Denver Health's Trauma and Acute Care Surgery (TACS) Fellowship was approved as an official training site by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) in May 2008.
This fellowship encompasses trauma and non-trauma surgical emergencies, as well as surgical critical care. TACS training provides comprehensive emergent surgical and critical care to trauma and non-trauma conditions in virtually any body region or organ system. Through this integrated educational experience, Denver Health provides residents with the training to become academic leaders in this emerging discipline.
The TACS curriculum builds upon the concepts and skills obtained during a five-year General Surgery Residency. The first year of the fellowship focuses on surgical critical care in an ACGME/RRC approved training program. Rotational experience includes trauma, cardiac, burn, pediatric and general surgical critical care. The broad experience gained through a diverse faculty and programmatic elements prepares the fellow for board examinations and success in their careers.
During the second year of the fellowship, the TACS Fellow acquires a comprehensive knowledge of critical care, trauma, emergency general surgery, advanced operative skills and procedural techniques in thoracic and vascular surgery. Under the supervision of attending faculty members, the TACS Fellow will be the physician responsible for patient evaluation, care and intervention of all acutely ill surgical patients. Specific rotations on thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, transplant/hepatobiliary surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery and interventional radiology expand the general knowledge base and specific technical skills of the fellow. Acute Care Surgery rotations incorporate elective general, thoracic and vascular surgery cases, surgical critical care and emergent trauma and non-trauma cases. The TACS Fellow takes call once a week under the supervision of the TACS attending surgeon. Call at Denver Health embodies this paradigm of training, as the Fellow evaluates and operates on patients with trauma as well as thoracic, vascular, and abdominal, neurologic and orthopedic emergencies.
The TACS Fellow is expected to participate in ongoing research at one of the parent institutions. Additionally, the Fellow will be instructed in trauma system design and disaster management.
Surgical Critical Care and Trauma & Acute Care Surgery
The TACS rotation at DH incorporates all aspects of the resident training experience. Under the supervision of attending faculty members, the TACS Fellow is the physician responsible for evaluation, care and intervention of the acutely ill surgical patient. The rotation also includes coverage of surgery clinic, which evaluates patients with general surgery, thoracic, vascular, endocrine and oncologic diseases for elective surgery. Cases evaluated in clinic by the resident are booked for that resident’s involvement, either as primary surgeon (if the general surgery chief is unavailable) or as the teaching assistant to the general surgery team. Being on call at Denver Health incorporates the evaluation of patients with trauma, critical illness, thoracic, vascular, abdominal, neurologic and orthopedic emergencies. The fellow will assume gradated responsibility in the role of “lead-surgeon” in all management arenas: ICU, trauma bay, resuscitation suite, clinic, IR and OR.
Also included in these five months of TACS rotations is exposure to anesthesia, plastic surgery and interventional radiology. Involvement with the Anesthesia Department facilitates overall care of the patient and provides technical exposure to routine and complex intubations. Operative cases with the plastic surgery faculty provide exposure and learning in such arenas as complex facial reconstructions, facial fracture management, and free flap design. Due to the significant amount of overlap and interplay between surgery and interventional radiology, a dedicated experience with IR techniques and therapeutic interventions is included. The goal of the experience is broadened exposure to the clinical decision making involved in determining if a patient warrants IR versus surgical intervention, the role of IR techniques and the complications associated with such measures. Additionally, the TACS Fellow gains additional exposure to routine bedside procedures and body imaging.
Exposure and responsibility for administrative tasks and teaching is a mandatory requirement of these rotations but should also be pursued throughout the TACS Fellowship years. Administrative exposure is attained through such conferences and meetings as the Interdisciplinary Care Committee, Trauma Service Line, Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Councils (RETAC) and State Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Advisory Council (SEMTAC). Teaching of residents and students is inherent in bedside rounds, the operating room and clinical conferences. The TACS Fellow is strongly encouraged to become an ATLS instructor during the first year of the fellowship and teach during subsequent months of the training program. Additional exposure to teaching and education of others is available through the DHMC Outreach Program. The TACS Fellow may volunteer to give lectures at outside facilities on a wide range of trauma, critical care and emergent case topics.
The TACS Fellow is expected to engage in academic pursuits. Over the two-year training program, abstracts for at least two national meetings and associated participation in manuscript drafting under faculty mentorship is advocated.
University of Colorado
The University of Colorado (UCH) incorporates general, hepatobiliary, oncologic, transplant, cardiothoracic, breast and endocrine surgical disciplines. The UCH Burn Unit is the regional burn center verified by the American College of Surgeons and American Burn Association, serving the state of Colorado and the surrounding region. With more than 175 admissions per year, the Burn Unit provides emergent, acute and rehabilitative services for this patient population including all follow-up and referral care.
Medical Center of the Rockies
The goal of the Thoracic Surgery rotation is for the Fellow to be comfortable and competent in the diagnosis of, operative techniques and postoperative care and complications of patients with thoracic maladies. Emphasis will be placed on broadening the knowledge base acquired as a general surgery residents as well as refining associated techniques. The Fellow will function as an integral member of the service in conjunction with attending surgeons. By the end of the rotation, the Fellow should be able to demonstrate the ability to effectively manage thoracic disease. Responsibilities will include attending daily rounds, formulating management plans, assisting/performing operations and covering call for emergencies. In addition, the Fellow is expected to attend multidisciplinary patient care and teaching conferences.
Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital
The goal of the Vascular Surgery rotation is to develop a clear understanding of pre and post-operative management, as well as intraoperative techniques and decision-making of the patient with vascular disease. Emphasis will be placed on the diagnosis and treatment of acute ischemia, evaluation of vascular trauma and operative reconstruction techniques. The Fellow will function as an integral member of the service in conjunction with attending surgeons. Responsibilities will include attending daily rounds, formulating and executing critical interventions, assisting/performing operations and covering call for vascular emergencies. In addition, the Fellow is expected to attend multidisciplinary patient care and teaching conferences.
Presbyterian Saint Lukes Denver
The goal of the rotation on the Transplant service is to educate the the Fellow in all aspects of hepatobiliary problems, injuries and operative techniques. The Fellow will have graduated responsibility and increasing exposure to the technical aspects of care. The clinical experience will be augmented by daily conference attendance, concentrating on review of the conditions encountered by the care team as well as various conditions.
Faculty Listing with Clinical Interest:
Clay Burlew, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Robert C. McIntyre, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Fareed Azam, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Thomas Bak, MD - Transplant/Hepatobiliary
Karsten Bartels, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Kathryn Beauchamp, MD - Neurosurgery
Denis Bensard, MD - Pediatric Surgery and Acute Care Surgery
Jason Brainard, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Eric Campion, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Mitchell Cohen, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Chris Cribari, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Patrick Duffy, MD - Burn Surgery
Lisa Ferrigno, MD, M.P.H. - Acute Care Surgery
Charles Fox, MD - Vascular Surgery
David Fullerton, MD - Cardiothoracic Surgery
Samuel Gilliland, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Laura Harmon, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Maung Hlaing, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Chris Johnnides, MD - Vascular Surgery/IR
Steve Johnson, MD - Vascular Surgery/IR
Paul Johnston, MD - Vascular Surgery/IR
Fritz Karrer MD - Pediatric Surgery and Transplant Surgery
Martin Krause MD - Critical Care Medicine
Ryan Lawless MD - Acute Care Surgery
John Mitchell, MD - Thoracic Surgery
Ernest Moore, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Trevor Nydam, MD - Transplant/Hepatobiliary
Juan Pablo Idrovo, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Erik Peltz, D.O. - Acute Care Surgery
Fredric Pieracci, MD - Acute Care Surgery
K. Barry Platnick MD - Acute Care Surgery
Elizabeth Pomfret, MD - Transplant/Hepatobiliary
Thomas Rehring MD - Vascular Surgery/IR
Benjamin Scott, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Lauren Steward, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Breandon Sullivan, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Tim Tran, MD - Critical Care Medicine
Catherine Velopulos, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Jonathan Vu, MD - Vascular Surgery/IR
Michael Wachs, MD - Transplant/Hepatobiliary
Anne Wagner, MD - Burn Surgery
Michael Weyant, MD - Thoracic Surgery
Arek Wiktor, MD - Burn Surgery
Franklin Wright, MD - Acute Care Surgery
Marty Zamora, MD - Critical Care Medicine
For the Trauma & Acute Care Surgery Fellowship, which includes a year of Surgical Critical Care training, applicants must have completed a RRC-approved General Surgery Residency and be American Board of Surgery (ABS) Eligible in General Surgery.
Please submit your application using the SCC and ACS Fellowship Application Service
Interviews will be granted on a rotating basis beginning March 1. Our program participates in the NRMP match.
Questions should be directed to:
Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
Trauma & Acute Care Fellowship
Clay Cothren Burlew, MD FACS
Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
Trauma & Acute Care Fellowship