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The RUSH Sleep Disorders Service and Research Center dates its existence back to 1978. Our center has had an active sleep medicine fellowship program since 1995 and a formal fellowship accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) since 2001.

The program currently has American Academy of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accreditation for two fellowship positions. Additionally, we are one of few programs nationwide selected by the AASM to participate in the Advancing Innovation in Residency Education (AIRE) pilot program (blended fellowship with pulmonary and critical care medicine). Approved by the ACGME, these sleep medicine pilot programs are testing innovative models that emphasize competency-based training.

Sleep medicine fellows train in different settings within RUSH: the sleep center, behavioral sleep, pediatric sleep, sleep ENT, neurology (with focus on ventilatory management of patients with neuromuscular disease) and bariatric surgery. Fellows also work with sleep medicine faculty supporting inpatient sleep medicine consultations of complex sleep cases.

We operate two sleep centers/ perform sleep studies seven nights a week and have access to years of archived polysomnograms, our fellows get valuable exposure and become proficient at scoring and interpreting sleep studies. We have the ability to perform electroencephalographic montage, REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) montage, carbon dioxide monitoring and “advanced” titration of ventilators and adaptive-servo ventilators. Also multiple sleep latency tests, actigraphy, MWT.

With comprehensive experience and utilizing resources from electronic health records, sleep testing, video monitoring, and cloud-based tele-health systems, the sleep team present challenging/interesting clinical cases weekly. Essential topics are also reviewed in detail thoroughly by faculty, guest speakers and trainees during weekly continuous medical education (CME) credited Sleep Medicine Grand Rounds and quarterly multidisciplinary grand rounds using a state-of-the-art Smart Board.

Fellows also participate in quality improvement and clinical research projects to be presented at national meetings and prepared for publication. While this is only a 12-month fellowship, there have been a number of abstracts presented by our fellows at the national academic meetings such as SLEEP, ATS and others.

The sleep medicine fellowship at Rush provides the experience needed to practice sleep medicine in any setting (private, academic, urban or not). We are determined to support our trainees to reach their best potential and we are looking forward to an exciting year!

Panoramic view of the RUSH Sleep Center

The future of sleep medicine

The national need for additional sleep medicine physicians was illustrated in a discussion paper from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (Watson, Nathaniel F., Ilene M. Rosen, and Ronald D. Chervin. "The past is prologue: the future of sleep medicine." Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 13, no. 01 (2017): 127-135).

Given the high prevalence of sleep disorders, there continues to be a current and projected shortage of board-certified sleep specialists with the current ratio of people to sleep specialists in the United States being greater than 43,000:1. It has also been identified that the field of sleep specialists has plateaued and retiring sleep specialists are expected to outpace the number of new board-certified sleep medicine physicians. As active members of the academic sleep society, we recognize this need. 

How to apply

The Sleep Medicine Fellowship participates fully in the Electronic Residency Application Service match system through the National Resident Matching Program. Please submit applications to ERAS as it becomes available in the summer.

Our program complies with criteria for fellow eligibility as specified by RUSH University. The program is approved by the ACGME to train two fellows per year. Fellow applicants must have completed a core educational program accredited by the ACGME, in a sponsoring specialty. The sponsoring specialties are internal medicine, neurology, otolaryngology, pediatrics and psychiatry.

Applicants are required to submit an application, curriculum vitae, cover letter, personal statement and three letters of recommendation in ERAS. We will contact eligible candidates for interviews beginning in September, with the program starting the following July.

Our program accepts H-1B and J-1 non-immigrant international medical graduates.

Please email Dakota Fitzhugh, if you have questions or need more information.

Stay tuned for interviews planning this season. When applicable we will strive to provide the best possible "virtual visit" experience to applicants selected for interview.