Fellowship Overview

Critical Care Hospital at night - VCU

 

The Anesthesiology Critical Care Fellowship program at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (formerly known as Medical College of Virginia) provides one year of comprehensive, multidisciplinary training in critical care medicine for up to two ACCM Fellows per year. Fellows will benefit from caring for a wide range of critically ill patients while working closely with our diverse and highly trained faculty at a leading academic medical center which boasts: a Level 1 trauma center, accredited burn center, solid organ transplantation service, the regional leader in mechanical circulatory support, and a comprehensive stroke center. Furthermore, Richmond, Virginia, on the James River is an attractively sized, dynamic city, with lots of green spaces and beautiful weather. It is an affordable place to live with easy accessibility to Washington, DC., Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks, and mountains for hiking.

Letter from Fellowship Program Leadership

James River - bridge at sunset

Thank you for your interest in critical care medicine training at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCUHS) in Richmond, Virginia. We know that you have many options when it comes to critical care training, and we believe we offer a clinical experience and educational curriculum that will prepare our graduates for a successful career in critical care medicine. VCUHS is a 1,125-bed tertiary referral center with a full complement of inpatient consultants and outpatient clinics.

Our multidisciplinary critical care faculty is composed of physicians from many different specialties, including Anesthesiology, General Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Emergency Medicine, and Internal Medicine. This breadth of experience allows our fellows to learn from a variety of different viewpoints, which will make them more well-rounded physicians. The patient population we serve is challenging, and includes patients undergoing emergent evaluation for ECMO or other durable mechanical circulatory support devices. We work with the surgical teams in each ICU to provide consistent and patient-centered care to these patients throughout their perioperative period. The core faculty is comprised of critical care fellowship-trained anesthesiologists, who have unique insight into the perioperative period, given their experience in both the operating rooms and the ICUs.  

Our fellows rotate in various ICUs across the health system, and will take on a leadership role in each of them. This includes the Cardiac Surgery ICU, the Surgical ICU, the Trauma Burn ICU, the Transplant ICU, the Neurosciences ICU, and the Medical Respiratory ICU. We acknowledge that our fellows may arrive here with career interests already in mind, and therefore we offer a wide variety of electives to enhance the learning experience. One of our unique opportunities is a two-week rotation at Vibra Hospital of Richmond, a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) where each fellow will learn to lead a critical care consultant service. This LTACH delivers physical therapy and rehabilitation to those patients who still require some invasive medical support (hemodialysis, ventilators) but do not require full-time ICU level of care, with a focus on the management of complex patients in a private practice setting where emergency medical resources are limited.  

We believe we offer a unique training opportunity, accessibly located on the East Coast, a short drive from Washington, DC, the mountains, and the ocean. We invite you to explore the website and to reach out with any questions or requests for more information!

Warm regards,

Megan Rashid, MD, Program Director

Rami Maarouf, MD, Assistant Program Director

Keira Johnson, Program Coordinator

Clinical Experience

Door of VCUHS Critical Care HospitalEach of the ICUs specializes in a specialized patient population. The Cardiac Surgery ICU (CSICU) at VCU Health System houses all postoperative cardiac surgery patients, as well as complicated and/or emergent thoracic surgery and vascular surgery patients. VCU performs over 1,500 cardiac and thoracic surgery cases annually, as well as almost 800 vascular procedures. In addition, VCU is a regional leader in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), with 40-60 adults annually requiring this intervention, and is one of the few centers in the world where a patient can receive a total artificial heart.

In addition, VCU Health System is a Level I trauma center verified in adult, pediatric, and burn trauma care, which admits over 3,000 patients and performs over 2,000 acute care surgeries annually. The Surgical Trauma ICU (STICU) sees the sickest patients from the trauma population, as well as postoperative surgical patients of the rest of the subspecialties – acute care surgery, transplant surgery, surgical oncology, colorectal surgery, urology, otolaryngology, gastrointestinal/bariatrics, orthopedics, obstetrics, and any other surgical subspecialty requiring admission to an ICU. Our transplant surgeons performed around 450 transplants last year, and are on track to exceed that number this year. The Evans-Haynes Burn Center is the oldest civilian burn center in the US, and admits over 500 patients annually.

The Neurosciences ICU (NSICU) has more than 2,500 admissions annually, comprising of neurosurgical patients, neurology patients, and trauma patients. The VCU Stroke Center has held the Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award for stroke measures and stroke quality from the American Heart Association every year since 2011. The patients in the NSICU are managed collaboratively with a neurocritical care team, neurology teams, and neurosurgical teams, working together to diagnose and manage critically ill patients with acute neurological conditions.

We offer numerous electives, listed below, but since VCUHS has many consultant groups, these are just a starting point and are flexible, depending on the interests of the individual fellow. One unique opportunity is a 2-week rotation at Vibra Hospital of Richmond, which is a local long term acute care hospital that serves patients who require extended hospitalization for complex medical issues such as prolonged ventilator weaning, physical rehabilitation, and wound care. Here, our faculty run a consultant service, working closely with the hospitalists and respiratory therapists to advance these patients’ care. In addition, a 2-week Palliative Care rotation is required, given the importance of these discussions to a critical care physician. A 2-week Resource Intensivist rotation is also offered, during which the fellow is part of the rapid response team, acting as critical care consultants throughout the hospital.

  • Required electives
    • Palliative Care
    • Vibra Hospital of Richmond
  • Other electives
    • Bedside Ultrasound
    • Cardiology
    • Infectious Disease Medicine
    • Nephrology
    • Nutrition
    • Research
    • Resource intensivist
    • Transesophageal Echocardiography
    • Others as requested by fellow

How to Apply

VCUHS utilizes the San Francisco Match program. For more information regarding timelines and registration, please visit the SF Match Website. This fellowship is open to board-eligible or board-certified anesthesiologists and emergency medicine physicians (who would require a two-year commitment. If this is the case, please indicate your intention in your personal statement). The completed application packet should include the following and eventually be uploaded to SF Match website:

  • SF Match Central Application Service (CAS) application, to include the following:
    • Personal statement
    • Three letters of reference
      • One must be from a training Program Director or Chair and the others from objective physicians (with one preferably from an intensivist) who have direct personal knowledge of your skills and ethics

 

Please send all application documentation to:

Program Coordinator: Keira Johnson - Lkeira.johnson@vcuhealth.org

Phone: 804-828-9845

Fax: 804-828-8300

 

Program Contact Information:

VCU Health System

Department of Anesthesiology

Box 980695

1200 East Broad Street

West Hospital, 7th Floor, North Wing, Room 7-102

Richmond, Virginia 23298-0695