Words from past alumni
Two alumni reflect on their experience in the Neurosurgical International Fellowship at Mayo Clinic.
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.
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 interests 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 in order to help me reflect on my performance and knowledge to deepen my understanding."
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%)|
|Name||Dates of fellowship||Country||Current appointment|
|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