Sleep Center Fellowship

Exceptional Clinical Training at the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center

Established in 1977

Emphasis on Sleep Neuroscience

Ongoing REM Sleep Behavior Disorder Research

Complex and Diverse Patient Experience

100% Pass Rate on Sleep Medicine Board Exams


About the Program

About Our Program

Nationally Recognized for Innovations in Sleep Medicine

With its pioneering history and forward-thinking approach, the Sleep Medicine Fellowship at HCMC trains the next generation of sleep specialists in all aspects of sleep-wake and circadian disorders, including sleep neuroscience, parasomnias, hypersomnias, sleep-related movement disorders, and sleep-disordered breathing in cardiovascular and pulmonary disease settings.

Our dual-site program delivers a wide spectrum of patient diversity and clinical experience. Fellows rotate at dedicated sleep clinics within two of the region’s largest academic training hospitals, HCMC and the University of Minnesota-Fairview. Fellows work side-by-side with staff who are leaders in the field and passionate about teaching. Together, we are actively re-envisioning how we can innovate care delivery in sleep medicine.

Our program was founded in 1977 and ACGME-accredited in 2005.


About Our Curriculum

A Forward-Thinking Approach to Sleep Neuroscience

The Sleep Medicine curriculum provides a comprehensive education in clinical sleep medicine for adults and children, with emphasis on sleep neuroscience. As an academic healthcare system, we maintain a well-earned reputation for our collegial atmosphere and supportive environment that fosters learning and discovery. Our forward-thinking approach emphasizes multidisciplinary collaboration, hands-on clinical skills, and the latest technology, all to deliver exceptional patient care.

We collaborate with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research to access the latest imaging technology for sleep medicine research. Fellows evaluate, monitor, and treat sleep disorders with cutting-edge equipment, including remote access to polysomnograms, and new home polysomnographic recording and interpretive equipment. Both sites incorporate the EPIC electronic medical records system.

While there is no research requirement within the program, we enthusiastically support the individual research pursuits of our fellows. The Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center has a long history of discovery and innovation and participates in a number of ongoing clinical trials. We are actively investigating REM sleep behavior disorder and its relationship to Parkinson’s disease, as well as other parasomnias.


About Our Educational Experience

Ample Didactic Opportunities Each Thursday
Fellows can build their knowledge with several required and optional conferences each week. Topics range from new research and challenging cases to practical skills required to manage a sleep clinic.

Specialists from HCMC and the University of Minnesota-Fairview attend and present.

Didactic Opportunities

Weekly Case Conference:

  • 7:30 a.m., every Thursday
  • Present challenging cases and discuss management options with clinical staff

Didactic Teaching:

  • 8:30 a.m., 2-3 Thursdays per month
  • Faculty present on a variety of topics

Administrative Meeting:

  • 8:30 a.m., one Thursday per month
  • Best practices for managing a sleep center

Journal Club:

  • 8:30 a.m., one Thursday per month
  • Discuss the latest developments in sleep medicine

Research Meeting:

  • Third Thursday evening of each month
  • Faculty and fellows discuss sleep medicine over dinner

About Our Faculty

Dedicated Staff with a Passion for Teaching

Eleven core faculty lead the Sleep Medicine Fellowship, each holding staff positions at HCMC or the University of Minnesota-Fairview. In addition to clinical practice, research, and teaching in the Twin Cities, our faculty are nationally recognized for their work and active within the field of sleep medicine.

Dr. Con Iber is past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and recipient of the Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Michael Howell is a founding board member of the Minnesota Sleep Society and member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Neurology, Sleep Section. Dr. Carlos Schenck is past president of the International REM Sleep Behavior Disorder Study Group and recipient of the William Dement Award.

Past faculty include Dr. Mark Mahowald, who discovered REM sleep behavior disorder, received the William Dement Award, and was past president of American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Program leadership

  • Dr. Muna Irfan, Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program Director
  • Dr. Ranji Varghese, Medical Director, Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, HCMC
  • Dr. Tereza Cervenka, Sleep Medicine Site Director, University of Minnesota

Areas of Expertise

Every day our faculty share their dedication and expertise in a variety of key disciplines.

Pediatric Sleep
Dr. Armantina Espinosa
Dr. John Garcia
Dr. Helena Molero

Sleep, Pulmonary and Critical Care
Dr. Michele LeClaire
Dr. Umesh Goswami
Dr. Terezea Cervenka
Dr. Con Iber

Sleep Psychiatry
Dr. Carlos Schenck
Dr. Ranji Varghese

Sleep Neurology
Dr. Muna Irfan
Dr. Michael J. Howell
Dr. Erin Golden

Sleep Psychology
Dr. Samantha Anders

Dental Sleep Medicine
Dr. Dennis Haley

Sleep and ENT
Dr. Jennifer Hsia
Dr. Stephanie Contag

Sleep and Internal Medicine/Family Medicine
Dr. Chandra M. Cherukari
Dr. Snigdha Pulsavidyasagar

Rotation Schedule

Comprehensive Training at Two Leading Sleep Clinics

FL-1 Rotations

July through December: Sleep Medicine Clinic, University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview
January through June: Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center at Hennepin County Medical Center

About Our Rotations

Residents rotate in six-month blocks at two of the leading sleep medicine centers in the Twin Cities. Fellows work with experienced faculty at each location.

All rotations comply with duty hours. There is no call for fellows.

Application Requirements

Applications Due September 1


Your application must include:

  • Medical school transcripts
  • Dean’s letter
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation
  • USMLE Step 1
  • Personal statement

We are interested in a diverse group of medical specialties, which include but are not limited to neurology, psychiatry, pulmonary/critical care, cardiology, otolaryngology, and pediatrics.

Non-resident applicants are welcome to apply. HCMC sponsors the J1 visa only.


  1. Submission: Submit your application through the Electronic Resident Application System (ERAS). Contact your medical school’s student affairs or dean’s office for instructions. We do not accept applications through the mail. HCMC participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
  2. Scoring: Our program does not require a minimum score. We are looking for unique individuals with diverse backgrounds who have demonstrated an interest in sleep medicine, a commitment to excellence in patient care, and a naturally collaborative personality.
  3. Interviews: Selected applicants will be invited for interviews. We hold interviews August 1 through October 15.

What Sets Us Apart?

History of discovery.

HCMC researchers were first to recognize several common sleep disorders, including REM sleep behavior disorder and its link to Parkinson’s disease, and sleep-related eating disorder and its relationship to restless leg syndrome.

Complex cases.

The sleep center draws national and international referrals for complicated conditions and rare disorders. Fellows gain hands-on experience evaluating and treating patients with severe conditions.

Patient diversity.

Fellows care for patients from across the spectrum of ethnic and economic backgrounds, with healthcare needs at all levels of severity. Rotations at the University of Minnesota include patients from across a large hospital network. Both sites feature comprehensive pediatric experience.

Post-fellowship opportunities.

More than 100 physicians have received advanced sleep medicine training at HCMC since our program was founded in 1977. Our alumni hold clinical and research positions around the world. Since 2005, 100% of our graduates who have taken sleep medicine board exams have passed.

sleep center nurse with patient

“The fellowship training I had in Sleep Medicine was singularly the most beneficial year of medical training in my career.  Understanding the role that sleep plays in the many capacities of human physiology and how, through Sleep Medicine, we may help patients through our knowledge was an incredibly rewarding experience.  The staff was nothing short of spectacular, and second to none.  I was well prepared to step into my role as a sleep physician and excel once training was completed.”

About Our Facility

Fellows rotate in six-month blocks at dedicated sleep medicine clinics within Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota.


danelle sullivan

Danelle Sullivan

Program Coordinator
Phone: 612-873-8723
Email[email protected]

Hennepin County Medical Center
Department of Neurology
701 Park Avenue South P5.407
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Muna Irfan Bio Photo

Muna Irfan, MD

Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program Director
Email: [email protected]

Graduate Resources

Training Tomorrow’s Healthcare Leaders

Residency Programs

Several Accredited Residency Programs

Fellowship Programs

Several Distinguished Fellowship Options

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