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Map showing the demographic distribution of previous international fellows
Since 1986, fellows of the Neurosurgical International Fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, have originated from five continents and more than ten countries across the world.

Words from past alumni

Two alumni reflect on their experience in the Neurosurgical International Fellowship at Mayo Clinic.

Akio Morita, M.D.Akio Morita M.D.

Dr. Morita was a graduate of the International Fellowship program in 1989. He is currently the Dean of the Graduate School and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan, and Secretary of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Morita decided to repeat his neurosurgery residency at Mayo Clinic.

"When I applied for the Mayo Clinic international fellowship, I wished to experience practicing neurosurgery in one of the top US institutes to see what was missing in Japan, as well as to brainstorm my concepts in neurosurgery." Dr. Morita thinks doing an international fellowship can have a significant impact on a young neurosurgeon’s career — "Mayo gave me the confidence and soul to pursue academic neurosurgery to convey all my experience and thoughts in Japan."

"Consequently, I recommend that my young colleagues and fellows see the world outside of Japan to recognize how small their world is and to expand their field of vision. It was the most precious time in my life." Dr. Morita also developed a great interest in cerebrovascular surgery and has written over 200 publications, including two articles in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Michael Morgan, M.D.

Michael Morgan, M.D.

Dr. Morgan was one of the first fellows in the international fellowship program in 1986. Dr. Morgan completed his neurosurgery residency at the Royal Prince Hospital in Sydney, Australia, before beginning his fellowship. During his time at Mayo Clinic, he worked under the guidance of Dr. Sundt and developed interest in cerebrovascular neurosurgery. Following his fellowship, Dr. Morgan was appointed Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Sydney in 1998 and the Dean of Medicine at Macquarie University in 2006.

He has contributed to multiple publications, and he is considered a pioneer in arteriovenous malformation and aneurysm surgery. His experience at Mayo Clinic was described as "a transformative experience." Dr. Morgan added, "Although I went there wishing to add some techniques to my repertoire, limited as though it was, I changed my fundamental way of thinking. I learned some of the basic knowledge and skills that helped for future growth and development until the day I retired."

Dr. Morgan believes that the experience of doing an international fellowship has a remarkable impact on a neurosurgeon’s career: "I feel that the knowledge and skills gained allowed me to perform at a level that I would not have been able to achieve without my experience at Mayo Clinic. I also learned to engage in writing in the literature to help me reflect on my performance and knowledge to deepen my understanding."

Top reasons

In the table, alumni share their top reasons for having pursued the Neurosurgical International Fellowship.

Reason Percentage of fellows
Expansion of medical knowledge 11 (69%)
Learn new surgical skills 10 (63%)
Academic prestige 9 (56%)
Subspecialty focus 7 (44%)
Inadequate exposure during residency 6 (38%)
Academic position/research opportunities 5 (31%)

Past fellows

Name Dates of fellowship Country Current appointment
Sukwoo Hong January 2022 - January 2024 Japan University of Tokyo
Nicholas Borg April 2021-April 2022 United Kingdom Faculty at University of Nebraska Medical Center
Ahmed Helal July 2019 - June 2021 Egypt Campagna Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellow Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
Hirotaka Hasegawa April 2019 -March 2021 Japan Professor of Neurosurgery at the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center of Tokyo, Japan
Salomon Cohen July 2018 - June 2019 Mexico  Current Neurosurgery Resident at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA
Hirokazu Takami July 2016 - June 2018 Japan Professor of Neurosurgery at The University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan 
Satoshi Kiyofuji Sept. 2015 -Sept. 2017 Japan  Graduate school student, the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
Tarek Rayan July 2014 - June 2016 Egypt  Consultant and Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Alexandria University, Egypt 
M. Shafie Ariai June 2012 - June 2014 Germany Consultant Neurosurgeon at Bayreuth Medical Center in Bayreuth, Germany
Alpha Bah Oct. 2011 - April 2012 France (Morocco)* Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Conakry, Guinea
Sangala Jaypal Reddy June 2009 - July 2011 India Consultant Neurosurgeon at the SKS NeuroPolytrauma Hospital in Hyderabad, India 
Shota Tanaka Sept. 2007 - Sept. 2009 Japan  Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan 
Kajetan von Eckardstein July 2006 - June 2008 Germany Head of the Neurosurgical Department of Westpfalz-Klinikum in Kaiserslautern, Germany 
Christoph Hofstetter July 2005 - June 2006 Austria Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Washington, USA
Toshiki Endo July 2003 - June 2005 Japan Professor of Neurosurgery at Tohoku University in Miyagi, Japan
Hirofumi Nakatomi July 2002 - June 2004 Japan  Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan 
Tomohiro Inoue April 2001 - March 2003 Japan  Director of Department of Neurosurgery at NTT Medical Center in Tokyo, Japan
Frederic Collignon July 2000 - June 2002 Belgium Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Delta Hospital & Clinique du Parc Leopold, Brussels, Belgium 
Lali Sekhon July 1998 - Sept. 1999 Australia  Founder and President of Nevada Neurosurgery Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, USA
Andreas Spuler July 1996 - June 1997 Germany Consultant Neurosurgeon at Helios Hospital in Berlin, Germany 
Nicholas Little July 1995 - Jan. 1997 Australia Director of Neurosurgical Training at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia 
Daniela Lombardi Jan. 1994 - June 1995 Italy  Consultant Neurosurgeon at Hirslanden Klinik in Zürich, Switzerland 
Emil Popovic Jan. 1992 - Dec. 1992 Australia  Deceased 2011
Doug Bills July 1991-June 1992 Australia  Deceased 1995
Luca Regli Oct. 1991 - Feb. 1994 Switzerland Chairman of Neurosurgery at the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland 
Keisuke Ueki July 1991 - June 1993 Japan  Professor of Neurosurgery at the Dokkyo Medical University in Tochigi, Japan
Michael Munz July 1991 - June 1993 Canada  President of Vero Neurospine in Vero Beach Florida, USA 
Toru Koyama Oct. 1990 - Sept. 1991 Japan  Manager of Department of Emergency Medicine at Aizawa Hospital in Nagano, Japan 
Jürgen Kiwit July 1990 - June 1991 Germany Senior Consultant in Neurosurgery in the MEOCLINIC International Private Clinic in Berlin, Coordinator Spine Group Helios in Berlin, Germany 
Jan Verlooy Jan. 1990 - Dec. 1990 Belgium  Professor of Neurosurgery at the University Hospital Antwerp, Belgium 
Martin McGee-Collett July 1989 - Dec. 1990 Australia  Consultant Neurosurgeon and Head of Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia 
Akio Morita July 1989 - June 1996 Japan Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan
Frank Tomlinson July 1988 - Dec. 1991 Australia Senior Surgeon and Founder of Briz Brain & Spine in Brisbane, Australia
Michael Morgan July 1986 - Dec. 1988 Australia Professor of Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia
Michael Redmond July 1981 - June 1983 Australia Head of Neurosurgery at the Kenneth G Jamieson Neurosurgery Department of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Brisbane, Australia

*Originally from Morocco but obtained M.D. in France