Independent Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program
Our division offers two ACGME-accredited training pathways for individuals seeking careers in vascular surgery. The integrated program is a five-year residency for graduates of accredited medical schools. The independent program is a two-year fellowship for graduates of ACGME accredited general surgery residency programs. Graduates of both programs are eligible to become certified by the Vascular Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery.
Our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing the best possible experience for trainees in both programs. Our educational curriculum combines clinical, didactic, and technical components to ensure that graduates are equipped with state-of-the art vascular knowledge and skills. The clinical rotations are based at four separate hospitals, providing exposure to highly diverse patient populations with a wide range of vascular pathology. Senior integrated residents and vascular fellows rotate on separate services, so there is no competition for cases. Graduates of both programs are highly trained vascular surgeons with expertise in open operations, endovascular procedures, noninvasive laboratory interpretation, and medical treatment of vascular disease. See an example of a recent graduate’s case experience here.
The University of Minnesota is located in Minneapolis, which is adjacent to St. Paul -- both fantastic places to live! The “twin cities” are frequently ranked in the top ten places to live in the country due to excellent value and high quality of life. In addition to a wide range of cultural, sports, and entertainment venues, there are tremendous opportunities for outdoor activities during all four seasons. Please see more information about the twin cities by following this link.
Independent Fellowship Program
The ACGME-approved, two-year fellowship program at the University of Minnesota is approved for two slots each year. The program is designed to train experts in vascular disease who are proficient in medical, endovascular, and open treatment of vascular pathology. Abundant experience in interpretation of noninvasive testing leads to certification as a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI). Graduates finish with more than 800 cases and have extensive experience in all content areas, especially cerebrovascular, abdominal, and complex. Although most of the past fellows have entered private practice, the program prepares trainees to enter practice in the private or academic setting.
The program is available to applicants from ACGME-accredited surgery residency programs that are in their fourth or fifth clinical year of training. Applications are accepted through the standard application and matching pathways (ERAS and NRMP). Fellows join the program on August 1 of the year following the match and serve as “chief residents” during all 24 months of training. The program includes opportunities for clinical research at all hospitals. Fellows are encouraged to choose a research project during the first year of training and to work with a faculty research mentor towards publication. If the project is accepted for presentation at a local, regional, or national meeting, the fellow will be sponsored to attend the meeting and present their work.
For additional program information, please view our expanded listing available on FREIDA Online.
How to Apply
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Eligibility Requirements Effective July 1, 2019. See pages 8-11.
Our program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Applicants must submit their application documents electronically.
The J-1 alien physician visa sponsored by ECFMG is the preferred visa status for foreign national trainees in all UMN graduate medical education programs; therefore, the Program sponsors only J-1 visas. We do not sponsor H-1B visas. More information on the J-1 visa can be found on the UMN-GME J-1/J-2 Visas webpage.
Questions? Please contact the Program Administrator, Mitch Gmyrek, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stipend & Benefits
PGY-6+ independent program fellows begin their training at a Stipend Step 6.
You will be provided with the following:
- University of MN parking card
- On-site parking at participating sites
- White Coats
- Cue Pagers
- Hospital on-call meal stipends
- Access to the Vascular Surgical Council on Resident Education (VSCORE) Portal
- One-time reimbursement for select academic purchases (e.g. textbooks, Pegasus, prep course)
- Discounted Technology Products through U of MN Bookstore
In addition, residents have access to the University of Minnesota’s on-line biomedical library, which provides
free access to MD Consult, UpToDate, Stat!Ref, PubMed, and numerous online textbooks.
Each Thursday morning is devoted to didactic training activities in vascular surgery. During this “protected time”, fellows and residents are exposed to a series of formal conferences:
Multispecialty and M/M Conference (7 AM- 8 AM). This one-hour conference is divided between interesting case discussions and morbidity and mortality presentations. During the first two weeks of each month, cases from the respective hospital services that have significant educational value are presented. Discussion includes perspectives from multiple specialties including vascular surgery, interventional radiology, vascular medicine, and cardiology. During the second two weeks of each month, all recent complications and death from each service are discussed in detail.
Vascular Surgery Conference (first-third Thursdays, 8 AM – 9 AM). This one-hour conference involves a structured series of lectures encompassing the basic and clinical sciences fundamental to vascular surgery, as well as in the technological advances that relate to vascular surgery and the care of patients with vascular disease. The curriculum is frequently updated and repeats every two years.
Journal Club (fourth Thursday, 8 AM – 9 AM). Under faculty guidance, trainees present, interpret, and evaluate a series of recent papers from the literature. Papers are chosen in advance and are based on topics currently being covered in the vascular surgery conference.
Patient Case Conference (fourth Thursday, 9 AM – 10 AM). Once each month, senior residents and fellows participate in case conferences utilizing available information and imaging studies. Individual trainees are expected to assess each case appropriately, request additional tests, recommend interventions, and justify management plans.
VESAP Conference (third Thursday, 9 AM – 10 AM). Once each month, trainees have experience taking multiple-choice based tests based on questions from the most recent version of VESAP. In addition to gaining practice with MCQ exams, trainees are exposed to the mechanics of test question writing, including the use of appropriate distractors and ensuring that there is one correct answer.
Additional formal training occurs at other times:
Pulsatile Cadaver Lab. During rotations at UMMC, residents and fellows learn to perform vascular exposure techniques using a pulsatile cadaver model. This model is unique to the University of Minnesota and provides increased fidelity to improve the realistic feel of the cadaver arteries.
Quarterly City-Wide Case Conference. Approximately every three months, vascular surgeons and trainees throughout the twin cities are invited to an evening of case presentations at a local restaurant. Trainees from the University of Minnesota as well as other sites present the cases, and vascular surgeons with a wide range of training backgrounds provide their unique perspectives.
Service rotations for both independent and integrated programs are based at four hospitals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metroplex:
- The University of Minnesota Medical Center (PDF)
- Fairview Southdale Hospital (PDF)
- The Minneapolis VA Medical Center (PDF)
- HealthEast Hospitals (PDF)
The vascular surgery residents and fellows manage the vascular surgery clinical service at each hospital. Trainees at all levels are required to attend clinic on a weekly basis, which provides them with continuity of care and the opportunity to evaluate patients both pre- and post-operatively.
The operative experience includes rich exposure to aortic diseases, aneurysms, carotid artery stenosis, peripheral arterial disease, traumatic vascular injuries, dialysis access, and venous pathology including interventional therapy for acute and chronic deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It also provides a balanced mix of endovascular and open procedures, including thoracic aortic pathology. The vascular surgery resident is projected to acquire operative experience in more than 300 cases per year, and fellows are expected to finish the program with more than 800 cases. As trainees progress through the respective program, each is given a gradual increase in direct responsibility for pre- and post-operative patient care appropriate to his or her level, and for the performance of surgical procedures under the direct supervision of the attending vascular surgeon.
Faculty & Staff
Board-certified vascular surgeons serve as core faculty at all four hospitals. In addition, each hospital has assigned mid-level providers that work in tandem with vascular residents and fellows assigned to the care team.