The Johns Hopkins Fellowship in Neurocritical Care

The Neurocritical Care Fellowship Program at Johns Hopkins pioneered the training of fellows in the 1980s and continues to be the leading program in this sub-specialty, aiming to develop Neurocritical Care Clinician Scientists. We have trained more than 50 physicians from a variety of fields who went on to work at leading institutions as directors of neurocritical care programs, chairs of departments, established research investigators, institute directors, and hold key positions in professional societies related to neurocritical care.

On this page:

Program Information | Directors | Locations and Rotations | Faculty | Current Fellows | Alumni

Fellowship at a Glance

  • Duration: two years (52 weeks of clinical work, and the rest academic work)
  • Eligibility: current residents and board-eligible recent graduates from an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited residency program in neurology, neurosurgery, internal medicine, surgery, emergency medicine or anesthesiology/critical care medicine.
  • How to apply: Please submit the following to the fellowship director:
    • Application form (email the director to request)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • A letter of good standing from your residency program director
    • A letter of intent or personal statement, and
    • Three letters of recommendation
  • Match: matching is conducted through SF Match.

Fellowship Director

Please submit inquiries about the application process and requests for an application form to Dr. Ziai at [email protected]. The division director and fellowship director will evaluate the submissions and invite selected candidates for an interview.

Wendy Ziai, M.D., M.P.H.

  • Medical Director, Neurovascular Laboratory
  • Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Bayview Neurocritical Care Unit
  • Professor of Neurology
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
  • Professor of Neurosurgery

Program Features

The strength of this program is in collaboration between faculty from departments of neurosurgery, neurology and anesthesiology and critical care medicine.

Upon successful program completion, fellows are certified in advanced cardiac life support and advanced trauma life support. They are board-eligible for the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties Neurocritical Care examination, and have accumulated a research and publication foundation for their academic career.

Expectations and Responsibilities

  • Fellows spend their first year developing patient care skills, teaching ICU medical students and supervising house staff and nurses in the bedside care of patients.
  • The second year adds responsibilities of:
    • Team management as a leader of the NCCU team (with the attending physician’s support)
    • Formal teaching of the concepts of neurophysiology and treatment for various neuropathologic processes and general critical care issues to residents and fellows.
    • Developing research activities in the critical care environment.

Procedural Training in the Simulation Center

Training for procedural competency begins immediately in July of the first year with a Simulation Center series focused on common critical care interventions. Before their clinical duties require performing these procedures for patients, fellows practice in the simulation environment:

  • non-invasive ventilation
  • direct laryngoscopy and endotracheal intubation
  • insertion of central and peripheral venous and arterial catheters
  • lumbar puncture and insertion of lumbar drains

The Simulation Center also allows for structured exposure to emergency neurological life support (ENLS) events. Finally, fellows certify for advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) in the simulation environment using complex, realistic scenarios that provide more problem-solving opportunities than the "megacodes" used in conventional ACLS certification testing.


Research is mandatory.

  • Fellows undertake 12 months of clinical, translational or laboratory-based research. Each fellow has the combined resources of major contributing departments at their disposal.
  • Once an area of interest is identified, a formal mentorship is established with a faculty member.
  • In January of their first year, fellows present research ideas to the division faculty for review. Based on this presentation and the input provided during discussion, fellows submit an application to the Human Investigational Review Board or the Animal Use Committee.
  • In July and again in December of their second year, fellows present progress reports of their research.
  • Most of the faculty in the program author reviews and book chapters and provide editorial review for journals. Trainees may collaborate on such projects. The program gives all fellows the chance to present projects at national conferences and publish a journal article by the end of their training.

Locations and Rotations

The fellowship is based primarily at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, with fellows rotating at the Bayview NCCU, which includes intensive work on clinical neurophysiology with Dr. Peter Kaplan, the Stroke Center, Intracerebral Hemorrhage Center and Encephalitis Center.

The rotations are structured in two-week blocks to optimize clinical immersion and continuity of care while also encouraging productivity during protected research time.

The curriculum allows for—and encourages—elective rotations to other critical care areas. The Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical Intensive Care Unit, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit and the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center are popular choices.

Current Fellows

First-Year Fellows

Aljazi Al-Mana, MD

Medical School:  Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (2019)
Internal Medicine:  New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital (2019-2020)
Neurology:  Temple University Hospital (2020-2023)

photo of Dr. Aljazi Al-Mana

Junaid Ansari, MBBS 

Medical School:  Rajshahi Medical College (2011)
Internal Medicine:  Louisiana State University (2019-2020)
Neurology:  Louisiana State University (2020-2023)

photo of Dr. Junaid Ansari

Brenda Auffinger, MD

Medical School:  Escola Superior de Ciencias da Santa Casa de Misericordia de Vitoria (2008)
Internal Medicine:  NorthShore University/The University of Chicago (2019-2020)
Neurology:  The University of Chicago (2020-2023)

photo of Dr. Brenda Auffinger

Bhagyashri Bhende, MBBS

Medical School:  Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College (2014)
Internal Medicine:  Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia (2019-2020)
Neurology:  Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia (2020-2023)

Photo of Dr. Bhagyashri Bhende

Jonathan Gomez, MD

Medical School:  Universidad Central Del Caribe School of Medicine (2017)
General Surgery:  Montefiore Medical Center (2017-2018)
Anesthesiology and Critical Care:  The Johns Hopkins Hospital (2019-2022)    

Photo of Dr. Jonathan Gomez

Second-Year Fellows

Abdullah Bin Zahid, MBBS

Medical School: Faisalabad Medical University, Pakistan (2012)
Internal Medicine: Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center (2018-2019)
Neurology: University of Florida (2019-2022)

Abdullah Bin Zahid, MBBS

Matthew Bower, MD

Medical School: University of California, Irvine (2018)
Internal Medicine: University of California, Irvine (2018-2019)
Neurology: University of California, Irvine (2019-2022)

Matthew Bower, M.D.

Daniel Gouger, M.D.

Medical School: East Tennessee State University (2017)
Anesthesiology: Virginia Commonwealth University (2018-2022)

Daniel Gouger, MD

Nefize Turan, MD

Medical School: Marmara University, Turkey (2013)
Internal Medicine: St. Elizabeth's Medical Center (2018-2019)
Neurology: Tufts University (2019-2022)

Nefize Turan, M.D.

Fellowship Alumni