Vascular Surgery-Independent Fellowship

About the Program

The Division of Vascular Surgery offers a two year Vascular Surgery Fellowship program to accommodate the evolving needs for training in enovascular surgery and the noninvasive vascular laboratory. The goal of our program is to provide the trainees with a broad in-depth experience in the management of vascular diseases in the setting of UI Hospitals & Clinics and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Our fellowship has been approved by the ACGME since its inception. Our program graduates one trainee per year.

Graduates of the program are eligible for the Certificate of Added Qualifications in General Vascular Surgery offered through The American Board of Surgery. Since the inception of the program, close to twenty-four graduates of our program have obtained certification as specialty trained vascular surgeons.

Rotation Descriptions

The Vascular Surgery Fellows split their time between vascular surgery rotations at both the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.

While on rotation at both UI Hospitals & Clinics and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, the fellows will be exposed to all aspects of vascular surgery including open and endovascular procedures. In addition the fellows will be actively involved in the preoperative, intra-operative and postoperative patient care. The fellows will also participate in both the outpatient clinic and vascular lab, where they will be exposed to the issues related to follow and management of early and late complications of vascular interventions.  Further, as the fellows advance in training, they will have acquired the clinical judgment and technical skills necessary to serve as a teaching assistant to the residents on the vascular services.     

A sampling of the procedures and operations that the fellows will be exposed to include:

  • Carotid body tumor excision
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Endovascular aortic and iliac aneurysm repair
  • Excision and replacement of infected bypass grafts
  • Exposure of the abdominal aorta through trans-and retroperitoneal exposure
  • Lower extremity bypass
  • Thoracoabdominal aneurysm repair
  • Redo abdominal aortic surgery
  • Redo carotid endarterectomy
  • Renal and mesenteric artery bypass

Conference Schedule

Vascular Surgery Journal Club First Monday of Every Month
Surgical Audit Conference  
VA Vascular Surgery Case Conference  
Vein Conference Every Other Week
Surgery Grand Rounds  

UI Hospitals & Clinics

Vascular Surgery Case Conference

Conference Descriptions

Vascular Surgery Journal Club

This conference is held on the first Monday of the month.  Four articles are chosen by faculty. The articles are then presented by the vascular fellows and senior residents.  This is followed by a discussion with the trainees and faculty.

Surgical Audit Conference

This conference is held on Tuesdays at 7 a.m. The content of this conference focuses on cases selected to present and an appropriate literature review in order to improve patient care and reduce complications. Presenters selected work with faculty members in the development of presentations.

VA Vascular Surgery Case Conference

This is conference is held on Tuesdays at 8 a.m.  Midlevel residents and the VA fellow present the cases for the upcoming week.  Following a discussion of the relevant clinic indications, the current in-house patients are reviewed. 

Vein Conference

This is a bi-weekly conference held on Tuesdays at 3 p.m.  During the first half of the conference a resident presents a topic pertinent to venous disease.  Following this, interesting or pertinent vein cases are presented for discussion.

Surgery Grand Rounds

This conference is held Tuesdays from September through June on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. As surgical science and practice progresses rapidly, a need exists to continuously keep abreast of advances in surgical education, practice, and research. Utilizing visiting experts and local faculty members, development in these areas are formally presented and discussed.

UI Hospitals & Clinics Vascular Surgery Conference

This conference is held on Tuesdays at 4 p.m.  The conference is led by the fellows who present complex vascular cases.  This is followed by discussion that is aimed to engage medical students, junior and senior residents, as well as the fellows and staff.

Research Opportunities

Research is an important part of the daily activities of all academic surgeons. The continuing commitment to productive scholarship, embodied by research, as much as a commitment to communicative scholarship, exemplified by teaching, distinguishes the academic surgeon from his/her colleague in nonacademic practice.

The obvious benefit of research to our patients and to the community is improved care. Less obvious, but equally important, benefits are the atmosphere of open and rigorous inquiry, the constant questioning and the intellectual stimulation which the research programs provide to their participants - faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students.

There are numerous opportunities to become involved in basic science and/or clinical research, which leads to the development of many projects that are presented at regional and national meetings. Please use the following link for information concerning research within the Department of Surgery

How to Apply

Applications for the Vascular Surgery Fellowship will be accepted through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service).  Eligible candidates for our program must have completed or be completing an approved General Surgery residency and be eligible for certification by the ABS (American Board of Surgery).  Our program selects one candidate each year through the NRMP (National Resident Matching Program) for specailty training.

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.

Our People

Vascular Division Photo, Spring 2014

First Row: Renee Meade, PA-C; Amy Messner; Barbara Silvestri; Abby Cutler

Second Row: Brent Warner; Luigi Pascarella, MD; Timothy Kresowik, MD; Sara Mijal, MD; Rachael Nicholson, MD; W. John Sharp, MD; Brian Adams, MD; Neelima Katragunta, MBBS; Mel Sharafuddin, MD; Mike Powell; Ryan Lomen 

Faculty Members

The Division of Vascular Surgery has 7 faculty members who hail from other top institutions from around the country, each bringing with them a unique surgical perspective that will add depth to your skill-set.

W. John Sharp, portrait

W. John Sharp, MD
Division of Vascular Surgery Director
Vice Chair of Education
Sidney E. Ziffren Professor of Surgery

Maen Aboul Hosn, portrait

Maen Aboul Hosn, MD
Interm Chief of Surgery, VAMC
Associate Program Director, Vascular Surgery Residency
Associate Program Director, Vascular Surgery Fellowship
Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgery
Chief of Vascular Surgery, VAMC

Timothy Kresowik, portrait

Timothy Kresowik, MD
Professor, Surgery

Rachael Nicholson, portrait

Rachael Nicholson, MD
Program Director, Vascular Surgery Residency
Program Director, Vascular Surgery Fellowship
Medical Director, Peripheral Vascular Laboratory
Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery

Mel Sharafuddin, portrait

Mel Sharafuddin, MD, MS
Clinical Professor, Surgery

Natalie Weger, portrait

Natalie Weger, DO
Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgery

Jun Xu, portrait

Jun Xu, MD, MA
Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery

Current Residents

Academic Year July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

1st Year Resident

Victor Hatcher, portrait

Victor Hatcher, MD
Medical School: University of Iowa

2nd Year Resident

Nicole Gensicke, portait

Nicole Gensicke, MD
Medical School: University of Iowa

3rd Year Resident

Crystal Rodriguez, portrait

Crystal Rodriguez, MD
Medical School: University of Arizona

4th Year Resident

Jeanette Man, portrait
Jeanette Man, MD
Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin

5th Year Resident

Adeola Adugbesi, portrait
Adeola Odugbesi, MD
Medical School: State University of New York

Current Fellow

We currently accept one Fellow every other year.


Sarah Burger, portrait

Sarah Burger, MD
Medical school: Medical College of Wisconsin
Residency: University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

Alumni Fellows


Samantha Alsop, MD, MPH
Medical school: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Residency: University of Kansas
Private practice: Kansas City, Mo.


James Foster, III, MD
Medical school: University of Missouri-KC School of Medicine
Residency: University of Missouri-KC
Private practice: Kansas City, Kan.

Alumni Fellows

Alumni Fellows Completion Year 
Thomas Jones 1986
Howard Marks 1987
Asad Shamma 1987
W. John Sharp 1988
Yacov Berlatzky 1989
Henryk Baraniewski 1989
Michael Khoury 1990
John Stern 1990
Jamal Hoballah 1991
Brian Miller 1991
Timothy Bower 1992
Alfred Laborde 1992
Alan Synn 1993
Philip Feliciano 1994
Chittur Mohan 1995
Michael Schueppert 1996
Stephen Ryan 1997
Munier Nazzal 1998
Kendall Boone 1999
Lisa Nowak 2000
Richard Young 2001
David Epstein 2002
Mario Martinasevic 2003
Gregory Carlson 2004
Christopher Bunch 2005
Ronnie Word 2006
Lilja Bjornsdottir 2007
Melhem Sharafuddin 2008
Rachel Nicholson 2009
David Wong 2010
Chad Laurich 2011
Parth Amin 2012
Adonis Lysandrou 2013
Sara Mijal 2014
Brian Adams 2015
James Foster, III 2016
Samantha Alsop 2017
Anna Marjan 2020

Contact Us

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics
Department of Surgery - Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program 
200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242

Fellowship Leaders

Rachael M. Nicholson, MD 
Clinical Assistant Professor
Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program Director

Catherine Unruh, MEd
Educational Administrator
Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program Coordinator