Rhinology Fellowship

Departmental Mission Statement

The aim of the fellowship is to offer a high-quality one-year subspecialty training program in Rhinology. The fellowship experience will include exposure to all aspects of medical and surgical rhinology and related disciplines, in adults and children, including endoscopic sinus surgery, treatment of olfactory disorders, functional nasal surgery & treatment of nasal obstruction, cosmetic nasal surgery, approaches to the pituitary, and removal of paranasal sinus neoplasms. The fellowship may also provide opportunities for clinical research in Rhinology. At the present time, our research program is focused topical therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis (Gel-Rhinotopic therapy), balloon sinuplasty and chitosan treatment for recalcitrant epistaxis.

Overview of Fellowship

Fellowship Description

Clinical Rotations: The fellow's rotations will cover two MedStar institutions in Baltimore (Union Memorial Hospital and the Good Samaritan Hospital) and one LifeBridge institution (Sinai Hospital).

Weekly Schedule: The fellow's responsibility is to attend the ENT clinic at least three days per week, where he/she will do, under the supervision of the ENT attending staff, thorough evaluation and complete examination of patients, perform ENT and rhinology office procedures under local anesthesia (including in-office sinuplasty, minor endoscopic sinus surgery, coblation of inferior turbinates, nasal endoscopy, laryngoscopy, endoscopic nasal biopsy, etc.), provide treatment and appropriate follow up, as indicated and under supervision of the attending physician. The fellow will also scrub in the OR with the attending physician two half- days a week.

Research Responsibilities: The fellowship will also provide opportunities for clinical research in Rhinology, covering different aspects of nasal/sinus/airway diseases. Our current clinical research program revolves around novel techniques in sinus surgery (such as balloon sinuplasty), topical therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis.

Diversity of Cases: The fellow surgical duties will include accompanying the attending physician in the operating room at least two days per week, and performing surgery and/or assisting in surgical procedures as indicated, and under supervision of the attending physician. By graduation, the fellow should have knowledge and proficiency in most of the following nasal surgical procedures:

The fellow is required to keep an operating room log of his cases in the form of a spreadsheet with condensed summary of cases/ CPT codes. There is an opportunity for the UMH and Sinai Surgical residents and medical students to assist with interesting ENT cases and an opportunity for the rhinology fellow to teach them.

Call Schedule: The Rhinology fellow takes call covering Union Memorial, Good Samaritan and Sinai emergency room and floor consultations. The call's duration is one week at a time, and rotates every other week (always in tandem with one ENT attending physician).

Additional Responsibilities: Rhinology fellows, in accordance with the Institutional vacation policy, receive a maximum of three weeks off work per year.  Two weeks are a guaranteed vacation time and the other week is to be used for meetings and conferences. All vacation time must be logged/tracked by both the fellow and the department; approval must be given by the Program Director or his designee prior to the start of the vacation.

Past Fellows

Walid Dagher, MD, 2006-2008
Rony Aouad, MD, 2007-2008
Karim Chahine, MD, 2008-2009
Mohammad Alqudah, MD, 2009-2010
Konstantinos Kourelis, MD, PhD 2010-2011
Ziad Rohayem, MD, 2011-2012
Rahul Mehta, MD, 2012-2013
Rabia Shihada, MD, 2013-2014
Damien Sequiera, MD, 2014-2105
Nadim Koueir, MD, 2015-2106
Michael Schlewet, MD, 2015-2106

2006-2008: Walid Dagher MD

From the American University of Beirut, Beirut Lebanon - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD- To Tufts Medical Center, Boston MA.

Bio and Personal Statement:

Walid is a graduate of The American University of Beirut (AUB). He graduated from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and neck Surgery at AUB in 2006. Walid is fluent in three languages (English Arabic, and French) and is married to Viviane Dagher who is a pediatric anesthesiologist.

"During my 2 years at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center for a 2 year fellowship, I got to know both Dr Shikani very well. My stay there was very educational, both from the surgical and medical aspects. I received a very good sinus surgery training, and had the opportunity to attend local and national conferences. Dr Shikani was very supportive of my decision to stay in the United States and was instrumental in my acceptance into an Otolaryngology residency. I am currently finishing my Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I felt very comfortable with all aspects of Rhinology/Sinus surgery for which I can give credit to Dr Shikani's training. On a personal level, Drs Shikani and Sohn were very welcoming into their homes and on many occasions we had the opportunity of our families getting together for dinner. They were both caring, frequently checking on us. To this date, I still call Dr Shikani, asking his advice on many subjects. My experience at Maryland ENT is without doubt a great one. I recommend it to any resident wishing to get exposed to a great training by a very caring and compassionate team."

Walid Dagher and Alan Shikani during early days of balloon sinuplasty at Union Memorial OR.

2007-2008: Rony Aouad MD

From Hotel Dieu de France Medical Center, Beirut Lebanon - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD- To the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY.

Bio and Personal Statement

Rony earned his medical degree at St. Joseph's University in Beirut, Lebanon with a certificate in genetics. Rony speaks four languages (English, Arabic, French and Russian) and is married to Svitlana Merlichenko, a Ukranian national, who is an accomplished opera singer. His thesis was titled "Follow-up of premalignant lesions if the larynx." He has completed clinical and research training in otolaryngology at the Hotel Dieu de France Hospital in Beirut. In 2003, he joined the Duke University Hearing Research laboratories and worked on human physiological testing program investigating the role of the medial olivo-cochlear efferent neurons in controlling cochlear function.

During his stay at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Centre Rony published papers on Neurenteric cyst of the clivus and posterior glottic stenosis. He moved on to do a 2-year head and Neck Fellowship at University of California Davis, and then to the University of Kentucky, where he is currently part of the faculty.

Ziad Rohayem, Alan Shikani at the Union Memorial OR.

Walid Dagher, Alan Shikani and Ziad Rohayem, next to the statue of the Christus Consolator in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Rotunda.

2008-2009: Kareem Chahine MD

From University Medical Center of Grenoble, Grenoble France - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD- to Damascus Hospital, Damascus Syria.

Bio and Personal Statement

Karim comes from a great family of Otolaryngologists: his grandfather was the one of the first ENT's in Syria, as well at the dean of Damascus Medical School. His father is currently the premier ENT in Syria. Karim did his residency training in Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the St.George Hospital (University of Balamand MC) in Beirut, Lebanon. This was followed by a year fellowship in Head and Neck Cancer at the University Medical Center of Grenoble, France. Karim is fluent in three languages (English Arabic, and French). During his stay at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center, he proved to be a superb clinician, a skilled surgeon and also a florid researcher. He published several papers on: Rhinotopic therapy protocol for chronic refractory rhinosinusitis, and on chitosan nasal packing for intractable epistaxis. Karim went back home to Damascus to start his own ENT practice; he is the first fellowship-trained rhinologist in Syria. He is also faculty in the Otorhinolaryngology department at Damascus Hospital, and teaches ENT residents. He has formed a team with an endoscopy-trained neurosurgeon and they have developed a skull base surgery program. Despite the difficult war conditions and the dangers of living in Syria, Karim has decided to stay home and provide badly needed ENT care, as most ENT physicians have emigrated to safer havens.

"Since the war started in Syria in 2011, I stayed in Damascus as I did not want to leave a practice that is still growing. Hopefully this war will end soon. Looking back at my training years in Lebanon, France, and the United States, I feel that my fellowship year in Baltimore was essential for my practice. The fellowship program helped shape and sharpen my skills in otorhinolaryngology in general, and especially n rhinology. In addition, I learned from Dr. Shikani how to run my practice both ethically and productively. I can safely say that it was only after my Fellowship year that I confidently felt ready to start my own practice."

Karim Chahine, Alan Shikani Union Memorial OR.

Alan Shikani and Karim Chahine at the Maryland ENT Center.

2009-2010: Mohannad Alqudah MD

From University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City IA - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD- to Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid Jordan.

Bio and Personal Statement

Mohannad did his residency in Otolaryngology at the Jordan University of Science & Technology in Irbed, Jordan, followed by 2 years of Fellowship at Dunedin Medical School, University of Otago, New Zealand. During his stay at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center, Karim published several papers on mucosal expression of aquaporin 5 and epithelial barrier proteins in chronic rhinosinusitis with and without nasal polyps and on multimodality topical therapy for refractory chronic rhinosinusitis.

Mohannad returned home where he is an associate professor at the department of special surgery, Jordan University of Science & Technology and chief of otolaryngology in King Abdullah University Hospital in Irbid, Jordan. He is the first fellowship-trained rhinologist in Jordan. He is a Member of Jordanian Otolaryngology Scientific board (Jordan medical council) and board examiner. In December 2013, Mohannad was elected by the Jordanian Otolaryngology- Head & Neck society as an executive board member and became the chairman of the media and international affair committee. He is on the editorial board of five international journals and a reviewer in many regional and international journals.

"My experience in Maryland Nose and Sinus Center was great. The fellowship offered a mixture of structural clinical training and a wide field for both clinical and basic research in friendly closely supervised way. Baltimore is a very nice city to live is and it is close to many very attractive areas of the US. My family and I have enjoyed that year very much and had many memories that difficult to be forgotten."

Mohannad Alqudah, Alan Shikani Union Memorial OR.

2010-2011: Konstantinos Kourelis MD, PhD

From the Medical School of Patras, Patras Greece - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD- to Patras Children Hospital, Patras Greece.

Bio and Personal Statement

Kostas did his residency on Otolaryngology at the Medical School of Patras in Greece, along with a PhD on Morphological study of the molecular network comprised of the transcription factors PPAR, RZR, NF-B, EGFR and the enzyme COX-2 in laryngeal epithelium and is microenvironment. Kostas is a superb researcher with numerous significant contributions to the literature. Kostas is fluent in English and Greek. During his stay at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center, he has published several papers on the pathophysiology of refractory rhinosinusitis and on topical therapies for refractory sinusitis. He continues to collaborate with Dr Shikani till the present time in publishing on topical therapies for refractory sinusitis, and he has become one of the major references in the field.

Kostas returned to his hometown as the first fellowship-trained rhinologist in Patras, Greece. He is the head of ENT at Children Hospital, the 3rd largest institution for pediatric patients in Greece, with a case load of about a thousand ENT procedures per year. Kostas specialized in diseases of the sinuses and in head & neck cases. Among his current research interests are the topics of neonatal rhinitis and nasal congenital anomalies.

"I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you for your enormous help as my mentor in my medical career both surgically and academically, as well as for teaching me with your example the doctor's integrity. My goal from now on is to be a worthy representative in Greece of the rhinology department of Baltimore's Union Memorial Hospital. I hope to see you in person again many times in the future. Please say hello to Lama and everyone at the office."

Konstantinos Kourelis, Alan Shikani Union Memorial OR.

2011-2012: Ziad Rohayem MD

From St Joseph University-Hotel Dieu de France Medical Center, Beirut Lebanon - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD - To St Joseph Teaching Hospital at Beirut and Eye & Ear Hospital, Lebanon.

Bio and Personal Statement

Ziad has studied medicine at the French Faculty of Medicine of the Saint-Joseph University in Beirut. He did his residency in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the Hotel-Dieu de France Hospital in Beirut. Ziad is fluent in 5 languages (English, Arabic, French, German and Italian). During his stay as a Rhinology fellowship at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center, Ziad has published on chronic rhinosinusitis & polyposis. After leaving Baltimore, Ziad did a second rhinology fellowship years with Dr Peter Catalano at Saint-Elizabeth Hospital /Tufts University in Boston. He then returned to Lebanon in to set up a state-of-the-art rhinology practice in the Metn region, north of Beirut. He is faculty at two teaching hospitals in Beirut (Saint-Joseph Hospital, The Eye & Ear Hospital).

"Otolaryngology is a fascinating field and I always considered as a privilege to help patient recover their hearing, smell, sleep or voice. My two years of fellowship in Allergy, Nose and Sinus diseases has helped me achieve the best outcome with the least invasive surgeries and up-to-date techniques. Dr Shikani in this regard had a major role as a mentor and teacher with his exceptional expertise in new techniques such in-office balloon sinus procedures. I am very grateful to all the exceptional staff at the Union Memorial Hospital."

Ziad Rohayem and Alan Shikani at the Union Memorial OR.

2012-2013: Rahul Mehta MD

From Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, United Kingdom- - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD - Our Lady of the Lake Baton Rouge, LA.

Bio and Personal Statement

Rahul did his ENT residency at the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast Ireland. Before that he had spent time at the Children Hospital in Boston, memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NY and the Charing Cross Hospital in London. During his stay at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Centre in Baltimore, Rahul worked on Office-Based Gel-Hybrid Sinuplasty for Nasal Polyposis, a work that was presented at IFOS in South Korea. He then moved to Baton Rouge- New Orleans where he completed a fellowship in Skull Base Surgery and where he won prestigious Nicholos Torok award given by American Neurotology Society. Rahul has returned home to Belfast to establish a career in rhinology and combined anterior-posterior skull base surgery. He was then recruited to come back as faculty in Baton Rouge-New Orleans.

Rahul Mehta, Alan Shikani at the Union Memorial OR.

2013-2014: Rabia Shihada MD

From the Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel - to the Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD.

Bio and Personal Statement

Rabia graduated from the Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem. He completed his residency at the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa. Rabia is fluent in three languages (English, Arabic and Hebrew); he is married to Reem, an internist and a general family practitioner. After his fellowship at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center in Baltimore, Rabia went back to Haifa where he took a position as an academic otolaryngologist specializing in Rhinology and sinus surgery.

"Spending a year at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center in Baltimore was a great experience for me, both professionally and personally. Dr Shikani was not only my mentor, but became to be a best friend of me and my family. I will surely miss our daily conversations. With the clinical, surgical and research training that I acquired during the fellowship, I feel I am well equipped to develop the expertise and knowledge needed to make the Otolaryngology department in Bnai-Zion medical center a prominent medical center in the field of Rhinology."

Rabia Shihada and Alan Shikani at the Union Memorial OR.

Rabia Shihada and Alan Shikani at the Pittsburgh PNC Baseball Park following the Pittsburgh Skull Base Course.

2014-2015: Damien Sequeira MD

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland - To Florida Hospital University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.

Bio and Personal Statement

Damien received his medical degree from the University of Lausanne Medical School in Switzerland. He then went on to complete a two-year research project in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University Hospital Zurich on middle-ear mechanics funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, for which he was awarded first prize at the Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Following this, he did his residency at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University Hospital Zurich. After leaving Baltimore, Damien started a 2-year fellowship in Head and Neck Surgery at Florida Hospital University of Central Florida in Orlando.

"Completing a year at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center in Baltimore under the mentorship of Dr. Shikani greatly developed my knowledge and surgical skills in the field of Rhinology, including in office procedures such balloon sinuplasty. Adding to that he also provided me with a wonderful insight to the American healthcare system. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Shikani for his support and help in obtaining my next fellowship in Head and Neck Surgery."

Damien Sequeira and Alan Shikani at the Union Memorial OR.

2015-2016: Nadim Koueir MD

From St Joseph University-Hotel Dieu de France Medical Center, Beirut Lebanon - To Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore MD - Hopital Lariboisiere in Paris, France (fellowship in rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery with Professor Philippe Herman).

Bio and Personal Statement

Nadim graduated in 2010 from the faculty of medicine at Saint-Joseph University located in Beirut. His thesis was on the universal newborn screening for congenital hearing loss in Lebanon. He completed an Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery residency at Hotel Dieu de France University hospital in Beirut, Lebanon and graduated in 2015. He has published multiples systematic reviews in the field of laryngeal cancer and juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma. After leaving Baltimore, Nadim will be doing a Rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery fellowship at Hopital Lariboisiere in Paris with Pr. Philippe Herman.

"I had a wonderful experience during my rhinology fellowship at the Maryland Nose and Sinus Center. I learned a lot, from the well-rounded nose and sinus surgical experience to the wide clinical exposure and the research opportunities. After this fellowship I am ready for a second year of training at Lariboisiere in advanced endoscopic skull base surgery. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Shikani for his devoted time and availability in teaching and mentoring that go beyond the strict limits of science. I look forward to meeting him again in Paris and Beirut."

Nadim Khoueir and Alan Shikani at the Union Memorial OR.

2015-2016: Michael Schlewet, MD

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at Teshreen Hospital, Damascus, Syria - To Union Memorial Hospital / Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland - To St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Bio and Personal Statement

Michael graduated in 2002 from the faculty of medicine at the University of Damascus, Syria, and went on to complete Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency program in Teshreen Hospital, one of the largest tertiary referral hospitals in the capital Damascus. Upon graduation, he started a private practice in Damascus. However, due to the political situation in his country, he relocated to Riyadh, K.S.A where he worked at Obeid Specialized Hospital, a well known hospital in the capital Riyadh.

After completion of his fellowship in Baltimore, Michael started a second year fellowship in Rhinology and endoscopic sinus surgery at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Boston, MA, under supervision of Dr. Peter Catalano.

"I had the good fortune to be one of the fellows with Dr. Shikani at Maryland Nose and Sinus Center at Union memorial Hospital and Sinai Hospital. During the fellowship year, Dr. Shikani was like a big brother who took care of us and guided us through the U.S healthcare system. I had the opportunity to learn a lot of his wide clinical and surgical experience in Rhinology and sinus surgery, and participate in the ongoing research projects in the department. I was honored to have this relationship with Dr. Shikani, who continues to ask about his fellows and help them down the road in their careers. I would like also to thank Dr. Todd-Hesham who was an excellent supervisor, and appreciate her hard working and dedication for her patients."

Michael Schlewet and Alan Shikani at the Union Memorial OR.