Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowships


The Surgical Critical Care Fellowship is a one-year, ACGME-approved training program accredited by the American Board of Surgery. This competitive program offers four positions per year for physicians who have completed at least three years of training in an ACGME-approved general surgery, neurosurgery, urology, or obstetrics/gynecology residency program.

Surgical Critical Care Fellows will gain in-depth clinical knowledge and technical skills necessary to care for critically ill patients. Areas of focus include general trauma, neurotrauma, abdominal organ transplantation, burn care and neurovascular and cardiothoracic critical care. Fellows also participate in three months of operative experiences on the Trauma/Acute Care Surgery Service, which has more than 4,000 admission each year.

Additionally, up to two positions are designated for the Acute Care Surgery Fellowship, which offers a further one year of training under the auspices of the Department of Surgery. This program is accredited by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Applicants for the combined Surgical Critical Care/Acute Care Surgery fellowship must have completed a General Surgery residency. Both fellowship programs provide opportunities for training in research, education, and health care administration. The Acute Care Surgery fellows are appointed as UPMC Clinical Instructors and take on a leadership role on the Trauma/Acute Care Surgery Service.

These two fellowships participate in the NRMP match. Applications for the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship and the Acute Care Surgery Fellowship programs must be submitted through the SAFAS website where there are also important application dates and deadlines.

After Acceptance

All trainees must obtain a graduate medical training license. We will contact successful candidates shortly after the match to begin this process.

Multidisciplinary Training in Critical Care

Trainees will be part of our pioneering Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program, in which individuals from the specialties of Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Surgery receive advanced clinical training in an integrated environment. This innovative approach breeds a collaborative learning environment with deep academic content and expansive clinical experiences. The multidisciplinary training program employs a mix of hands-on clinical experience, interactive workshops, medical simulation, and didactic education.

Learning Objectives

Trainees obtain hands-on clinical experience and advanced instruction in:

  • Management of shock, sepsis, acute respiratory failure, acute kidney injury, acute neurological conditions, and other critical illness syndromes
  • Pathophysiology of critical illness, including advanced cardiopulmonary physiology, hemodynamic and neurological monitoring, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and neurophysiology
  • Care of patients with multisystem organ failure, acute infection, traumatic injury, post-surgical critical illness
  • Communication skills, including patient and family interaction, end-of-life care, and care of the geriatric patient
  • Mechanical ventilation, extra-corporeal life support, and point-of-care ultrasound
  • ICU procedures including endotracheal intubation, central venous catheterization, and chest-tube placement

Special Activities

Unique educational activities include:

  • Hands-on simulation workshops such as routine and difficult airway management, central venous catheterization, chest tube placement and point-of-care ultrasound
  • Critical Care Leadership and Professionalism Course to develop knowledge and skills necessary to conduct teaching rounds, deliver feedback, direct an ICU, understand healthcare economics, negotiate for jobs, and succeed as an academic or clinical leader
  • A three-day Critical Care Communication Course providing state-of-the-art training in perfecting end-of-life discussions with family members using trained actors
  • Weekly interactive lectures in which trainees learn from international experts in the field
  • Weekly Department-wide educational conferences including Journal Club, Grand Rounds, and Morbidity & Mortality

Year 1

Trainees receive nine months of critical care training with a surgical focus and three months of rotation in other specialty ICUs. The year is divided into 13 four-week blocks. A typical schedule includes:

  • Cardiothoracic ICU - 1 block
  • Neurotrauma ICU - 1 block
  • Neurovascular ICU - 1 block
  • Transplant ICU - 1 block
  • Trauma/Acute Care Surgery Service - 3 blocks
  • Tauma/General Surgery - 2 blocks
  • VA Surgical ICU - 2 blocks
  • Electives - 2 blocks

Year 2

Fellows going onto our Acute Care Surgery Fellowship take a leadership role on our trauma and acute care surgery service. Fellows also have the opportunity to continue their academic development and expand their leadership skills. The year is divided into 13, four-week blocks. A typical schedule includes:

  • Trauma/Acute Care Surgery Service - 6 blocks
  • CCM Junior Attending - 1 block
  • Hepato-biliary Surgery - 1 block
  • Pediatric Surgery - 1 block
  • Thoracic Surgery - 1 block
  • Vascular Surgery - 1 block
  • Electives - 2 blocks

Training Hospitals

  • UPMC Presbyterian: Cardiothoracic/Surgical ICU, Neurovascular ICU, Neurotrauma ICU, Surgical Trauma ICU
  • UPMC Montefiore: Transplant ICU
  • UPMC Mercy: Mercy Medical Surgical ICU, Mercy Medical-Neuro ICU
  • UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
  • Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System
For fellowship inquiries, please contact bieryak [at] (subject: Surgical%20Critical%20Care%20Fellowship%20Inquiry) (Abigail Biery).