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Fellowship Program Information

Introduction

The Fellowship program at the University of Florida Division of Vascular Surgery is a fully accredited two-year training program in vascular surgery matching one Fellow per year alternating with two fellows per year. All fellows are matched through the NRMP.  The Division provides all the vascular services for the University of Florida-Shands Hospital and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center.  The Fellow’s clinical experience is obtained at Shands Hospital and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center.

Professional attitudes highly valued by this program include complete dedication to patient care, the ability to make sound ethical and scientific judgments in the care of patients, a scholarly mind set and dedication to life long learning, the ability to work well with others and to become part of a team, and the capacity for hard work with a positive attitude.  The residents in this program are expected to teach and share knowledge with colleagues, students and other health care providers.  Critical thinking based on a thorough reading of the available literature and respect for the cultural, religious, and individual preferences of the patient and family will be the basis for decisions made that affect the lives of patients.  The well-trained surgeon must be aware of the cost and societal implications of decisions and be able to adapt to the evolving health care system in this country.

Educational Mission Statement

Our mission is to produce a modern vascular surgeon with the necessary technical skills in open vascular surgery and endovascular therapies in order to independently handle the entire gamut of vascular pathologies.  These technical skills are backed by a broad knowledge base of the fundamentals of vascular literature through a structured program of didactic and interactive case conferences.  The Fellowship program has been designed to accommodate applicants with future interests in either academic vascular surgery or private practice and past graduates have been successful in both arenas.  

Our Graduates

Past Fellows Current Position
2013 Alyson Waterman Academics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2012 Alexis D. Jacob Private Practice, San Antonio, TX
2012 Arne M. Olsen Private Practice, Amarillo, TX
2011 Brett A. Almond Private Practice, St. Petersberg, FL
2010 Kevin J. Bruen Private Practice, Billings, MT
2009 Daniel J. Martin Private Practice, Albany, GA
2008 Robert J. Feezor Faculty, University of Florida
2007 Michael Brown Private Practice, Inverness, FL
2006 Seth Fritcher Private Practice, San Antonio, TX
2005 Majid Tayyarah Private Practice, Fontana, CA
2004 Peter Paik Private Practice, Redwood City, CA
2003 Charles Bouch Private Practice, CA
2002 Jesus Jimenez Private Practice, Miami, FL
2001 Burress Welborn Private Practice, Huntsville, AL
2000 Henry Pretus Private Practice, New Orleans, LA
1999 Timur Sarac Faculty, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
1998 Martin Back Faculty, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
1997 Robert Engles Private Practice, Montgomery, AL

 

Educational Program

The Fellowship program is primarily clinical in nature, although exposure to ongoing basic science research is offered.  Additionally, there is a strong expectation of clinical research productivity, culminating in publication.  The two years of the program is divided into six 4-month blocks.  For each 4-month block, the Fellow rotates as either the Endovascular Fellow at Shands, the Clinical Vascular Surgical Fellow at Shands, or the VAMC Fellow.  In essence, the trainee performs dedicated blocks of endovascular and open surgical cases, although this delineation is not as distinct in the modern vascular practice.  Call is shared evenly between the three Fellows.

Endovascular Fellow

The Endovascular Fellow is expected to participate in every diagnostic and therapeutic endovascular procedure performed at the Shands.  The caseload at Shands is rich with both aortic as well as diagnostic and therapeutic peripheral endovascular work  (in the last 12 months, the Division has performed over 500 diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including over 200 endovascular repairs of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms).  We anticipate this volume to grow 10% per year over the next several years.  Furthermore, all procedures at Shands are done in a dedicated OR-compatible endovascular suite and we are currently planning for construction of a second suite in the next two years.  All Fellows will be given personalized, custom-fitted lead aprons and glasses at the start of their Fellowship.

Clinical Vascular Surgical Fellow

During the four-month Vascular Surgical Fellowship block, the Fellow will be responsible for all the open vascular surgical cases performed at Shands Hospital.  As there is only a single vascular service and no other competing senior general surgery residents, the Fellow is free to pick and choose the cases that s/he wishes to perform, although it is expected that s/he participate in the more complex reconstructions.  In the recent past, each Fellow had performed over 400 Category I (index) major vascular reconstructions.  The RRC has consistently placed the Vascular Surgery residency at the University of Florida in the 90%-ile for aortic aneurysms (including suprarenal), mesenteric/renal revascularization, aortofemoral reconstruction, and complex lower extremity bypass.

VAMC Fellow

The VAMC Fellow will be responsible for the bulk of the endovascular caseload at the VAMC.   He or she will serve as a resource for the chief resident of the service (a PGY-4), and will substitute as the service chief when the resident is away.  However, daily management decisions regarding the patients will be the primary responsibility of the general surgery chief.  The VAMC has allocated funds to establish its own endovascular suite which will greatly increase the endovascular volume. 

During the four-month block, the VAMC Fellow will also participate in our ICAVL-accredited, non-invasive vascular laboratory and obtain hands-on training in the performance of physiological and duplex ultrasound examinations and interpretation of these studies with our RVT staff, sufficient to qualify for RVT examination and certification.

Additionally, the VAMC Fellow will participate in the Vein Center once weekly.  The remaining time will be spent in the Outpatient/Endovascular Clinic and completion of various clinical research projects.  At the conclusion of the two years, the Fellow is expected to present at least 2 abstracts at the annual meetings of the regional or national vascular societies and submit 2 manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

BLOCK DIAGRAM OF ROTATIONS 

Year 1: Jul-Oct

Year 1:Nov-Feb

Year 1: Mar-Jun

Endovascular

Open Vascular

VAMC

 

Year 2: Jul-Oct

Year 2:Nov-Feb

Year 2: Mar-Jun

Endovascular

Open Vascular

VAMC

 

Conference Schedules

Residents are required to attend all conferences. The only exception is when the resident is out of town. The conference program is designed to provide a didactic and interactive forum to augment the resident’s reading and clinical experience.  Failure to attend conferences limits the resident’s ability to be exposed to the wide breadth of problems seen in vascular surgical practice.  Residents must be on time for conferences and it is requested that residents turn down the volume on their beepers or put them on vibrator mode if possible so that there is the least disruption to the speaker when the resident is paged.  Residents will be called upon to present at conferences regularly and should spend the necessary time to be well prepared.

Departmental Conferences

Morbidity and Mortality Conference – Wednesday morning at 6:45 AM.  All residents are required to attend.  The format is case presentations by chief residents on the general surgery services, plastic surgery and vascular surgery and includes special presentations of interesting cases. The yearly schedule is available on the Department of Surgery website.

Morbidity and Mortality Conference Schedule

Grand Rounds – Wednesday at 7:15 AM.  All residents are required to attend Surgery Grand Rounds.  Format includes lectures, case presentations and visiting professors. The yearly schedule is available on the Department of Surgery website.
Grand Rounds Conference Schedule

Vascular Surgery Service Conferences

The Divisional conferences are held alternating Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6 PM, and every Friday morning from 7 AM until 8:30 AM. Attendance is mandatory and punctuality is expected.  Assigned readings and conference topic schedules are distributed well in advance.  All residents – both at the VA and at Shands are expected to attend.

Rutherford/Journal Club – This conference is held weekly and chapters from Rutherford are provided.  Topic-based articles are selected and assigned for review by the faculty based in part on the Clinical and Basic Science curricula, developed by the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery.  The major topics in this curriculum are covered over a 24-month period.

Shands / VA Morbidity and Mortality Conference – This conference occurs the 4th Friday of every month.  The format is a discussion amongst faculty, staff, vascular surgery residents, and residents, and is designed to identify areas where patient care could be improved.  It is our practice to review the list of all complications and discuss a select few. Both the VAMC and Shands services participate.

Vascular Pre-op Conference – This conference normally occurs every Friday at 7 AM, except the 4th Friday of every month, when the conference block is used for the Morbidity and Mortality conference.  This interactive preoperative conference provides the chief resident on the VA Vascular service (PGY-IV) and vascular surgery residents on both the Shands and VAMC services a chance to present upcoming cases and discuss the surgical management options.  The faculty then question the presenters in an interactive, oral board format with a strong emphasis on evidence-based decisions.

Research Conference – This conferences meets at least monthly to update the faculty and vascular surgery residents of ongoing research endeavors within the division, both of a basic science nature as well as clinical research.  Additionally, the vascular surgery residents and residents who are looking for projects in which to participate are encouraged to bring ideas and potential study designs for presentation to the group at large.  Lastly, residents and vascular surgery residents slated to give talks at upcoming meetings are expected to give their presentation to the Division for critique.

VQI Conference – This is a monthly roundtable discussion of the quality initiatives that are ongoing within the Division of Vascular Surgery, most notably the Florida-Georgia Vascular Quality Initiative.

Vascular Lab Conference- This was designed as a reflection of a perceived area of opportunity to strengthen the fellowship.  The conference consists of a set curriculum of core vascular lab topics as well as interesting and current cases using vascular ultrasound. At the conclusion of the 12 month cycle, each resident will be able to successfully take and pass the RPVI examination.  A textbook is provided to each resident.

JVS Conference- This conference goes over selected articles from the current month’s Journal of Vascular Surgery. The articles will be distributed well in advance. Each fellow is provided a complimentary subscription to JVS.

Living in Gainesville

Gainesville offers all the benefits of a small, college town, including great college sports, low cost housing within minutes of the hospital, no rush-hour traffic, ethnic diversity, University-sponsored cultural activities, good schools and a safe environment for families with children. Gainesville is ideally situated within 1-1½ hours to the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean, and 2 hours to Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa. The weather is almost perfect for nearly 9 months of the year, with 2 months of hot and 1 month of cool temperatures. Outdoor activities are popular and opportunities are plentiful for cycling, mountain biking, swimming, hiking, and canoeing, just to name a few.

We hope you have found this brief overview of our Fellowship program helpful and informative.  You undoubtedly still have many questions and we hope that we will have the opportunity to meet and answer them in person.