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Department of Surgery

Department of Surgery

Surgical critical care

surgical critical care

Surgical Critical Care
at UC Davis

Surgical critical care fellowship accredited by ACGME


The Medical School and Department of Surgery of the University of California, Davis, offer advanced training in surgical critical care in a fellowship accredited by the American Committee for Graduate Medical Education and the Residency Review Committee for Surgery. The Surgical Critical Care fellowship was most recently reevaluated in 2010 by the ACGME and provided a full five-year accreditation and awarded a special commendation for the program quality. Two positions are offered and the fellowship is designed to last for one year. Those with a desire for additional training or interests in basic science or clinical research may elect to continue for an additional year.  Fellows will qualify to sit for the American Board of Surgery's Certificate of Added Qualifications in Surgical Critical Care.

UC Davis Medical Center, Department of Surgery

The UC Davis Medical Center is the only academic, tertiary care referral center for all of inland Northern California. The Department of Surgery provides comprehensive service for complex surgical problems in gastrointestinal, vascular, oncologic and endocrine surgery. There are active clinical and academic programs in both pediatric and adult cardiac surgery. The 631-bed hospital also contains the only Burn Unit in the area and is the sole Level I trauma center for a catchment population of over two million people. The medical center has critical care units dedicated to neonatology, pediatrics, medicine, cardiology, burns, neurosurgery, general and vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and trauma. There are a total of over 100 intensive care unit beds, which is a reflection of the medical center's role as a major regional referral center for complex critical care, trauma, and burns.

Programs of the Department of Surgery carry a daily critical care census of 40-70 patients, with a variety of admitting diagnoses:

 Trauma and Emergency Surgery  20-30
 Neurosurgery  6-10
 Cardiothoracic Surgery  6-10
 Gastrointestinal Surgery  3-5
 Vascular Surgery  4-8
 Surgical Oncology  2-6
 Pediatric Surgery  1-4

The trauma service admits approximately 4,000 trauma patients per year. Eighty-five percent are victims of blunt trauma. In addition, the trauma service provides 70% of the emergency general surgery coverage.

Fellowship rotations

Rotations are designed to provide exposure to a range of pathology and critical surgical disease. This includes dedicated time in burn surgery and trauma and emergency surgery. Fellows will also be involved in critical care consultation for patients on the neurosurgery, orthopedic, otorhinolaryngology, urology, gynecology, and cardiothoracic surgery.

The Department of Surgery strongly embraces surgeons being involved with all aspects of critical care management and this philosophy is an underlying principle of the fellowship.

Fellows will work with residents in the Department of Surgery and be responsible for some resident teaching and administrative duties.

Fellows will be expected to participate in clinical research. Active basic science research opportunities are in thrombosis and hemostasis, blood transfusion medicine, immunology, surgical nutrition, and the pathophysiology of shock and resuscitation. Fellows can elect to participate in these basic science endeavors.

We believe that operative experience is valuable in the training of the Surgical Critical Care fellow.  Fellows will take a limited amount of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery call where, as they gain experience, they will then be given the opportunity to work as junior attendings with experienced faculty present as needed.

Research opportunities

Interested fellows are encouraged to participate in both basic science and clinical research. The Department of Surgery operates laboratory facilities at both the Sacramento and Davis campuses. Complete operating room facilities are available for research endeavors and all of the faculty members have ongoing research programs. The research facility at UC Davis Medical Center opened in 1993 and has the capability for cell culture and sophisticated biochemical and immunologic assays as well as large animal facilities including primate studies. Collaborative efforts with basic scientists both at the Sacramento and Davis campuses are possible. The large number of critically ill and injured patients offers unique clinical research opportunities.

The Sacramento area

Sacramento is the capital city of California. The metropolitan area has a population of about 2 million and the referral area represents a population of approximately 6 million. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, the city and surrounding area offer a variety of recreational opportunities. The Sierra Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe are a two hour drive to the east and afford excellent downhill and cross-country skiing. The San Francisco Bay area is a 90 minute drive to the southwest, and the wine producing areas of the Napa and Sonoma valleys are within an hour's drive.

The main UC Davis campus is located in the town of Davis, approximately 15 miles to the west of Sacramento.

Winters in the Sacramento area are relatively mild. Temperatures tend to be in the 40's and 50's and there is a moderate amount of rainfall. Summers are hot with minimal humidity and a cool delta breeze in the evenings. Spring and Fall are temperate and comfortable.

Housing and apartment rental costs are among the most reasonable in California and affordable housing in proximity to the Medical Center is relatively easy to find.

Compensation and benefits

Salary compensation is based on the level of postgraduate training. Paid sick leave, professional liability insurance, and four weeks of paid vacation per year are provided.