Endovascular Neuroradiology

The Endovascular Surgical Neuroendovascular (ESN) program at the University of Minnesota is dedicated to the advancement of minimally invasive methods to treat patients with neurovascular disease. The central focus of the program is training the next generation of physician leaders in this expanding field. Established over a decade ago, our fellowship program has earned a reputation of providing the best ESN education to our trainees. The program is multidisciplinary and inclusive in every sense - the faculty and fellows bring the strengths and perspectives of neurology, neuroradiology, and neurosurgery. On behalf of our faculty, current fellows, and alumni, we welcome your interest in our program and encourage you to learn more about us.

Program Highlights

  • Our ESN fellowship is a rigorous two-year program open to all highly qualified candidates from Neurology, Neuroradiology, and Neurosurgery.
  • We typically accept 1-2 candidates into the program every year.
  • In certain years, we offer a combined three-year track (one year of Vascular Neurology and two years of ESN) to qualified candidates from Neurology.
  • Candidates from Neurosurgery can complete the first year of ESN training as part of their electives during residency and return for the second year after graduation from residency.
  • We are one of the few ESN fellowships accredited by the American Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
  • Our graduates have been highly successful in a wide range of clinical practice settings.
  • Our fellows receive a broad education including ample experience in aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and fistulas, intracranial and extracranial atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, vascular trauma, tumor embolization, spinal disease, and pediatric disease.
  • Our fellows have numerous opportunities for scholarly activity including clinical research and basic research. They publish and present their work in numerous forums each year.

Uchenna Okafo, PGY-6

FellowHometown: Onitsha, Anambra State

Medical School: Nnamdi Azikiwe University, College of Health Sciences

Residency School: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Why did you decide to come to the U of M ESN Program: For the Excellent training and Family in Minnesota

What do you enjoy most about the program: The Comradery is great!

What are your plans after fellowship: To Proceed with an additional year of Cerebrovascular/Skull Base Fellowship

What is your favorite Minnesota activity: What do you think! Shoveling Snow

Coolest/geekiest/most random thing about you: I am a neat freak. Watch out

If you weren't a physician, you would be: Advocator and Pastor

Karan Topiwala, PGY-6

FellowHometown: Surat, Gujarat, India

Medical School: Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune

Residency School: University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine

Why did you decide to come to the U of M ESN Program: U of M Neurology's Vascular-Endovascular Program is one of the finest, most comprehensive, and competitive training programs that I came across during my interview trail. The program's focus on clinical research and close clinical mentorship is exactly what I was looking for during my fellowship training.

What do you enjoy most about the program: I love the fact that the faculty across-the-board is so easily approachable, from discussing patient-care plans to deliberating over potential research ideas.

What are your plans after fellowship: I plan to work in an academic setting, managing patients with acute neuro-vascular injury.

What is your favorite Minnesota activity: Jogging across the university campus, listening to Coldplay!

Coolest/geekiest/most random thing about you: I like to paint sketches that infuse neuroscience into otherwise mundane scenes!

If you weren't a physician, you would be: an artist or play professional tennis

Laura Qi, PGY-7


Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Medical School: Boston University

Residency School: University of Missouri

Why did you decide to come to the U of M ESN Program: There are many reasons - the most important of which is the strong vascular neurology and neuroendovascular training programs. Living in the twin cities is also a plus!

What do you enjoy most about the program: The interdisciplinary nature of this training program is definitely one of its best attributes. Success in this subspecialty requires a solid knowledge base from neurosurgical, neurology and radiology fields. This program makes a concerted effort to recruit fellows from all three disciplines which maximizes our learning, with each bringing something different to the table.

What are your plans after fellowship: Hopefully to find a job! Ideally one that will utilize both my vascular neurology training and my neuroendovascular training.

What is your favorite Minnesota activity: Definitely all the hiking trails!

Coolest/geekiest/most random thing about you: I spent the first half of my childhood living in Montreal, Canada speaking Québécois!

If you weren't a physician, you would be: Travel Blogger (Is this an actual job? If so, I’m very jealous)

Requirements & Application Process

  • Applicants with a neurology background must have completed an ACGME-accredited neurology residency and an ACGME vascular neurology fellowship;
  • Alternatively, applicants with a neurosurgery background must have completed an ACGME-accredited neurosurgery residency;
  • Alternatively, applicants with a radiology background must have completed an ACGME-accredited radiology residency and subsequently completed a U.S. neuroradiology fellowship.

Applicants who meet the above qualifications are asked to submit the following by January 1st (18 months before the fellowship start date):

  • A curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty/mentors on letterhead with signature
  • A personal statement of interest in this subspecialty career path
  • Copy of your UMSLE or COMLEX official score reports
  • A copy of your current ECFMG certificate (for International Medical Graduates)
  • Email mention of current visa status (only J-1 visas sponsored by ECFMG are accepted)

Applicants with a neurology background are encouraged to apply for our vascular neurology fellowship through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) in early December. All other applicants should follow the instructions below.

Please send the materials mentioned by email to: Becca Busse, at buss0194@umn.edu

Competitive applicants will be invited to visit the University of Minnesota for an interview during February/March (16-17 months ahead of start date).