowship program. As pioneers in Graduate Medical Education, we seek to produce physicians in greater numbers with a robust learning experience more capable of serving the international community.

Program Information Videos

Keck School of Medicine Fellowship Overview Video

Keck School of Medicine Clinical Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program Video

Clinical Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program Director, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel Welcome

ICU Structure

Keck Hospital: The neuro-ICU is an 18-bed open unit shared by ENT and overflow patients. All neurology and neurosurgery patients are managed by the fellow. Neurology residents do follow patients in the ICU and respond to calls; however, the fellow is the primary point of contact.

Los Angeles County Hospital: The neuro-ICU is a 24-bed closed unit with neurology and neurosurgery patients only. The fellow is responsible for all the patients in the ICU. The neurology patients are managed primarily by the fellow with resident support. The neurosurgery patients are managed primarily by the neurosurgery PGY-2s with support from the fellow.


USC has an extremely active basic neuroscience research program with opportunities for clinical research. Fellows are expected and encouraged to publish scientific papers and present at national meetings. Additionally, many of our neurology and neurosurgical colleagues are editors for a variety of scientific journals.


The salary is based on standard pay scales for the PGY level. Any presentations at national meetings will be sponsored by the program. There is 3 weeks paid vacation.
Paid Membership to HSC Fitness Center.


Academic Year 1

  • Basic critical care skills are learned including invasive procedures: central line, arterial line, pulmonary artery catheterization, intubation, chest tubes, lumbar drains.
  • Basic patient assessment and case-based learning of critical care principals and practices.
  • 50% split time between external critical care rotations and neuro-ICU
  • 1 month elective
  • 3-day TCD course with opportunity to become board certified in neurosonology.

Academic Year 2

  • Critical Care principals and skills are applied to patients with attending physician oversight.
  • All 12 months are spent in the neuro-ICU between Keck Hospital and LAC.
  • 1 week of each LAC neuro-ICU month will be spent alone to foster independent practice.

Weekly Schedule (neuro-ICU only)

Fellows are on service M-F, with weekend in-house schedules abbreviated to rounding and procedures only. Golden weekends are given every other weekend.

Weekly Schedule (external rotations)

Determined by director/attending of each specialty.

Daily Schedule in detail

KECK Hospital:
06:15 ICU work rounds with the neurosurgery residents
08:00 ICU attending teaching rounds on neurosurgery patients
09:00 ICU attending teaching rounds on neurology patients with residents
12-17:00 Procedures, reading, research
17:00 Home call

06:30 ICU work rounds with the neurosurgery residents
09:00 ICU attending teaching rounds on neurology patients with residents
12-17:00 Procedures, reading, research
17:00 Home call

16:30 – 17:30 Neurovascular Radiology Rounds

12:00 – 13:00 Neurology Grand Rounds
13:15 – 14:30 Board Review
14:30 – 15:00 Fellow case presentation

13:00 – 14:00 Basic ICU topics lecture (fellow)
14:00 – 15:00 NCC Lecture (attending)

Journal Club or M&M: One Thursday every month

08:00-09:00 Neurosurgery Grand Round
09:00-10:00 Neuroradiology Rounds


Benjamin Emanuel

Benjamin Emanuel, DO
Director, Neurocritical Care Fellowship


Sebina Bulic, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurology

May Kim-Tenser

May Kim-Tenser, MD
Associate Professor, Neurology

Jonathan Marehbian

Jonathan Marehbian, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurology

Peggy Nguyen

Peggy Nguyen, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology

Roy Poblete

Roy Poblete, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurology

Gene Sung

Nerses Sanossian, MD
Associate Professor, Neurology

Gene Sung

Gene Sung, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurology

Amytis Towfighi

Amytis Towfighi, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology (Clinical Scholar)

Raj Dasgupta, MD

Raj Dasgupta, MD
Associate Program Director of Pulmonary Education, NCC Fellowship

Keck School of Medicine of USC

Drs. Emanuel, Kim-Tenser and Bulic are primarily based at the Keck Hospital of USC, while Drs. Sanossian, Sung and Poblete are primarily at LAC Hospital. The team also consists of several research assistants.

Past Fellows

Leonid Groysman, MD 2010-12
Assistant Professor, Neurology
University of California, Irvine

Jason Chang, MD 2012-14
Assistant Professor, Neurology
Washington Hospital Center /Georgetown University Hospital

Henry Park, MD 2012-14
Private Practice
New Jersey

Sebina Bulic, MD 2014-16
Assistant Professor, Neurology
University of Southern California
Keck School of Medicine

Roy Poblete, MD 2015-17
Assistant Professor, Neurology
University of Southern California
Keck School of Medicine

Peggy Nguyen (2016-18)
Assistant Professor, Neurology
University of Southern California
Keck School of Medicine

Geoffrey Konye, MD (2017-19)
Private Practice

Laith Alreshaid, MD (2017-19)
Private Practice
Saudi Arabia

Mimi Lee, MD (2018-20)
Private Practice

Carlos I. Illngworth, MD (2019-20)
Private Practice

Current Fellows

Year 2

Grace Kuo, MD

Anish Patel, MD

Charlotte Zhong, MD

Year 1

Fawaz Philip Tarzi, MD

How To Apply

Start date of July 1, 2023.  Candidates with previous fellowship training in Anesthesiology Critical Care, Surgical Critical Care, Internal Medicine Critical Care or Neurosurgery are eligible for the 1 year duration of this Fellowship.

All candidates must be eligible to obtain an unrestricted California Medical License by the first day of training.
Eligible applicants: please send CV, 3 LORS, personal statement, USMLE /COMLEX scores, ECFMG certificate if applicable to or

Interested Applicants can apply for the Neurocritical Care (NCC) Fellowship through the San Fransisco Match Program. SF Match website.

*Registration for 2024 appointment opens January 1, 2023.