Michelle L. Feinberg, MD
Michelle L. Feinberg, MD
Attending Neurosurgeon and Medical Director of Neurosciences ICU
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
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A Comforting Force in the ICU
From the day she joined NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County four years ago, Dr. Michelle Feinberg has had an impact on patients and colleagues alike. “She is an indefatigable patient advocate, consummate team player and highly sought-after educator and mentor,” says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rajesh Verma.
Dr. Feinberg arrived fresh from her training in neurosurgery and neurocritical care, but barely six months later the pandemic hit and everything changed. As the hospital overflowed with COVID-19 patients, Dr. Feinberg helped convert surgical units into makeshift ICUs and quickly became an admired leader. When the surge ended, the nursing staff honored her with a plaque inscribed, “Thank you for your exceptional leadership with extraordinary courage, strength, and compassion. We would follow you into any pandemic.”
Refocused on her specialty as the pandemic subsided, Dr. Feinberg played a key role in creating a new neurocritical care service and was awarded the hospital’s Neurosurgery Physician of the Year awards in 2021 and 2022. “I am often meeting patients and families on the worst day of their lives,” she reflects. “Although my primary responsibility is to treat the acute situation, I will always make it a priority to provide any bit of comfort to decrease the secondary trauma that comes with ICU admission.” Among other things, she has partnered with The Juilliard School to bring live music and dance performances into the ICU.
Dr. Feinberg’s humanistic approach grew out of an experience she had as a teenager, when her grandfather spent several months in an ICU and a team of doctors and nurses “performed a miracle” to keep him alive and eventually get him home. “From that moment, I knew my calling was to be a physician and to be part of that team.”
After earning her medical degree at the combined Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at CUNY and New York Medical College, Dr. Feinberg completed a neurosurgery residency at George Washington University and a neurocritical care fellowship at Duke University. Her commitment to reducing health care disparities brought her to NYC Health + Hospitals.
“It is a tragedy that every person is not granted equal access to medical care,” she says, “and I am privileged to work in the country’s oldest and largest public hospital system where we can provide superior medical care to every single patient who comes through our doors.” She adds, “One of my favorite things to hear patients say is that Kings County is their hospital and they refuse to be treated anywhere else.”