Department of Anesthesiology

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Fellowship Program


The Anesthesiology Global Health Fellowship at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College is an intensive one-year program focused on providing residency-trained anesthesiologists an opportunity to become world leaders in global health. We aim to train individuals in both clinical medicine and medical anthropology through an innovative educational curriculum. Our program is uniquely designed for capacity building to create a career trajectory that allows for both clinical excellence and institution-building capabilities.


  • Flexible start date.
  • Up to 12 weeks working abroad.
  • A rigorous curriculum including lectures, workshops, and seminars throughout the year in collaboration with the Department of Global Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
  • A research-oriented approach to solution building abroad with research projects sponsored by the Department of Anesthesiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital as well as partner institutions on the ground.
  • Access to the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, as well as opportunities to engage with programs at the United Nations.
  • Academic teaching opportunities for residents and medical students by global health fellows.
  • Clinical experience as an anesthesiology attending at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell campus two days a week with 2-3 calls per month.
  • Training in institution-building by social enterprise experts in New York City, for the purpose of providing fellows the tools to launch their own global health initiatives.
  • An opportunity to contribute to the expansion of our innovative global health work.


Fellows will practice as attending anesthesiologists two days a week in the general operating rooms, working alongside or supervising residents and/or certified nurse anesthetists. Fellows will also have the opportunity to take 2-3 calls per month to consolidate their clinical skills as anesthesiologists.

Clinical experience abroad will be through our partnering academic institutions on the ground. Here, fellows will serve as active observers in the anesthetic management of patients, while the focus of their fieldwork will be on their research project.


The core global health curriculum is tailored to the individual physician's academic goals, but as a foundation includes training in clinical medicine and medical anthropology locally and abroad. Please see the sample curriculum below:

Week 8: Medical Anthropology

  • Paul Farmer, Jim Kim, and Arthur Kleinman. Reimagining Global Health. University of California Press, 2013. (Chapter 11)
  • Steven Feierman, Arthur Kleinman, Kearsley Stewart. Anthropology, knowledge-flows and global health. Global Public Health, 2010.
  • James Pfeiffer and Mark Nichter. What Can Critical Medical Anthropology Contribute to Global Health?. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 2008.
  • James Colgrove. The McKeown Thesis: A Historical Controversy and Its Enduring Influence. American Journal of Public Health, 2002.
  • Allan Brandt and Martha Gardner. Antagonism and Accommodation: Interpreting the Relationship Between Public Health and Medicine in the United States During the 20th Century. American Journal of Public Health, 2000.
  • Paul Farmer. Partner to the Poor. University of California Press Berkeley, 2010. (Chapter 23 and Conclusion)

Week 9: A Biosocial Perspective to Global Health

  • Paul Farmer, Jim Kim, and Arthur Kleinman. Reimagining Global Health. University of California Press, 2013. (Chapter 12)
  • Paul Greenough. Intimidation, Coercion and Resistance in the Final Stages of the South Asian Smallpox Eradication Campaign 1973-1975. Social Science and Medicine, 1995.
  • Paul Farmer. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. University of California Press Berkeley, 2003 (Chapter 1: On Suffering and Structural Violence).
  • Arthur Kleinman. Four Social Theories for Global Health. The Lancet, 2010. Project: Global Health Journal Club 2

Global health education involves clinical work and international health training abroad and capacity-building education within New York City. In the clinical experience, fellows travel abroad where they act as practitioners in providing medical care to locals during the days, and receive on-the-ground international health training in the evenings. Their time at the hospital consists of participation in the anesthetic management of patients in the operating theatres, post-operative monitoring of patients, and collection of data for research projects. This program is distinguished by modules that are designed to provide insight into international health problems. As an example, at our Punjab, India location, drug and alcohol abuse is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In learning about these issues, physicians receive a pre-elective primer on the problem, are exposed to patients that suffer from addiction once they arrive in the hospital, and then meet one of the leading rehabilitation specialists in the state who takes them through the largest government rehabilitation facility in Punjab. This multi-disciplinary approach ensures the greatest depth of global health education while fellows are abroad.

Training in New York City involves collaboration with multiple different universities and organizations for the purpose of capacity building. Access to the United Nations, Columbia University’s School for International and Public Health, and experts in social entrepreneurship all provide fellows the training and experience necessary to launch their own global health initiatives once they graduate.

Required components of the fellowship year include leading resident teaching conferences and the interdisciplinary global health journal club, participating on IRB approved research projects with residents and faculty, and completion of an independent academic research project under appropriate mentorship. Fellows are also expected to participate in scholarly activities, presentations at national anesthesiology and global health meetings, and Grand Rounds with the Department of Anesthesiology.


Required conferences for fellows with the support of the department include:

  • Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University: three-day intensive course for mid-career professionals in health, humanitarian, and human rights fields to integrate the concepts, skills, and tools of health and human rights into their professional activities.
  • Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference: three-day conference for individuals that are part of universities that are advancing the global health agenda in the post-millennium development goals era.
  • Global Health Essentials Course at Weill Cornell Medical College: two-week course by the Department of Emergency Medicine on basics of emergency response in emergency and disaster settings. 


Current Global Health Fellow

Dr. Sonny Sabhlok is the Anesthesiology Global Health Fellow for 2018-2019. Dr. Sabhlok graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and earned his M.D. at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He remained in the Bay Area for residency, completing his anesthesia training at the University of California, San Francisco. 

Dr. Sonny Sabhlok

After completing his undergraduate degree, Dr. Sabhlok traveled to India where he was injured in a motor vehicle accident that gave him first-hand experience with the rural medical system. Overwhelmed by the significant healthcare disparity, he was inspired to seek out opportunities to address health issues in the developing world. Subsequently, Dr. Sabhlok spent six weeks mentoring teachers at a school in India for developmentally disabled children. He further developed his interest in global health in medical school, where he worked on the development of low-cost medical diagnostics for use within India as part of the BioDesign program at Stanford. Dr. Sabhlok also spent a month-long rotation in a pediatric emergency room in Kampala, Uganda through the Mary Duke Biddle Clinical Scholars program. Once in residency at UCSF, Dr. Sabhlok participated in the Global Health Pathways program, which culminated in the development of a research project interviewing and documenting the health issues amongst female survivors of the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots in India. 


Previous Global Health Fellows

Dr. Melanie Witte was the Anesthesiology Global Health Fellow for 2016-17. Dr. Witte graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and earned her M.D. at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She completed her residency training at the University of Kentucky.  

Dr. Melanie Witte

Dr. Witte’s passion for global health began in medical school when she lived in Costa Rica for a month, taking Spanish classes and observing the practice of medicine in Turrialba. She later took a tropical and travel medicine course at UTMB that further piqued her interest. In residency, she participated in a week-long medical mission trip to Sololá, Guatemala with Children of the Americas, in which she primarily cared for children during orthopedic procedures. After completing residency, Dr. Witte joined a private practice group in Houston, Texas, while continuing medical mission trips to Guatemala. She is delighted to formalize her knowledge in global health and advance her ability to participate in care abroad during her year as the Anesthesiology Global Health Fellow at Weill Cornell Medical Center.  




Dr. Sheida Tabaie was the Anesthesiology Global Health Fellow for 2015-16. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Tabaie earned her M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed her residency training here at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Sheida Tabaie

Dr. Tabaie's interest in global health issues began prior to her medical training, when she spent five months in Gaborone, Botswana doing HIV/AIDS research. During medical school at Penn, she continued to pursue this passion by taking an Introduction to Global Health Course and a Research & Society in Africa seminar. As a culmination of the seminar, she spent two months in Kampala, Uganda gathering epidemiological data on tuberculosis. Dr. Tabaie went on to complete an anesthesiology residency and an adult critical care fellowship at Weill Cornell. She participated in a week-long neurosurgical mission trip in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during her residency and in a month-long critical care elective at Weill Bugando in Mwanza, Tanzania during her fellowship. 




Applicants must have completed training in an ACGME-accredited program in anesthesiology. Both Board-Certified and Board-Eligible applicants are invited to apply. No prior international experience is required though a demonstrated interest in international health should be exhibited.


1.    Application Form (see below)
2.    Curriculum Vitae
3.    Three letters of recommendation (one from Residency Program Director)
4.    Personal Statement (limit 1,000 words) – please discuss your interest in global health and prior experience, countries of interest (or state flexibility), research interest areas, and plans after graduation from fellowship.
5.    Copy of USMLE scores

Applications will not be reviewed until all application materials have been received. Applications are due by January 31, 2019.


We welcome international applications for the fellowship program. The USMLE is a requirement for international applicants and exceptions cannot be made, given that candidates must be eligible for an unrestricted medical license in order to participate in the operating room experience as an attending anesthesiologist.


Download the Fellowship Application:

PDF iconglobal_health_fellowship_application_2019.pdf

Complete the Fellowship application form and mail all materials to:

Fellowship Office
Gunisha Kaur, M.D., M.A.
Department of Anesthesiology
Weill Cornell Medical College
525 East 68th Street P-3
New York, NY 10065

Program Director

Gunisha Kaur, M.D., M.A.

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Director, Global Health Initiative
Program Director, Anesthesia Global Health Fellowship

Please contact Dr. Gunisha Kaur with any questions about the Global Health Fellowship or any of the Global Health Initiative Programs.

Contact Us

Dept. of Anesthesiology
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine
525 East 68th Street, Box 124
New York, NY 10065
Fax: (212) 746-8563

Office of the Chair
Phone: (212) 746-2962
E-mail:  Marissa Matarazzo,

Residency and Fellowship Education
Direct all inquiries to:
Phone: (212) 746-2941

Patient Billing Inquiries
Phone: (855) 880-0343