Thomas Jefferson University

Program Overview

Sleep Medicine Fellowship

I'm delighted that you are considering training at Jefferson.  Here are a few things you may wish to know about our program:

History. We are affiliated with Sidney Kimmel Medical College (formerly Jefferson Medical College), one of the oldest and largest medical Colleges in the country – an institution rich with medical history. The first sleep medicine program established in Philadelphia, Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center has hosted fellows since the mid 1980’s.  In 2005, ours was among the first sleep medicine programs in the United States to earn full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Goals.  Our primary goal is to develop independent practitioners of sleep medicine.  We are committed to academic excellence and combine superior patient care, strong teaching and quality research to achieve this. We provide you with an environment that will encourage intellectual curiosity and stimulate your professional and personal development.

Comprehensive Approach.  Our faculty members are grounded in multiple disciplines including sleep medicine, otolaryngology, pulmonary medicine, psychiatry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, neurology, psychology, pediatrics, cardiology, gastroenterology, nutritional health, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and weight management. This diversity in the professional backgrounds of our faculty reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the curriculum.  We provide a comprehensive curriculum, which is suitable for physicians from all host disciplines.  Fellows experience patients and perform testing in a wide range of diagnostic entities, utilize and learn the gamut of therapeutic options in sleep medicine, and develop competency in the evaluation and management of inpatient and outpatient sleep disorders in children and adults.  Our fellows have sought careers in both academic and clinical environments. 

Strong Leadership. With three core faculty members committed to the fellowship, our program provides unusually strong leadership and direction.  Core faculty members include Karl Doghramji, MD (Program Director), Dimitri Markov, MD, Ritu Grewal, MD and Zhanna Fast, MD.  Each of us is dedicated to a specific aspect of the training program and we are constantly looking to make improvements to the program. 

Core Clinical Experience. At the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center, fellows diagnose and manage the gamut of sleep disorders including the insomnias, narcolepsy and other disorders of excessive somnolence, sleep related breathing disorders, parasomnias, various medical and psychiatric sleep disorders, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders.  They also receive training and supervision in various modalities of treatment including pharmacotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and sleep hygiene education, positive airway pressure management techniques, oral appliances, surgery, circadian re-alignment, and phototherapy, among others. Fellows are identified as the primary physicians for their patients during the initial encounter and for all subsequent care for that particular patient.  Therefore, continuity of care is preserved.

Multidisciplinary Clinical Rotations.  Fellows acquire a diversity of skills during rotations which take place during the course of four hours per week.  Fellows rotate in pulmonary outpatient clinic and inpatient consultations, neurology (review and interpretation of EEG’s), psychiatry inpatient consultations, otolaryngology outpatient clinic and inpatient operating room, oral and maxillofacial surgery outpatient clinic and inpatient operating room, and pediatric sleep medicine clinic. 

Academics. These include core lectures, case conferences, multidisciplinary conferences, journal clubs, polysomnographic record reading and interpretation conferences, grand rounds, and bedside rounds, among others.  Fellows are integrally involved in the teaching of medical students and residents.  Fellows conduct their own research and present their research findings at local and national meetings.

Location.  We are located in center city Philadelphia and in the heart of the downtown area. It is a safe area in which to live, work, and play. For the sports fan, we have a number of major professional sports teams (the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers, to name a few).  Philadelphia is home to the Wachovia Center the major venue for concerts and other major entertainment events. Our city is also home the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music where patrons of the arts can see live theatrical performances. Last but not least, we are within two hours of New York City, Baltimore, Washington DC, and the New Jersey shore communities. Go to to explore what Philadelphia has to offer to you.

Just a little bit about me. I graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1980 and did my Internal Medicine internship at Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center from 1980-1981 and my Psychiatry residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital from 1981-1984. I then began my career in sleep medicine at a time when there were only a handful of physicians in the field by completing my fellowship in sleep medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York.  Since then, I have been Medical Director of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center.  Over the years, I climbed the academic ladder and, in 2001, achieved the rank of full Professor.  I dedicate all of my academic and clinical time to teaching and research in sleep medicine, and to evaluating and treating patients with sleep disorders.  

I have been an active member of many professional organizations and have, for nearly two decades, been the director and lecturer for national and international courses pertaining to sleep disorders.  I have held numerous committee positions with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and have served as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.  In 1998, I was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and in 1994, was elected Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  I have served as a reviewer for numerous medical journals and have authored more than 150 journal publications and book chapters and have edited and written three books.  My published works and research have focused on sleep and its disorders.

What does this mean for you?  I use my experience, both professional and personal, to make your fellowship a meaningful and fun learning experience.

I invite you to explore our web site to learn more about us.