The beginning of each new school year is a time of change at Columbia University Medical Center! This is when we welcome brand-new doctors into the Residency Program after saying farewell to our graduating residents.
Columbia’s Neurosurgery Residency Program takes new doctors who have just completed medical school and starts them on the path toward becoming neurosurgeons. Residents spend seven years getting hands-on clinical training with Columbia’s faculty. They also have the opportunity to do research with neurosurgeons who are at the top of their profession.
This year we are excited to welcome two new residents into the program: Dr. Eleonora Spinazzi and Dr. Jonathan Sisti. Dr. Spinazzi comes to us from nearby Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Sisti is from even closer to home—he just graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the son of proud father Dr. Michael Sisti, our James G. McMurtry Professor of Clinical Neurosurgery.
Once doctors complete their residencies they are fully fledged neurosurgeons. They can go on to practice neurosurgery, or they can go on to do even more training in subspecialized fields. This additional period of training is called a fellowship. Both of this year’s graduates will do fellowships: Dr. Hani Malone is headed to Rush University Medical Center for a fellowship in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery, and Dr. Robert McGovern is off to the Cleveland Clinic for a fellowship in epilepsy surgery.
When residents graduate, members of the Columbia faculty host a farewell dinner for them. It’s become a tradition for Dr. Neil Feldstein from the Brain Tumor Center and Pediatric Neurosurgery Center to present the outgoing residents with a picture he creates especially for them. Dr. Feldstein works on this picture in strict secrecy, and everyone looks forward to what he’ll come up with each year.
This year Dr. Feldstein’s picture shows off the “Guardians of the NI.” He put residents’ faces on a “Guardians of the Galaxy”-style poster, portraying them as warriors of the Neurological Institute. Dr. Malone and Dr. McGovern feature as the two main characters in the poster, surrounded by other residents.
“The guardians concept is really quite apropos,” says Dr. Feldstein. “Our residents represent the culmination of our training, and in this way the expertise that they will bring to their future practices reflects heavily on our institution. In this manner they truly do guard the legacy of the Neurological Institute at the NY Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center.”
We are sure Dr. Malone and Dr. McGovern will treasure this picture for years to come!
Welcome, Dr. Spinazzi and Dr. Sisti! And farewell Dr. Malone and Dr. McGovern. We wish you the best of luck in your fellowships and your careers.
Learn more about Columbia’s Residency Program here.
Learn more about Dr. Feldstein at his bio page here.
Learn more about Dr. Sisti at his bio page here.
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