Five Former Fellows Attain Neurocritical Care Certification

In a first for the UPMC Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program (MCCTP), five former fellows have passed the Neurocritical Care certification examination. Namir Khandker, MD trained in the two-year Adult Neurologic Critical Care Program while Vikram Balakumar, MD, Ruth Musselman, MD, Carlos Pacheco, MD and Aaron Skolnik, MD all trained through the enfolded one-year Neurocritical Care Program during their Adult Critical Care Medicine Internal Medicine Program. All graduated from the MCCTP in 2018, except for Dr. Pacheco who graduated in 2019.

“To have five of our past fellows achieve the Neurocritical Care certification at the same time is not only very gratifying from a personal perspective but also from a national perspective,” said Lori Shutter, MD, director of the UPMC Neurocritical Care Program and vice chair of Education for the Department of Critical Care Medicine. “Access to specialized neuro ICUs is limited in the US so it’s crucial to have intensivists like Ruth, Aaron, Namir, Carlos and Vikram with the skills to provide neuro care within a medical or surgical ICU setting.”

Dr. Shutter added that neurocritical care is a young specialty. Patients requiring treatment for traumatic brain injury, stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage, among other neurological conditions, often face geographic disparities in access to much needed specialized care.

Vikram Balakumar, MD is an intensivist at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine fellowship at UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA.

Namir Khandker, MD manages critically ill patients with a focus on neurologic disease at Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans. He is undertaking a fellowship in Epilepsy specializing on Critical Care Electroencephalography and completed his Neurology residency at University Hospitals Care Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

Ruth Musselman, MD is an intensivist at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee. She completed residency in Internal Medicine at Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT.

Carlos Pacheco, MD is an intensivist at AdventHealth in Orlando, FL. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA.

Aaron Skolnik, MD is an intensivist at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, AZ. He completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston and undertook a fellowship in Toxicology at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix.

The Neurocritical Care certification is administered by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties.