Critical Care Anesthesia Fellowship
Edward A. Bittner, MD, PhD, fellowship director
c/o Tina Toland, MHA, program manager
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Near Public Transit
Explore This Fellowship
Massachusetts General Hospital’s Critical Care Anesthesia Fellowship is a 12-month Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited training program, open to eight fellows, that offers extensive clinical training and educational experiences designed to provide each fellow with the opportunity to fulfill the requirements of the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) for subspecialty certification in critical care and to achieve competence in the specialty.
Fellows spend at least nine months providing care to patients in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and supervising residents and medical students under the direction of the critical care attending staff. The fellowship in critical care medicine is based in the multidisciplinary Surgical Intensive Care Units (SICUs) at Mass General. The Ellison 4 SICU is a 20-bed ICU that admits a wide variety of surgical patients. The Blake 12 ICU is an 18-bed multidisciplinary ICU.
During the three months of fellowship not spent in the ICUs, the fellows have a range of elective choices. Fellows care for a variety of patients including:
- Complex surgical patients transferred from other hospitals
- General surgery and trauma patients
- Medically and critically ill obstetric patients
- Orthopedic patients
- Postoperative vascular patients
- Thoracic patients
- Trauma and liver transplant patients
The ACGME-accredited Critical Care Anesthesia Fellowship is a 12-month program begun after successful completion of an ACGME-accredited anesthesiology or surgical residency program.
The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine (DACCPM) at Mass General follows all minimum selection criteria as delineated in the Institutional Policy on Selection (PDF).
As a prerequisite for entry, all applicants for the fellowship must be a graduate of one of the following:
- American Osteopathic Association (AOA)-accredited medical school
- Medical school listed in the World Health Organization Directory of Medical Schools
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)-accredited medical school
- USMLE completion requirement for clinical trainees
Applicants must have also completed one of the following:
- An ACGME-accredited or AOA-approved residency or in an RCPSC-accredited or CFPC-accredited residency program located in Canada
- The ACGME-accredited Critical Care Anesthesia Fellowship is a 12-month program begun after successful completion of an ACGME-accredited or AOA-approved residency program. Prior to appointment to the program, fellows must have completed an acceptable residency described in anesthesiology or emergency medicine*; or at least three clinical years in an acceptable residency in: neurological surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery or urology. Please check your specialty board for certification information
* Although emergency medicine physicians are eligible to apply to the program, this program is not approved for a two-year fellowship experience that leads to board certification in critical care medicine
All residents, clinical fellows, research fellows and staff who are not United States citizens and do not have a green card must have the appropriate visa in order to receive a Mass General appointment.
For questions regarding processing of visas, please contact:
Mass General’s Critical Care Anesthesia Fellowship is a 12-month training program that provides core experience in two multidisciplinary surgical intensive care units (SICUs) and the cardiac ICU (CSICU). The program offers a wide variety of clinical electives, didactics and research opportunities. All fellows complete the requirements for certification by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA). Our graduates have been successful in securing staff positions in critical care medicine.
A diverse group of guest lecturers are invited each year to speak to fellows on core topics that are important in managing critical care patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). The Fellows' Lecture Series aligns with the recommendations of the ACGME, Society of Critical Care Medicine and the ABA for critical care medicine education. The ICU Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) meetings actively involve fellows’ participation in quality assurance and quality improvement initiatives. The program director also offers a series of lectures to prepare fellows for the critical care board certification exams.
Fellows benefit from a robust, multidisciplinary didactic schedule that includes:
- Anesthesia Grand Rounds
- Ethics Rounds
- Fellows' Lecture Series
- M&M Rounds
- Respiratory Rounds
- SICU Fellows’ Journal Club
- Trauma Conference and Trauma Rounds
- Ultrasound Curriculum
The core curriculum of the fellowship covers all of the major aspects of the art and science of critical care. Fellows encounter the entire spectrum of critical care patients, working in multiple ICUs with a wealth of clinical material. Fellows gain experience and training in the following areas:
- Biostatistics and experimental design
- Cardio-respiratory resuscitation
- Critical obstetric and gynecologic disorders
- Ethical and legal aspects of critical care
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Hematologic and coagulation disorders
- Infectious diseases
- Monitoring and medical instrumentation
- Neurological impairment
- Pharmacokinetics and dynamics of drug metabolism and excretion in critical illness
- Principles and techniques of administration and management
- Renal failure
- Respiratory failure
- Trauma, thermal, electrical and radiation injury
Specific electives may be structured by the fellow, under the supervision of the fellowship director, to suit the fellow's particular academic interests and needs. Examples of common elective choices are:
- Blood bank/laboratory medicine
- Burn ICU
- Coronary Care Unit
- Hyperbaric medicine
- Infectious disease
- Medical ICU
- Neonatal ICU
- Neuroscience intensive care
- Pediatric intensive care medicine
- Pulmonary Critical Care Unit
- Research and academic projects
- Respiratory ICU
Fellows take an active role in teaching, conducting rounds and participating in research projects. Fellows supervise the residents in all aspects of the ICU patients and are, in turn, supervised by ICU attendings. Each morning, the fellow coordinates activities and plans with the surgical teams and consultants and conducts morning ICU work and teaching rounds together with the staff physician. The balance of the fellows’ workday is spent providing care to the patients in the unit, supervising all procedures, meeting with primary care physicians, resident teams and consultants and doing his/her own reading and research.
Each fellow participates in a night shift system scheduled in one-week blocks throughout the year, supervising the care provided by the ICU resident who spends the night in the unit and returns to the hospital for any issues that require his/her physical presence. The fellow is on duty for the unit an average of one weekend per month.
The fellow is also leader of the Emergency Airway Consult Service team, which provides urgent overnight airway management for patients throughout the hospital. The team leader also performs elective intubations, invasive procedures and consultations.
Fellows will spend one-to-two months in the high-acuity, multidisciplinary, 20-bed CSICU. The CSICU cares for a wide range of patients recovering from cardiac surgical procedures including:
- Aortic dissection repairs
- Coronary artery bypass grafting
- Heart and lung transplantations
- Repair of adult congenital heart lesions
- Valve replacements
The unit also provides care for the management of patients with advanced heart failure including those patients on long-term mechanical support (ventricular assist devices), temporary mechanical support (Impella®), patients undergoing tailored inotrope therapy and patients on extracorporeal life support (ECMO/ECLS). Fellows will participate in the management of complicated patients presenting for the broad spectrum of cardiovascular critical care. Goals for this rotation include:
- Understanding of the management and recovery of cardiac surgical patients
- Understanding of the management and troubleshooting of mechanical circulatory support
- Improvement in transthoracic cardiac ultrasound skills
Basic and clinical research is an important ongoing activity and an integral component of the mission at Mass General. More than 80% of fellows choose to pursue an academic career at the conclusion of their fellowship. Examples of recent research projects conducted by our faculty include:
- Basic science studies and interventional clinical research in sepsis, shock and ARDS
- Novel devices engineering, drug testing and non-pharmacological approached to prevent ventilator-assisted pneumonia
- Lung-heart physiological descriptive studies
How to Apply
Selection to the fellowship is highly competitive. Only completed applications are reviewed. The deadline for completed applications is March 1. Interviews will be conducted around March to May.
- A copy of your medical school transcript
- A current curriculum vitae. Please use exact dates for education in MM/DD/YYYY format
Documents should be submitted electronically with the following naming convention (first five letters of last name, first initial, document type) For example:
All documents should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org to the attention of:
Edward A. Bittner, MD, PhD, fellowship director
c/o Tina Toland, program manager
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital
The Mass General Critical Care Anesthesia Fellowship is participating in the SF Match. Registration for the 2021-2022 academic year opens on November 4, 2019. Match Day is March 26, 2020.