Vascular Neurology

Medical Doctor

Thank you for your interest in the Vascular Neurology Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Stroke Program operates two comprehensive stroke centers, the University of Minnesota Medical Center and Fairview Southdale Hospital, in addition to an innovative network of emergent and inpatient Telestroke sites.

The stroke program is housed within the Stroke Clinical Service Unit which encompasses vascular neurology, neurocritical care, cerebrovascular neurosurgery, and endovascular surgical neuroradiology. Our trainees are exposed to the entire spectrum of cerebrovascular disease through the collaborative academic and clinical mission of our stroke neurologists, neurointensivists, cerebrovascular neurosurgeons, and endovascular surgical neuroradiologists.

We are energetic and enthusiastic about our mission, which is reflected in our unprecedented growth over the past few years.

Program Highlights

  • Qualified applicants may combine Vascular Neurology Fellowship with a one-year NIH Stroke Network Research fellowship or two-year Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology fellowship.
  • Train in a collaborative environment with rapid adoption of new interventions such as tenecteplase and delayed window thrombolysis
  • Utilize telestroke for both acute treatment and in novel settings such as our virtual stroke program hospitals and telestroke clinic
  • Participate as co-investigators in pivotal Phase III clinical trials; our program is a leading enroller in ongoing national and international stroke trials.
  • Fellowship bootcamp with focused review of: stroke code activations, neurocritical care emergencies, clinical trials, telestroke, and individual research projects
  • Stroke and Neurocritical Care weekly didactic lectures including Mortality & Morbidity (1st Tuesday), Journal Club (2nd Tuesday), Interesting Cases (3rd Tuesday), and didactic lectures (4th/5th Tuesday)
  • Weekly endovascular case conference facilitated by neurology, neurosurgery, and neuroradiology staff.
  • Dedicated weekly Neuroradiology conference for Stroke and Neurocritical Care

Requirements & Application Procedures

Applicants must have completed an ACGME or Royal College of Physicians accredited residency in neurology and passed the USMLE Step 3 examination before entrance into the program and must be board-eligible/certified in neurology.

Three training tracks are available (See ERAS for specifics):

  • Vascular neurology: one year of accredited vascular neurology fellowship.
  • Vascular neurology/StrokeNet research: one year of accredited vascular neurology fellowship plus one year of NIH-funded StrokeNet research. Additional information may be requested from the StrokeNet coordinator.
  • Vascular neurology/endovascular surgical neuroradiology: one year of accredited vascular neurology fellowship, one year of preliminary (non-accredited) training, plus the ACGME-accredited senior endovascular surgical neuroradiology year.


Please apply to our program through ERAS and indicate the track or tracks in which you may be interested. You will be able to refine the list during an interview visit. If you are aware that the two- or three-year tracks are of interest to you, you must make application to that effect by February 1st. Positions are filled through the NRMP match (See dates on the NRMP website).

Please upload the following materials to the ERAS system and register with NRMP. ERAS document uploads take place December-January. The NRMP Match opens in late January, the rank-order list deadline is first week of May, and Match Day falls in mid-May. Our interviews are planned for February-March.

  • Your latest curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation (signed, on letterhead)
  • A personal statement of interest in this subspecialty/ies and career path
  • Copy of USMLE/COMLEX examination score reports for Steps 1, 2 and 3
  • Email indication of visa status
  • Copy of ECFMG certificate (if international medical graduate)

Competitive applicants will be invited to visit the University of Minnesota for an interview with the Program Director and selected faculty members.

  • Allison Ho, PGY-5
  • Karan Topiwala, PGY-5
  • Phong Vu, PGY-5
  • Allison Ho, PGY-5


    Hometown: Topeka, Kansas

    Medical School: University of Kansas

    Residency School: University of Minnesota

    Why did you decide to come to the U of M Vascular Neurology Program: Where do you want me to start? The program has so many assets to give trainees experience, breadth, and scholarly opportunities with mentorship and resource support. Our multi-specialty colleagues are collaborative and prioritize patient care, the role of the learner in GME, advancing medical knowledge, and identifying and addressing sources of disparity and injustice in healthcare. I also happen to love the cities, my husband is happy with his job here, we are excited to raise our 2-year-old in this community.

    What do you enjoy most about the program: Working with a remarkable group of attendings, co-fellows, APPs, residents, nurses, and EEG and EMG technicians who share a passion for high quality stroke and overall neurology care. I'm lucky to call these people my colleagues and friends.

    What are your plans after fellowship: Vascular Neurology attending role at M Health Fairview Southdale for a year prior to ESN fellowship, also at the University of Minnesota

    What is your favorite Minnesota activity: Riding bikes with my husband, daughter, and our dog on one of the many greenways to a local restaurant for patio sitting/eating/drinking

    Coolest/geekiest/most random thing about you: I spend an embarrassing fraction of my free time enjoying/participating in medical social media content including but not limited to interventional neurology, comedy, breastfeeding advocacy, and women in medicine.

    If you weren't a physician, you would be: A high school AP Biology teacher and springboard diving coach

  • Karan Topiwala, PGY-5


    Hometown: 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 Vascular Neurology 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

  • Phong Vu, PGY-5


    Hometown: Biloxi, MS

    Medical School: Saint James School of Medicine

    Residency School: West Virginia University

    Why did you decide to come to the U of M Vascular Neurology Program: This is a rare Vascular Neurology fellowship where you get plenty of neuro ICU exposure. For me, it was a big plus!

    What do you enjoy most about the program: All the attendings enjoy teaching, everyone has a laid back attitude and they are easy to talk to.

    What are your plans after fellowship: Interventional Neurology

    What is your favorite Minnesota activity: Ice Fishing

    Coolest/geekiest/most random thing about you: I used to breakdance

    If you weren't a physician, you would be: Formula 1 Race Car Driver