Surgical Critical Care Fellowship

About the Program

Thank you for your interest in our Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Our fellowship is a one-year, ACGME accredited program offered by the Division of Acute Care Surgery, which consists of a core curriculum in the Surgical & Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (SNICU). Upon completion of the fellowship, you can be Surgical Critical Care Board eligible with the American Board of Surgery.   

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is an American College of Surgeons accredited Level 1 Trauma Center with annual trauma admission greater than 2000, an American Burn Association accredited Level 1 Burn Treatment Center, and a state-of-the-art Emergency Treatment Center as well as all specialties in medicine and their associated residency programs. The UIHC holds over 800 inpatient beds, including 128 ICU beds.


The mission of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship is to provide an environment of education used to development technical skills and gain in-depth knowledge necessary to care for critically ill patients. Critical care fellows from anesthesiology, emergency medicine as well as surgery receive advanced clinical training in an integrated environment. This training program employs a mix of hands-on clinical experience, interactive workshops, medical simulation and didactic education.


The Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program aims to provide hands-on clinical experience and advanced instruction in the following:

  • Management of shock, sepsis, acute respiratory failure, acute kidney injury, acute neurological conditions and other critical illness syndromes.
  • Pathophysiology of critical illness, including advanced cardiopulmonary physiology, hemodynamic and neurological monitoring, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and neurophysiology.
  • Care of patients with multisystem organ failure, acute infection, traumatic injury and post-surgical critical illness.
  • Communication skills, including patient and family interaction, end-of-life cares, and care of the geriatric patient.
  • Mechanical ventilation, extra-corporeal life support, and point-of-care ultrasound.
  • ICU procedures including endotracheal intubation, central venous catheterization and chest tube placement.

The Surgical Critical Care Fellowship provides an outstanding exposure to complex surgical critical care and development of administrative skills that will allow the fellows to emerge into a leadership role upon completion.

PDF iconPolicy for Eligibility, Selection & Transfer at UIHC, Stipends, Disability Accommodation, etc
PDF iconSample Appointment Contract
PDF iconVisa Requirements

ACGME Program Requirements
University of Iowa Policies

Schedule Requirements

As required by the ACGME, all trainees will spend at least 8 blocks in the SNICU, and then rotate to other intensive care units which provide extended educational experiences suited to the need of the fellow. Each trainee will be required to complete a minimum of 10 blocks of time in the critical care setting, 2 blocks of time in elective unit, with one block of time reserved for vacation (3 weeks) and meetings (1 week).

In addition to the SNICU, other ICU rotations include: MICU, PICU, NICU, and CVICU.

Elective rotations include: Burn, Infectious Disease Consults, Pulmonary/Bronchoscopy, ECHO Lab, Nephrology Consult, Trauma, Emergency General Surgery, Anesthesia, Vascular Lab and Research.

Sample Block Schedule: (Each Block = 4 Weeks)

Block Rotation
Block 1 SNICU
Block 2 Trauma/Burn
Block 3 SNICU
Block 4 MICU
Block 5 SNICU
Block 6 PICU
Block 7 SNICU
Block 8 SNICU
Block 9 SNICU
Block 10 SNICU
Block 11 SNICU
Block 12 ECHO Lab
Block 13 VAC

Education Curriculum

A robust, structured didactic curriculum is offered to create a rich educational environment, including lectures, selected readings, hands-on courses, journal club and M&M conference. Fellows are required to attend a didactic series of lectures given by SNICU staff as well as local and national experts in critical care. Fellows lead SNICU/CVICU M&M and SNICU/CVICU Journal Club monthly, and are expected to attend Department of Surgery M&M as well as Acute Care Surgery Journal Club and Acute Care Surgery Research meetings. Fellows will also participate in providing a Grand Rounds presentation for the Department of Surgery. Fellows are part of the SNICU management meeting along with all staffs involved in ICU patient care to discuss the operational business of the ICU and the issues related to patient care.

There is a wide variety of texts provided to the Surgical Critical Care fellow including the Department of Anesthesia Library and the University of Iowa Hardin Medical Library. In addition, there is a well-developed internet library of electronic textbooks and journals available at every computer within the SNICU. Also in the SNICU, there are a total of 127 titles as well as 13 journal subscriptions.

Ultrasound Course: The fellows will participate in a 2-day ultrasound course hosted by the University of Iowa. 

Regional/National Conferences: The fellowship program sponsors attendance at one critical-care related meetings which could include EAST, Mattox TCCACS and Society of Critical Care Medicine annual meeting. In addition to attending a meeting, the program will provide a critical care textbook such as Surgical Critical Care and Emergency General Surgery. 

Inservice Exam: Fellows take the SCCM MCCKAP exam annually. 

Ecmo Elective Rotation: For fellows with an interest in ECMO, we have developed an experience that continues throughout their year of training.  Early in the fellowship year, there is a formal didactic program that will introduce them to the physiology and management of ECMO patients.  Throughout the year, they may participate in ECMO call, evaluating and managing patients requiring veno-venous (V-V) and veno-arterial (V-A) ECMO support.  Participating fellows will also participate in the quality improvement process, helping review indications and complications at our regularly scheduled ECMO Conference.   

Additional Training offered at the University of Iowa:
Fundamentals of Critical Care Support (FCCS) Course

Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Course

Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) Course

Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET) Course 


Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

The Division of Acute Care Surgery is a dedicated team whose expertise in education, research, clinical and operative experience spans the entire field of Trauma, Burn, Emergency General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. We are dedicated to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our Division and our training programs. 

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

Fellow Academic Projects

Scholarly activity is actively encouraged for fellows in the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program. A number of research projects are currently in progress within the Acute Care Surgery Division, and a requirement for each fellow in the program is to complete at least one academic project through research or quality improvement to be presented towards the completion of training. Fellows are also asked to participate in presenting a Department of Surgery Grand Rounds. 

Research & Scholarly Activity by Surgical Critical Care Fellows:

  • Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
  • 2021-2022 Pentobarbital Coma Quality Improvement Project
  • UIHC Rib Fracture Protocol
  • ICU Quick Reaction Checklist (QRC) Guide


Center for Procedureal Skills & Simulation

Institutional for Clinical & Transitional Science

Carver College of Medicine Research

Human Subjects Office 

Fellow Life


How to Apply

Applications can be submitted for the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics through the Surgical Critical Care & Acute Care Surgery Fellowship Application Service (SAFAS). The 2024-2025 application submission opens March 1, 2023 and interviews are conducted on two separate dates, finishing up first week of August. The Fellowship Program participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) with results September 6, 2023. 

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements for the NRMP, all interested applications must also match the eligibility requirements based on the ACGME Guidelines which include:

  • All required clinical education for entry into ACGME-accredited fellowship programs must be completed in an ACGME-accredited residency program, an AOA-approved residency program, a program with ACGME International (ACGME-I) Advanced Specialty Accreditation, or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency program located in Canada. Eligibility for ABMS or AOA Board certification may not be satisfied by fellowship training.
  • Prior to appointment in the program, fellows must have completed at least three clinical years in an ACGME-accredited or AOA-accredited graduate medical education program in one of the following specialties: anesthesiology, emergency medicine, neurological surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, or urology.

American Board of Surgery Certification

Medical specialty certification in the United States is a voluntary process which serves multiple purposes for the trainee and the public.

Certification is:

  • one mission of the training program to produce trainees who meet board eligibility criteria;
  • distinguishes a physician as someone with a distinct level of expertise;
  • provides more opportunities when applying for employment;
  • presents resources and tools by the ABMS;
  • a commitment to life-long improvement for providing the best patient care; and
  • elevates physicians into the ranks of doctors committed to the highest standards of healthcare.

For more information visit the American Board of Surgery's website regarding the Surgical Critical Care Certifying Examination.

Our People

Patrick McGonagill, MD

Program Director, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program


Kevin Huang, MD

Associate Program Director, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program


Tara Maurer

Program Coordinator, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program

Current Fellows 2022-2023

Michael Devries, MD   

Daniel Kohn, DO

Alumni Fellows

  Year Fellow Path
Dan Hallam, MD 2007-2008 Dan Hallam, MD Springfield Clinic, Springfield, IL
Elizabeth Marshall, MD 2008-2009 Elizabeth Marshall, MD St. Peter’s Health Partners, Albany Thoracic & Esophageal Surgery, Albany, NY
Paul Tessmann, MD, PharmD 2009-2010 Paul Tessmann, MD University of North Carolina, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Chapel Hill, ND
Andrew Philip, MD, PhD 2010-2011 Andrew Philip, MD, PhD Genesis Health Group, Surgical Associates, Silvis, IL
Laura Adam, MD 2011-2012 Laura Adam, MD St. Anthony’s Medical Center, St. Louis, MO
Christine Waller, MD 2011-2012 Christine Waller, MD Acute Care Surgery, Gunderson Health System, Lacrosse, WI
Evgeny Arshava, MD 2012-2013 Evgeny Arshava, MD Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa City, IA
Grant Lee, MD 2012-2013 Grant Lee, MD Centra Care River Campus Clinic Surgery, St. Cloud, MN
Claine Judy, DO 2013-2014 Claine Judy, DO

Bingham Memorial Specialty Clinic, Vista, Pocatello, ID

Matthew Wideroff, MD 2013-2014 Matthew Wideroff, MD Regional Health Medical Clinic, Rapid City, SD
Lauren Allan, DO 2014-2015 Lauren Allan, DO Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa City, IA
Stephanie Downing, MD 2014-2015 Stephanie Downing, MD Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI
Melissa Garrett, MD 2015-2016 Melissa Garrett, MD UnityPoint Health, Waterloo, IA
Ashley Lemere, MD 2015-2016 Ashley Lemere, MD Williston General Surgery, Williston, ND
Jennifer Shanklin, MD 2016-2017 Jennifer Shanklin, MD Allina Health Surgical Specialists, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, MN
Sara Herrera, MD 2016-2017 Sara Herrera, MD UP Health System, Marquette, MI
TJ Henry, MD 2017-2018 TJ Henry, MD Great Lakes Surgical Specialists, UPMC Hamot, Erie, PA
Irfan Qureshi, MD 2017-2018 Irfan Qureshi, MD Colorado Plains, Medical Center Ft. Morgan, CO
Suzy Lin, MD 2018-2019 Suzy Lin, MD Cayuga Surgical Specialists, Ithaca, NY
Bradley Demarais, MD 2018-2019 Bradley Demarais, MD  
2019-2020 Leslie Poer, MD San Antonio, TX
2019-2020 Daniel Budreau, MD Aurora Healthcare, Green Bay, WI
2020-2021 Prashant Khullar, MBBS Acute Care Surgery, Edgewood, KY
2020-2021 Cholene Espinoza, MD UW Health, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Madison, WI
2021-2022 Sally Smith, DO General Surgery Resident, University of Iowa   
2021-2022 John Popovich, MD MercyOne General Surgery, Des Moines, IA  


Faculty Members

Robert Bertellotti, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery

Luis Garcia, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery 

Kevin Huang, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery

Vishnu Mani, MBBS 

Clinical Assistant Professor

Patrick McGonagill, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery 

Kristen Sihler, MD

Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery

Dionne Skeete, MD

Clinical Professor of Surgery

Annika Storey, DO

Clinical Assistant Professor

Lucy Wibbenmeyer, MD

Clinical Professor of Surgery


To view all faculty members within the Department of Surgery, please visit the Department's website

Contact Us

Patrick McGonagill, MD, FACS
Clinical Associate Professor
Program Director, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Phone: 319-356-4775
Fax: 319-356-3392

Tara Maurer
Program Coordinator, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
Division of Acute Care Surgery
Department of Surgery
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Phone: 319-356-7892
Fax: 319-356-3392