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Past Observers

2015 Observerships

  Hongyi Chen  

Dr. Hongyi Chen has been working in the emergency department and critical care unit in the Fujian Provincial Hospital for 18 years. She is very excited to be a visitor at UPMC. 

Bastiaan Haak

Bastiaan Haak is a medical intern from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and he'll be finishing his studies at the end of this year. Haak is very interested in Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine and he is excited to broaden his knowledge within this area of expertise. He is especially fascinated by sepsis-associated diseases.

In his spare time, Haak enjoys music, reading, and participating in any type of sports.

  Toshiyuki Hijikata, MD  

Dr. Hijikata is a senior resident of anesthesiology in Itabashi Chuo Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan. He is interested not only in anesthesiology but also in intensive care and acute care medicine, and in fact, also works as an emergency physician at my institution. The Department of Critical Care Medicine at UPMC has many kinds of patients who are uncommon to treat in my country, for example, patients who are recovering from a heart or digestive organ transplantation. I am learning something new every day and I believe that my experience at the observer program of CCM / UPMC will broaden my perspective and provide me with a breadth of knowledge that is not available in Japan.

  Maite Hurtado, MD  

I am an internal medicine resident, currently in a nephrology fellowship at Javeriana University, Colombia. I came here as an observer to gain knowledge in the Intensive Care Unit, specifically related to acute kidney Injury, renal replacement therapy, and management in kidney transplantation. I am very happy to be a part of the best team in the world, and to have the opportunity to take some of this knowledge with me to share in my country. Thanks for all the good things that you already given to me, it has been a great experience. 

  Lianqun Wang  

Dr. Lianqun Wang is a chief physician in the first affiliated hospital of Nanchang university,Jiangxi,China. She has been in ICUs for 20 years. Dr. Wang says,"This training has offered me a tremendous opportunity to gain insight into how critical care medicine is practiced in the US, as well as the system by which health care is delivered. I have learned a lot and am excited to translate what I have learned into clinical practice once I get back to China."

  Qindong Shi, MD, PhD  

Qindong Shi is an associated chief physician in critical care medicine in the first affiliated ICU in the medical college of Xian Jiaotong University, Shaanxi, China. Before this, he worked as a emergency physician. Dr. Qindong Shi says, "My interests are in neuroprotection after cardic respiratory resuscitation and ECMO application to respiratory failure, as well as hemodynamic monitoring of patients with septic shock and CRRT application in MODS patients. During my time at CCM, the University of Pittsburgh, and UPMC, which holds the best ICUs in the world, I hope to learn more advanced concepts in the management of critically ill patients. In the future, I will apply the knowledge that I've learned through this experience to my clinical practice."

2014 Observerships

 LI Li, MD, PhD

Dr. LI Li is an associated chief physician in the ICU at Zhejiang Hospital, Hangzhou, China. Dr. Li says, "It is my honor to have this opportunity to study further at UPMC, which has the best ICU centers all over the world. Through this opportunity, I can learn the most advanced clinical management practices and medical procedures in critical care, as well as how the academic research and clinical training components of a top critical care department operate. My interests include hemodynamic monitoring and support of patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, and sepsis-induced cardiac injury. I hope that I can bring Pitt back to China."

Lixia Liu  


Fen Liu  


2010 Observerships

Clinical Observer from Egypt October, 2010

Mohamed ElmenawyDr. Mohamed Elmenawy graduated from ALEXANDRIA University Hospital in Egypt in 1986, and completed his residency in anaethesia and critical care at the same Hospital in 1992. He is an Assistant Consultant at King Faisal Hospital & Research Center. Dr. Elmenawy received his EUROPIAN DIPLOMA OF INTESIVE CARE in 2008. He met Dr. Baldisseri during a recent FCCS course in Saudi Arabia and so impressed her that she invited him to visit CCM to observe clinical management of ICU patients.



Clinical Observer from Jordan January – June 2010

Lukoji, T, MDDr. Mustafa Al-Mashat graduated from the University of Jordan in 2008. He completed an internship at Al-Esraa Hospital in Amman, Jordan from October 2008 – February 2009.  He is in the US to complete USMLE and applying for American residency in Internal Medicine.   His goal is to observe management of critically ill patients in our Surgical ICUs with special interest in transplant ICU as well as the cardio thoracic surgical ICU.



Clinical Observer from Libya January 2010

Lukoji, T, MDDr. Jaber El-Bashir, anesthesiologist from Benghazi, Libya, graduated from Al-Arab Medical University in 2001, completed Anesthesiology Residency at Al-Jala Hospital and was board certified by The Arab Board of Anesthesiology in 2005.  He completed a masters degree in Anesthesiology where he ranked first place in his class.  Dr. Jaber served as a faculty member in department of Anesthesiology at Al-Arab University and director of Surgical ICU at Al-Jala Hospital from 2006-2008.

Dr. El-Bashir was offered a grant from the Italian Society of Anesthesiology (SIAARTI) to spend 3 months of training at Mediterranean Center for Transplant and Advanced Surgery (ISMETT), Palermo, Italy where he trained with Dr. Arcadipane.  His interest is in CCM and Transplant Anesthesia, and he is applying for American anesthesiology residency.


2009 Observerships

Visitor from Denmark Presents Research

Strøm, MDDr. Thomas Strøm of Denmark is visiting the CCM Department for one week, November 16-20.  He graduated from the University of Southern Denmark in 1999 and completed his specialist training in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine in November 2006.  He is completing his doctorate thesis on sedation of critically ill patients at the Odense University Hospital in Demark.  Dr. Strøm has been invited to present his research on “No sedation to critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation. A prospective randomized study” at the CCM Noon Lecture on Friday, November 20, 2009. An abstract from this study was selected as one of the award winning abstracts at the 22nd European Intensive Care Annual Congress which was held in Vienna, Austria during October 2009.


Dr. Tshibungu Lukoji - Visitor from Swaziland

Lukoji, T, MDDr. Tshibungu Lukoji is currently the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine, Chairperson of the Quality Assurance Committee, and Supervisor of the TB Clinic and Diabetic Hypertension Clinic at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital in Manzini, Swaziland.  He is also Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the accreditation of RFM Hospital by COHSASA (Council of Health Service Accreditation of the Southern Africa region). Dr. Lukoji obtained his Doctorate in Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics in 1993 and Specialist in Internal Medicine in 2001 at the University of Kinshasa. His hospital is working on a plan to open an advanced high care unit by next year, hence his interest to learn about Pitt CCM, with a focus on cardiothoracic and kidney transplant.


Visiting Observer from Barcelona, Spain

Dr. HollmanDr. Hollmann D. Aya B. l received his Medical Degree in 2004 from the University of Barcelona (Spain).  He is a fellow in his fifth year of Intensive Care Medicine training at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona. In addition, he is pursuing a PhD in Medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, studying long-term care ICU patients.  Dr. Aya is particularly interested in donation and organ transplantation. He has been accepted as a member of the European Society Organ Transplantation and attended the European Transplantation Fellowship Workshop 2009 in Edinburgh. He will observe in the TICU and CTICU for two months. Following his observership, he will return to Barcelona to finish his final ICM training year.


Visiting Observer from Bangladesh

Dr. Najib Mohammad Dr. Najib Mohammad is currently working as Senior Registrar at the Department of Critical Care Medicine, King Khaled University Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  Dr. Mohammad received his MBBS from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (1979) and FCPS (Surgery) from Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dhaka (1988).  He obtained the European Diploma in Intensive Care Medicine (EDIC) from the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) in 2001.  To further expand his knowledge of ICUs, Dr. Mohammed has visited several hospitals viz. Erasme University Hospital (Brussels), Royal Brompton Hospital (London), Sant 'Eugenio Hospital (Rome), King's College Hospital (London), National University Hospital (Singapore), Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore) and National University Hospital (Singapore).  During October 2009, Dr. Mohammed is visiting the Department of Critical Care Medicine, UPMC, to learn more about the CRRT, Liver ICU, MARS, ECMO, etc.


Spanish Visitor During the Autumn Season

Haibo Li, MDDr. Borja Fernandez Miret is completing his fifth year of Intensive Care Medicine at the University Hospital Marques de Valdecilla in Santander, Spain. He graduated medical school from the University Of Navarra in Spain in 2004.
Dr. Fernandez’ chairman, Dr. Quesada met Dr. Puyana during a recent visit to Spain and recommended that Borja observe rounds in our ICUs.  Dr. Fernandez interests include but are not limited to severe and penetrating trauma, ED admission including initial assessment and management; lung transplantation and mechanical ventilation techniques in lung injury including ECMO.


CCM Attracts Visitor From China

Haibo Li, MDHaibo Li, MD, director of the ICU-A at the 2nd affiliated hospital of Harbin Medical Univeersity in China,was invited to observe rounds in the ICU from August to October 2009 to become more familiar with the US medical and health system. Dr. Li received his Anesthesiology MD degree in 1996 at the Harbin Medical University, China. From Oct 2003 to now, he has been working in the ICU as a director. Dr. Li is a man of many talents, including but not limited to 4th dan amateur GO(WEIQI) in China.


ICM Resident Visiting from Panama

Dr. Julio César Sandoval Almengor
Latinamerican Association of Thorax
Dr. Julio César Sandoval AlmengorDr. Julio Cesar Sandoval Almengor received his medical degree in 2001 from University of Panama.  He completed Internal Medicine at “Complejo Hospitalario Metropolitano” Social Security in Panama and was the residency chief. He is currently in his third year of Residency in Intensive Care Medicine at ABC Medical Center in Mexico D.F. and will graduate in February 2010.  He started on UPMC Critical Care Unit on Sept 1 observing in the Transplant Unit (Liver) and Trauma (Neuro and General).  His main interest is in hemodynamic monitoring of these complex patients. Upon his return home he will join the medical faculty at Oncology National Institute in Panama.  He is member of Society Critical Care Medicine, European Society Intensive Care Medicine Latin-American Thoracic Society, and Trainer of ACLS and ATLS course.


Visiting from Colombia

Jose Rodriguez, MD
Jose Rodriguez, MDDr. Rodriguez is currently a last year neurosurgical resident from Bogota at the central military hospital.
He has a great interest in neurointensive care including neurotrauma and neurovascular critical care. He is scheduled to observe in these units from September 1 – December 15, 2009, in order to acquire valuable knowledge to complete his training as an integral neurosurgeon in order to provide the best surgical and postoperative care in the future.


Ernesto Garcia, MD

Visiting from Spain
Ernesto Garcia, MDDr. Ernesto García Vicente is a 1998 graduate of Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain). After a family medicine residency in the Miguel Servet Hospital from Zaragoza, he started in 2005 the intensive care medicine training period in the Santa Barbara Hospital, Soria (Spain), and he is currently in his last year of residency. Actually finishing his PhD, he is researching the relationship between myocardial infarction and depression, having published more than 40 articles, 9 of them indexed in Medline, being a member of the Spanish electronic journal of intensive care medicine editorial board. Dr. García Vicente was invited by Dr. Puyana to visit the University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care Medicine from September 1, 2009 through November 24, 2009. His main interest is Trauma, although he would desire to observe other ICUs.


Chinese critical care physician visiting CCM

Nan Lui, MD
Nan Lui, MDDr. Nan Liu received her MD from Peking Union Medical College(PUMC) in Beijing. After three years of internal medicine residency at Peking University People's Hospital (1998-2001), she completed critical care medicine training (2001-2004), and then served as an attending in ICU of cardiac surgery department (2004-2009) at Cardiovascular Institute and Fuwai Hospital of PUMC. She has special interest in critical care medicine. She has published seven  articles on perioperative complications in cardiac surgery in prominent Chinese journals. This year she transfer to Anzhen hospital and received a financial support from her hospital to visit UPMC for one year, she want to gain some experience from our department.


Colombian Physician Observer at UPMC-CCM (August 2009)

Dr. Juan Carlos Mejia graduated medical school in 2005 at the Universidad Libre at Cali, Colombia. He has worked during the past two years as a physician in the Critical Care Unit at Fundacion Valle del Lili at Cali in Colombia.  Dr. Mejia recently passed the USMLE exams and plans to apply for an internal medicine residency in the US, showing special interest in CCM.  He was invited by Dr. Juan Carlos Puyana to visit the CCM Department as an observer during August 2009.  He will observe rounds in the Surgical ICU at UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital and the Medical/Surgical ICU at Magee Women’s Hospital.


CCM Attracts Visitor From South Korea

Dr. Seoung Wan Nam, a physician at the Yuseong Wellness Hospital in South Korea, was invited to observe rounds in the Surgical Trauma ICU during the month of June 2009 to become more familiar with the US medical and health system. Dr. Nam received his medical degree in 2005 at the Wonkwang University College of Medicine, South Korea. He completed USMLE Steps 1 and 2; and received his ECFMG Certification in 2008. Dr. Nam is interested in pursuing a medical residency in the United States. He has been actively involved as a volunteer physician providing free clinical services as well as many prior philanthropic endeavors. Dr. Nam is a man of many talents, including but not limited to 4th level black belt in Korea Taekwondo and pop music band guitarist.


Egyptian Medical Student visiting CCM

Ahmed is a senior medical student from University of Alexandria, Egypt, visiting our CCM department as a visiting observer.  He chose to observe management of postoperative transplant patients at UPMC as it is one of the premiere transplant centers in the world. He will be observing rounds in the cardiac thoracic and Transplant ICU for one month starting June 1, 2009.  He will receive his M.B.B.Ch at the end of 2009 and he is planning to do research after that in USA.  His future plan is to apply for American Internal Medicine residency for a career in Interventional Cardiology.


Peruvian Internist/ICU Physician Visiting CCM Department

Jorge CandiottiDr. Jorge Candiotti is a 1985 graduate of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. After his internal medicine residency, he has been an attending physician in different hospitals in Peru, particularly serving in the ICU of the National Hospital in Lima for many years. In 1992, he obtained an MS Degree in Tropical Medical Science in Antwerpen, Belgium and then another MS Degree in Biomedical and Health Informatics in 2002 at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Candiotti has many publications especially on tropical medicine topics. He has emigrated to the US with his family of five. Dr. Candiotti wants to continue his medical profession and is considering a medical residency in the US. 


Indian Physician with special interest in CCM

Sonia BrarDr. Sonia Brar was born in India. She graduated in 2003 from St. Petersburg State I.P. Pavlov Medical University in the Russian Federation. She has worked in various Indian hospitals and obtained board certification by the Medical Council of India. Her family members now live in the US. She has taken and passed the USMLE Steps 1 and 2 and is now applying for a medical residency in the US. She will be observing in our ICUs during the month of June.


Indian Physician Observer in CCM

Chaitanya ChandralaDr. Chaitanya Chandrala is a 2008 graduate of Guntur Medical College in India. He is interested in observing our management of critically ill patients in the ICUs and participating in our lectures and discussions in CCM. He is scheduled to rotate through the CTICU, Transplant ICU, Trauma ICU, Neurovascular ICU and the ICUs at MWH. He wants to specialize in cardiology and related research. He will remain with relatives in Philadelphia until he has taken all USMLEs. He is interested in obtaining an internal medicine residency in the US.


Turkish Pediatric Intensivist Visiting Our Pediatric CCM Division

Dr. Ogdur Dursun graduated in 1998 from the Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical School in Turkey.  He completed his pediatric residency at Akdeniz University in Antalya, Turkey, in 2003 then followed with a 3-year fellowship in pediatric intensive care at the same institution. Since 2007 he serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics at Akdeniz University. He has significant research experience and has published six articles with two more in press. He has published 24 abstracts on his research with presentations at various meetings in Turkey. Dr. Dursun has received a stipend from his university to serve as a visiting scholar in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care Medicine from March 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010. He will be involved in research in the pediatric CCM division with Dr. Ann Thompson as his mentor. He is also invited to attend all educational activities.


Japanese Cardiologist/ICU Director Visiting UPMC

Akiko Mano received her MD and PhD from Kyoto University in Japan. She has been board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Currently, Dr. Mano is the GICU Director of a 10-bed unit at the Tokushima University Hospital on the Island of Shikoku. Dr. Mano has been invited by Dr. Kormos, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Artificial Heart Program at Pitt. She will be an observer in cardiac surgery, hosted by Dr. Erin Sullivan in the Department Anesthesiology, and join on rounds in the CT ICU. Dr. Mano will be visiting for this one week only then returns to Japan on February 21.


Spanish ICM Resident -- Observer in CCM Department

Dr. Fernando Iglesias is a graduate of the University of Oviedo in Spain. He is currently in his senior year of their primary specialty of Intensive Care Medicine at the Central University Hospital of Asturias in Oviedo.  This is a 1,300-bed hospital with several ICUs. The ICM program requires experiences abroad. Dr. Juan Carlos Puyana of our Department invited Dr. Iglesias to be an observer in our ICUs at UPMC. Dr. Iglesias attended the annual SCCM Congress in Nashville, TN, this month and decided to spend the rest of February in CCM at UPMC. Thus he will return to Spain at the end of this month.


Libyan Physician Visiting our CCM Department

Dr. Yousef Al-Ahwel received his M.B.B.Ch degree in 2005 from the Garyounis University in Libya. After two years of internal medicine residency at Tripoli Medical Center in Libya, he moved to the US where he is currently enrolled at Kaplan. He states that it is his dream to become an intensivist. He will be an observer in our CCM program during February - March 2009.


Dr. Carolina Giraldo – Visitor from Colombia

Dr. Carolina Giraldo is a medical physician graduated from Universidad Tecnológica in Pereira, Colombia. She is currently in her last year of residency in Anesthesiology at Universidad del Valle in Cali Colombia and will graduate in July 2009.

Dr. Carolina is making her elective rotation as an observer in the CCM Department at UPMC during January through March 2009. She wants to learn about critical care medicine so that she may apply it in the anesthesia field when she returns to Colombia. She will be rotating as an observer through CTICU, Transplants ICU, Trauma ICU (6F-6G), Neurotrauma ICU (4G), Neurovascular ICU (4F) and Magee ICU and Units 6F. She plans to do the fellowship in critical care when she returns to Colombia in the second semester of this year.