Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital

New York, New York

Training Program Director: Bret Taback MD

The Breast Surgery Service focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to breast health. The Service is recognized for excellence in patient care, research, and education. Fellows become part of the Comprehensive Breast Center, an integral part of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Through our felllowship program, we provide postdoctoral training that builds on basic knowledge about the management of high-risk patients and patients with breast disease.

Our fellows interact with our Board-certified specialists, including breast surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, diagnostic radiologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, gynecologists, geneticists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, and nutritionists, as well as physicians' assistants and specialized nurses.

Women At Risk (WAR)

The Breast Service works closely with Women At Risk, a privately funded program that supports patient care, education, and research benefiting people identified as having a high risk for breast cancer, and those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. We are recognized as a national leader in genetic counseling, refined diagnostic testing, and management of this subset of patients.

The Fellowship Selection Process

Fellowship candidates must have successfully completed a 5-year accredited program in general surgery.

Fellowship Objectives

The breast fellowship will enable the trainee to acquire an advanced body of knowledge and level of skill in the evaluation and treatment of patients with breast disease and those at high risk for breast cancer.

Fellows will gain:

  • Understanding of the biology, evaluation and treatment of benign breast disease, including screening for breast cancer.
  • Experience in the evaluation of breast problems in an office-based setting.
  • Training in the classification and evaluation of mammographic abnormalities as well as the indications, techniques and complications of image-guided breast biopsy.
  • The ability to counsel patients on treatment options for the loco-regional therapy of breast cancer.
  • Mastery of the surgical techniques involved in the care of patients with breast disease including sentinel lymphadenectomy, ductal lavage, insertion of radiotherapy catheters and oncoplastic techniques.
  • Experience in basic cytology and pathology of the breast.
  • Training in the indications, complications, techniques, results and biology of breast irradiation.
  • Understanding of the indications, results, and basic biology of systemic therapy for breast cancer.
  • Ability to critically evaluate the relevant medical literature and make meaningful contributions to the field.
  • The fellow will attend structured didactic basic science and clinical lectures locally and nationally.

Fellows will be recommended for an appointment at the level of Clinical Instructor in Surgery for the duration of the fellowship.


The fellowship is organized at follows:

Rotation Training Period
Breast & Plastic Surgery 9 months
Breast Imaging 4 weeks
Medical Oncology Outpatient Clinics 2 weeks
Pathology 2 weeks
Radiation Oncology/Genetic Counseling 2 weeks


Fellows will be evaluated during each rotation by participating faculty. In addition the program director will meet with the fellow at three months, six months, and 11 months to provide performance feedback.

Fellows will be assessed on their success in meeting the goals for curriculum and skills acquisition. In addition, fellows will be expected to:

  • Complete at least one scholarly project suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Give at least one presentation in a national meeting.
  • Participate in teaching medical students and residents.

Breast Surgery Faculty

The primary surgical faculty for the fellowship are:

Sheldon Feldman, MD, FACS
Chief of Section, Division of Breast Surgery
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Mahmoud El-Tamer, MD, FACS
Interim Chief, Division of Breast Surgery
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery

Kathie-Ann Joseph, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Laura A. Klein, MD
Instructor in Clinical Surgery

Bret Taback, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery

To Apply

Candidates should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and letters of recommendation no later than August 1 for enrollment the following year. We will inform you of the status of your application by the end of the year.

Contact Information

Training Program Director: Bret Taback MD
Address: Columbia University Medical Center
161 Fort Washington Avenue, Suite 1003
New York, NY 10032
Phone: 212-342-1297