Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

The Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology

Sleep Medicine

The McGaw Medical Center has three one-year ACGME accredited fellowship spots in Sleep Medicine. One of these positions is part of a two year clinical/research slot and comes with a required commitment to stay and dedicate the second year to research (T-32 Training Grant). Fellows are principally trained at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, with a rotation at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and are eligible for the Subspecialty of Sleep Medicine examination.

The overall goal of our program is to ensure that fellows are well trained in all relevant areas of sleep medicine. These include, but are not limited to evaluating, diagnosing and comprehensively treating patients over the entire spectrum of pediatric and adult sleep and circadian rhythm disorders, as well as those medical, neurological, and psychiatric disorders that may present with sleep-related complaints in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.


The sleep fellow will participate in the multidisciplinary care of patients with sleep and circadian disorders, acquire detailed knowledge of the entire spectrum of pediatric and adult sleep and circadian rhythm disorders, and manage patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. As part of the training, the sleep medicine fellow will gain expertise in other areas related to sleep medicine including sleep related basic science, epidemiology, pulmonary medicine, behavioral medicine, neurology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and otolaryngology.

Curriculum includes:

Fellows will be educated in the use of a variety of diagnostic tests including PSG, MSLT, MWT, Actigraphy, and Home Sleep Tests. In addition, fellows participate in a weekly lecture covering the core curriculum, present at monthly case presentations and journal clubs, and attend weekly research meeting in Dr. Phyllis Zee’s lab.


Fellows are required to participate in ongoing clinical research or to initiate new projects. The goal will be to see this project through to presentation at one or more national meetings as well as publication in a peer reviewed journal. In addition to databases from investigator-initiated and funded projects at Northwestern, the program has access to other databases from large national, multi-site studies.

Clinical Experience

The Northwestern Memorial Hospital Sleep Disorders Center is fully accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the highest ranked hospital in the Chicago metropolitan area and the state of Illinois. It is also ranked 6th nationally, and the Department of Neurology is ranked 7th in the nation.

Approximately 4,000 patients visit the interdisciplinary sleep clinic each year. The patients present a breadth of cases that span the spectrum of sleep and circadian disorders. The primary diagnosis for the patients generally breaks down as follows: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) 45 percent; Insomnia 30 percent; PLMD/RLS 9 percent; Hypersomnia/Narcolepsy 8 percent; Parasomnia 2 percent and Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders 4 percent. These clinical opportunities provide ample exposure to sleep medicine over a one year training program.

Requirements & Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants must have completed an accredited residency in internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics or family medicine. Residents are selected for the sleep medicine fellowship from eligible applicants based upon their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities. No discrimination is made based upon sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, or veteran status. Approximately ten percent of the eligible applicants are invited for personal interviews.

Application Process

The Sleep Medicine Fellowship program participates in the AAMC’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The program will begin accepting applications for the 2015-2016 academic year on July 15, 2015. Interview will take place in August and September 2015 prior to the official match date. For information on submitting an application, visit the "ERAS for applicants" website. We do, however, encourage early applications and urge you to send the following documents to the program director Hrayr Attarian, MD, by email at in addition to a formal ERAS submission.

Required documents include:

Interviews will consist of meeting with our faculty and key sleep medicine team members. Interviewers rate each applicant independently.

A sleep medicine faculty meeting is held after interviews at which time applicant ratings are reviewed. Decisions regarding appointments to the fellowship are then made by consensus.

Hrayr Attarian, MD
Hrayr Attarian, MD
Program Director

Current Fellows

Annise Wilson, MD

Medical School: McGovern Medical School, University of Texas, Houston
Residency: Northwestern University

Ashima Sahni, MBBS
Medical School: Government Medical College, Chandigargh
Residency: John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago

Innessa Donskoy, MD
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine
Residency: University of Illinois - Chicago

Contact Us

Erin van Bladel
Neurology Fellowship Coordinator
Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine, Abbott Hall
710 N. Lake Shore Drive, Room 1105
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Phone: 312-503-2849
Fax: 312-908-5073 

Housestaff Research Portal

Feinberg has the infrastructure and resources to assist McGaw trainees interested in conducting scientific research. Visit our Housestaff Research Portal to learn more.