The Ochsner neurocritical care fellowship program is a United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) accredited program. Neurocritical care is an evolving subspecialty of critical care that has grown remarkably since its inception in the 1980s. Our program prepares physicians for the independent practice of neurological intensive care through a structured combination of cognitive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and the procedural skills training. Our fellows learn through treating a wide array of patient with both acute medical and acute neurological illness.
We are a comprehensive team of UCNS certified physicians trained in both anesthesiology and neurology. We work closely with the departments of anesthesiology, neurology, and neurosurgery in a dedicated state-of-the-art 34 bed neurocritical care unit located at the Ochsner Medical Center - Jefferson Highway in New Orleans. Ochsner Health System also boasts an extensive growing Tele-Stroke Program currently reaching over 45 hospitals throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. We are one of the fasted growing Tele-stroke networks in the country.
The core curriculum of Ochsner neurocritical care program is balanced to cover neurological diseases and conditions and medical diseases and conditions that commonly complicate acute neurological illnesses.
Our fellowship is a two year program. The fellow will spend a total of 12 months in the neurocritical care unit. Fellows spend four months divided between medical, cardiac, and surgical ICUs. The remaining months will consist of rotations with vascular-neurology, neurosurgery, epilepsy, electives and research time. Fellows will become proficient in procedural skills including: intubation, bronchoscopy, thoracentesis, arterial line placement, and central line placement.
During dedicated neurocritical care rotations the fellow will assume a leadership role on one of 3 rounding teams. He/she will be expected to lead rounds, teach residents/students/APPs/NPs, decide on consultations, oversee/perform procedures, and formulate/execute therapeutic plans.
Our fellows will have access to national conferences and are strongly encourage to engage in research and participate in a yearly conference by way of article submissions or poster presentations. Fellows are also expected to lead M&M conferences, and occasionally a Journal Club, on a monthly basis.
All fellows are encouraged to participate in clinical and/or basic research during their training. There is tremendous support available at Ochsner medical center for developing research projects.
Leadership & Faculty
Vivek Sabharwal, MD
Chairman, Department of Neurocritical Care
Dr. Sabharwal earned his medical degree from University of Mysore in Mysore, Karnataka, India and completed his residency in Anesthesia at Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Cleveland, Ohio. He also did a Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland and also at Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Cleveland, Ohio. He is board certified in anesthesiology and has been on staff and Medical Director, Neuro-ICU at Ochsner since 2010.
Harold McGrade, MD
Vice Chair and Fellowship Program Director
Dr. McGrade earned his medical degree from S.U.N.Y. Upstate Health Science Center, and completed his residency in Neurology at Tufts New England Medical Center. He did neurocritical care fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Dr. Harold McGrade spent 10 years practicing at the University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia before coming to Ochsner. Dr. McGrade established a stroke and IV TPA protocol, stroke unit with specialized nursing training, multi-disciplinary rounds and the creation of a Code S hospital team.
Ifeanyi O. Iwuchukwu, MD
Director of Research, Neurocritical Care
Dr. Iwuchukwu received his doctor of medicine from the University of Nigeria College of Medicine in Nsukka, Enugu, in 2001. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York in 2006 followed by his fellowship in Neuroscience Research at St. George’s University Hospitals in Granada in 2005 and his fellowship in Neuro Critical Care at the University of Chicago Hospitals in Chicago, Illinois, in 2009. Prior to coming to Ochsner, Dr. Iwuchukwu was an Instructor in Neuro Critical Care in the Department of Neurology at the University of Chicago. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and he is board certified by the ABPN in Critical Care Medicine.
Giuseppe Ciccotto, MD, MPH
Co-Director of Quality
Dr. Ciccotto received his Masters of Public Health as well as his Doctor of Medicine degree from St. George’s Medical School in Grenada, West Indies. He completed a Neurology Residency at Tulane University Hospital in New Orleans, LA. He also completed a Neurocritical Care Fellowship at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, LA. He is Board Certified in both Neurology by the ABPN and in Neurointensive Care by the UCNS. Dr. Ciccotto is involved in Quality Improvement and Documentation Excellence for the Neuroscience Critical Care Unit here at Ochsner. Furthermore, he is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the Neurocritical care Society, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the American Medical Association.
Murad Talahma, MD
Co-Director of Quality and Associate Fellowship Program Director
Dr. Murad Talahma earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology. He then completed an Internal Medicine Internship at Canton Medical Education Foundation. Dr. Talahma went on to complete a Neurology Residency and a Neurocritical Care Fellowship at University Hospital Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. He is board certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and neurocritical care by UCNS. Dr. Talahma’s special areas of interest include medical education and neurological prognostication.