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 Divison of Acute Care Surgery, which consists of a core curriculum in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). Upon completion of the fellowship, you can be Surgical Critical Care Board eligable with the American Board of Surgery.   

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics houses a Level-I Trauma Center with annual trauma admission greater than 2000, a Regional Burn Care 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.


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 ability to emerge into a leadership role upon completion.

Policy for Eligibility, Selection & Transfer at UIHC
Sample Appointment Contract
Visa Requirements

ACGME Program Requirements
University of Iowa Policies

Schedule Requirements

All trainees will spend at least 8 blocks in the SICU, 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 SICU, 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 SICU
Block 2 Trauma/Burn
Block 3 SICU
Block 4 MICU
Block 5 SICU
Block 6 PICU
Block 7 SICU
Block 8 SICU
Block 9 SICU
Block 10 SICU
Block 11 SICU
Block 12 ECHO Lab
Block 13 VAC



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. 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 SICU. Also in the SICU, there are a total of 127 titles as well as 13 journal subscriptions.