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Akilesh Sista, MD

2002-03 Fellow


Assistant Professor, Interventional Radiology

Weill Cornell Medical College

What impact did the Sarnoff Fellowship year have on your career?

The fellowship was my first opportunity to take ownership of a project. It was truly the first time I had to use the combination of resourcefulness, diligence, networking, personal education, and mentorship to complete a sizable project. Those lessons, more important than any publication, residency spot, or accolade, have translated to every endeavor since, and have made me a better physician.

Why should medical students consider the Sarnoff Fellowship apart from other programs?

I don’t doubt that I could have learned many of the same life skills in another med student fellowship. But Sarnoff keeps giving, even when … no, especially when, you give back to the Sarnoff community. The breadth of experience and extent of academic success among the committee members is astounding. But more than that, they have chosen to be mentors. These individuals view their role as a privilege and a responsibility, one they take very seriously. They expect a lot, and for the right mentee, there isn’t a better environment in which to cultivate an illustrious career.

What are your professional aspirations?

I am in my 3rd year of being an assistant professor in the division of interventional radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College. I have found myself focusing on and delving into the interventional management of venous thromboembolism. I have 2 main goals for the upcoming year(s): 1) to conduct a randomized trial examining the efficacy of catheter-directed thrombolysis in the submassive pulmonary embolism population, and 2) to start a venous thromboembolism translational center/clinic at my institution. I have no doubt I will be calling on the Sarnoff community for advice and mentorship.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Defer – I can’t answer this.

What is your most memorable Sarnoff moment?

There have been several, to say the least. Every adventure I have with Arun Padmanabhan. The annual lemming-like walk to the Georgetown waterway at the scientific meeting. Presenting my year of research in 2003 in front of some of the greatest scientists in the country and world. The innovation forum that brought us together as alumni at last year’s scientific meeting. Recalling the good times with Javid Moslehi and Phil Tsao over 1 (or more) beverage(s). Getting inspired every year to push myself to my potential.

What are your hobbies?

New York City and everything it is. This Californian is hooked. Tennis, running. (Gosh, I feel like I’m filling out a dating profile). Music, of all kinds.

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