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Curriculum


The one-year Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship will be divided into 13 separate four-week block rotations.  As per ACGME requirements, ten blocks will be dedicated to clinical care in one of four intensive care units at University of Colorado Hospital.  One block of time will be dedicated to formal point-of-care ultrasound training and another to academic medicine and/or research.  The remaining blocks is elective and can be used for an additional ICU rotation, additional transesophageal echochardiography experience, subspecialty rotation (ex. heart failure, transplant surgery, palliative care, or infectious disease), or additional dedicated research time.

The core clinical training is focused in the Surgical-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU) and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) with four blocks of time devoted to training in each of these two ICUs.  The additional two blocks of critical care time will be completed in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and Neurology/Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit (NeuroICU).  All critical care teams at University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) are led by an attending intensivist and team members include: fellows, residents, advanced practice providers, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers.

Detailed information on ICU and non-ICU rotations are listed below.

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU)

The UCH CTICU is an 18-bed unit admitting patients from cardiac and thoracic surgery services.  The unit is co-directed by Drs. Breandan Sullivan and David Fullerton from the Departments of Anesthesiology and Surgery, respectively.  Patient care is managed by a multidisciplinary critical care team, led by an attending intensivist from the Department of Anesthesiology or Surgery.

The CTICU population includes patients undergoing heart and lung transplantation, placement of mechanical circulatory support devices, coronary revascularization and valve surgery, aortic reconstructive surgery, and major open thoracic surgery.  The CTICU is also home to all patients managed with veno-venous and veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Surgical-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU)

The UCH STICU is a 24-bed unit admitting patients from multiple surgical services including: general surgery, surgical oncology, trauma and acute care surgery, transplant, ENT, orthopedics, plastics, gynecologic oncology, and vascular surgery services.

The STICU population most commonly includes patients undergoing trauma resuscitation and emergency surgery, transplant surgery, major oncologic surgery, and those with severe perioperative complications.  Patients in fulminant hepatic failure are also managed in the STICU. University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) is a verified level 1 Trauma Center and is home to the largest liver transplantation program in the region.

Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)

The UCH MICU is a 24-bed unit admitting critically ill patients from all medical services. The unit is directed by Dr. Ellen Burnham from the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care in the Department of Medicine. Patient care is managed by a multidisciplinary critical care team, led by an attending intensivist from the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine.

The MICU population includes a diverse pulmonary critical care and subspecialty medical critical care patient population.

Neurology / Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit (NeuroICU)

The UCH NeuroICU is a 24-bed unit admitting critically ill patients with primary neurological illnesses and those from the neurosurgical service. The unit is directed by Dr. Robert Neumann from the Department of Neurosurgery. Patient care is managed by a multidisciplinary critical care team, led by an attending intensivist from the Department of Neurosurgery.

The NeuroICU population includes patients affected by neurologic conditions including hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic CVA, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, meningitis and encephalitis, and postoperative patients following intracranial and major spine surgery. The NeuroICU also cares for patients with primary neurotrauma.

Ultrasound and Echocardiography Education

The ultrasound and echocardiography curriculum includes one block of time dedicated to point-of-care ultrasound education and a longitudinal curriculum extending throughout the fellowship. The curriculum is designed to provide formal training in point-of-care ultrasound, including both transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, lung and abdominal ultrasound, and ultrasound for procedural guidance. Education includes a didactic program, echocardiography simulator, and bedside application as well as monthly ultrasound conferences. Teaching is provided by board certified and expert faculty from the Departments of Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine and the Division of Cardiology.

Academic Medicine / Research Education

The academic block provides time for fellows to explore and develop a career path in academic medicine. This block builds on the Career Development Curriculum​ outlined below and provides opportunities in medical education, quality improvement and patient safety, and research. Intensivists from the University of Colorado Department of Anesthesiology and critical care colleagues from the Departments of Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, and Medicine have expertise and are national leaders in each of these academic foci.

All fellows interested in research, opportunities are available in basic, translational, and clinical research categories. The intensivist group within the Department of Anesthesiology has multiple funded researchers focused on post-operative pain, delirium, respiratory function, surgical outcomes, critical care quality improvement and patient safety.  In the first month of the fellowship year, fellows will meet with the Program Director and Director of Research for the fellowship and be guided to a specific project and research mentor.​

Career Development Curriculum​

The fellowship includes an innovative career development curriculum designed to prepare fellows for a career in academic medicine. This longitudinal curriculum is targeted to three areas of focus: teaching and education, quality improvement and leadership, and research and scholarship. Each component will include didactic education and experiential learning. Teaching faculty include experts from the Academy of Medical Educators and Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety, and Efficiency. Formal certifications and scholarship from this curriculum will be utilized to build a portfolio for faculty application and interviews.

The two-year critical care fellowship for Emergency Medicine graduates is designed to provide a comprehensive education in multidisciplinary critical care education. The training program is compliant with ACGME and American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) guidelines and graduates are eligible for critical care board certification from the combined ABA and American Board of Emergency Medicine. The two-year fellowship will be divided into 26 four-week blocks and is designed to complement core residency education and prepare graduates to work in a variety of critical care settings.​

The curriculum includes 17 blocks of core critical care training and is designed to provide fellows with an extensive experience in several subspecialized critical care units. All critical care teams at University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) are led by an attending intensivist and team members include: fellows, residents, advanced practice providers, nurses, respiratory, therapists, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and social workers. The Swedish Hospital rotation provides fellows with an experience in community practice intensive care within a large multispecialty intensive care unit. Rotations are divided as follows:

Surgical-Trauma Intensive Care Unit: 4 blocks
Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unity: 4 blocks
Medical Intensive Care Unit: 4 blocks
Neuro/Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit: 3 blocks
Burn Intensive Care Unit: 1 block
Community Practice Multispecialty Intensive Care Unit: 1 block

Non-core ICU rotations are designed to supplement critical care fellowship education and include the following rotations:

Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: 1 block
Palliative Care/Nutrition/Infections Disease/Dialysis: 2 blocks total (2 weeks/rotation) 
Ultrasound and Echocardiography: 1 block
Critical Care Research: 2 blocks

The remaining 3 blocks are elective and can be used for an additional ICU rotations, additional transesophageal echocardiography experience, subspecialty rotations (ex. heart failure, transplant surgery, palliative care, or infectious disease), or additional dedicated research time.

Detailed information on ICU and non-ICU rotations are listed below:

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU)

The UCH CTICU is a 17-bed unit admitting patients from cardiac and thoracic surgery services.  The unit is co-directed by Drs. Breandan Sullivan and David Fullerton from the Departments of Anesthesiology and Surgery, respectively.  Patient care is managed by a multidisciplinary critical care team, led by an attending intensivist from the Department of Anesthesiology or Surgery.

The CTICU population includes patients undergoing heart and lung transplantation, placement of mechanical circulatory support devices, coronary revascularization and valve surgery, aortic reconstructive surgery, and major open thoracic surgery.  The CTICU is also home to all patients managed with veno-venous and veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Surgical-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU)

The UCH STICU is a 24-bed unit admitting patients from multiple surgical services including: general surgery, surgical oncology, trauma and acute care surgery, transplant, ENT, orthopedics, plastics, gynecologic oncology, and vascular surgery services.

The STICU population most commonly includes patients undergoing trauma and emergency surgery, transplant surgery, major oncologic surgery, and those with severe perioperative complications.  Patients in fulminant hepatic failure are also managed in the STICU.  University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) is a verified Level 1 Trauma Center and is home to the largest Liver Transplantation Program in the region.

Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)

The UCH MICU is a 24-bed unit admitting critically ill patients from all medical services. The unit is directed by Dr. Ellen Burnham from the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care in the Department of Medicine. Patient care is managed by a multidisciplinary critical care team, led by an attending intensivist from the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine.

The MICU population includes a diverse pulmonary critical care and subspecialty medical critical care patient population.

Neurology / Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit (NeuroICU)

The UCH NeuroICU is a 24-bed unit admitting critically ill patients with primary neurological illnesses and those from the neurosurgical service. The unit is directed by Dr. Robert Neumann from the Department of Neurosurgery. Patient care is managed by a multidisciplinary critical care team, led by an attending intensivist from the Department of Neurosurgery.

The NeuroICU population includes patients affected by neurologic conditions including hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic CVA, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, meningitis and encephalitis, and postoperative patients following intracranial and major spine surgery. The NeuroICU also cares for patients with primary neurotrauma.

Ultrasound and Echocardiography Education

The ultrasound and echocardiography curriculum includes one block of time dedicated to point-of-care ultrasound education and a longitudinal curriculum extending throughout the fellowship. The curriculum is designed to provide formal training in point-of-care ultrasound, including both transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, lung and abdominal ultrasound, and ultrasound for procedural guidance. Education includes a didactic program, echocardiography simulator, and bedside application as well as monthly ultrasound conferences. Teaching is provided by board certified and expert faculty from the Departments of Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine and the Division of Cardiology.

Academic Medicine / Research Education

The academic block provides time for fellows to explore and develop a career path in academic medicine.  This block builds on the Career Development Curriculum outlined below and provides opportunities in medical education, quality improvement and patient safety, and research.  Intensivists from the University of Colorado Department of Anesthesiology and critical care colleagues from the Departments of Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, and Medicine have expertise and are national leaders in each of these academic foci.

For fellows interested in research, opportunities are available in basic, translational, and clinical research categories. The intensivist group within the Department of Anesthesiology has multiple funded researchers focused on post-operative pain, delirium, respiratory function, surgical outcomes, critical care quality improvement and patient safety.  In the first month of the fellowship year, fellows will meet with the Program Director and Director of Research for the fellowship and be guided to a specific project and research mentor.​

Career Development Curriculum​

The fellowship includes an innovative career development curriculum designed to prepare fellows for a career in academic medicine. This longitudinal curriculum is targeted to three areas of focus: teaching and education, quality improvement and leadership, and research and scholarship. Each component will include didactic education and experiential learning. Teaching faculty include experts from the Academy of Medical Educators and Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety, and Efficiency. Formal certifications and scholarship from this curriculum will be utilized to build a portfolio for faculty application and interviews.  The 2nd year of the fellowship will provide additional time and opportunities to further build and refine an academic career.

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