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Curriculum

Our faculty is dedicated to the goal of providing a comprehensive educational environment that fosters the professional development of our residents, thereby enabling them to become proficient vascular surgeons.  Following residency, trainees will be fully prepared for board-certification in Vascular Surgery.

Program Overview | Pathways | Didactics | Training Facilities

Program Overview

Our ACGME accredited training program offers a rich case mix of vascular patients drawn from a network of affiliated clinical sites.  It is only in the last several years that vascular surgery has evolved into a well-defined and highly specialized field.  The demand for practitioners in this field has been steadily growing over the last decade, and so too has the need for high-quality training of vascular surgeons.  At the completion of training, all residents will be competent in the 6 core competencies:

  • Medical Knowledge
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • Professionalism
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills

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Pathways

Integrated Vascular Surgery Pathway (PGY-1 - PGY-5)

This pathway into vascular surgery represents a relatively new concept.  Trainees can enter this pathway directly out of medical school.  The five year program will lead to a primary certification in Vascular Surgery only. 

Rotation Months
Year 1
Anesthesia 1
Cardiac Surgery 2
General Surgery 6
Thoracic Surgery 1
Vascular Surgery 2
Year 2
General Surgery 7
Transplant 2
Vascular Surgery 3
Year 3
Endovascular Surgery 2
General Surgery 4
Vascular Surgery 6
Year 4
Vascular Surgery 12
Year 5
Vascular Surgery 12

Integrated Sequential 5 + 2 Pathway – 5 years Vascular Surgery (PGY-1 – PGY-5), 2 years Cardiothoracic Surgery (PGY-6 – PGY-7)

This innovative approach to surgical training is a groundbreaking educational experience that is not offered anywhere else in the country.  We have built a curriculum that leads to eligibility for certification through the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery in Vascular Surgery.  Graduates of this program will possess a skill set that is uniquely attractive to healthcare facilities looking for surgeons encompassing a broad practice of vascular, cardiac, and thoracic surgery.  Below is a sample rotation schedule over the 7 years.

Rotation Months
Year 1
Anesthesia 1
Cardiac Surgery 2
General Surgery 6
Thoracic Surgery 1
Vascular Surgery 2
Year 2
General Surgery 7
Transplant 2
Vascular Surgery 3
Year 3
Endovascular Surgery 2
General Surgery 4
Vascular Surgery 6
Year 4
Vascular Surgery 12
Year 5
Vascular Surgery 12
Year 6
Cardiac Surgery 4-6
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery 2
Thoracic Surgery 4-6
Year 7
Cardiac Surgery 6
Thoracic Surgery 6

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Didactics

The Vascular Surgery Program is committed to providing an outstanding didactic curriculum to complement clinical teaching. Tuesday and Friday mornings are designated as protected time for the weekly academic conference schedule.  All members of the vascular faculty and staff are full participants in the educational schedule.  Below is a listing of educational activities that are provided:

  • Vascular Surgery Teaching Conferences
    Topics are presented by resident and faculty based on the Scientific American Vascular and Endovascular Surgery curriculum.  Residents are assigned weekly readings in the topic to be presented and take an online quiz prior on this material prior to the lecture.
  • Case Conferences
    Residents and faculty present and lead discussions on recent, relevant cases. 
  • Vascular Surgery M & M Conferences
    Residents and faculty present assigned cases in a roundtable, discussion format in this monthly conference.
  • Vascular Surgery Journal Club
    Residents discuss vascular surgery topics in a monthly rotation of articles.
  • Career Development Conferences
    A new set of lectures has been incorporated into the annual conference schedule.  Important topics covered include, but are not limited to, Quality & Patient Safety, Physician Wellbeing, Medical Depositions, Malpractice Insurance, Credentialing, and Billing & Coding.
  • Surgical Grand Rounds
    The Department of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery sponsors three visiting professors each year to present at Surgical Grand Rounds.  In addition, department faculty also regularly present on topics in their sub-specialties.
  • Department Academic Meeting
    Residents, faculty and administrators meet quarterly to learn about and discuss issues related to training programs, new hospital and department initiatives and accomplishments, reports on quality assurance processes, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and administrative / healthcare concerns.
  • “Wet” Lab
    A special feature of our program is the “Wet” Lab held four times each year in the Center for Surgical Arts at Allegheny General Hospital.  Residents practice suturing and other procedures on pig hearts, valves, and cadavers.

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Training Facilities

Allegheny General Hospital 

Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), located on Pittsburgh’s north side, is a national leader in cardiovascular, cancer, neuroscience, orthopedics, and transplants. 23 main operating rooms and integrated minimally invasive suite, 4 specialized operating rooms, and 7 Ambulatory Surgery Center operating rooms; 24-bed surgical/trauma intensive care unit, 32-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit, and 32-bed neurosurgical intensive care unit. The hospital was first in the state to open a dedicated trauma ICU and is a Level I Regional Resource Center for Trauma that annually admits more than 2,000 patients to the Division of Trauma Surgery. Our air ambulance service, LifeFlight, introduced in 1978, was the first aeromedical emergency transport system in the northeastern United States. Five LifeFlight helicopters transport more than 200 patients per month within a 150-mile radius of Pittsburgh.

West Penn Hospital

West Penn Hospital (WPH), in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood, is an academic medical center that has been regionally and nationally recognized for excellence in nursing (region's first Magnet® hospital), bone marrow and cell transplantation, burn care (only center verified for both pediatric and adult burn care), cardiovascular care, and reproductive medicine. It has a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and completely renovated Emergency Department, Cardiovascular Institute, intensive care units, medical , and surgical and stepdown patient care units.

Forbes Hospital

15,000 inpatient admissions, 12,000 surgeries, and nearly 50,000 emergency department visits annually; cardiovascular surgery and neurosurgery; a new 38-bed emergency department; Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center; Pittsburgh area’s first Level 2 trauma center.

Saint Vincent Hospital

Saint Vincent Hospital services the Erie and surrounding communities of Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Specialty physicians travel to Erie to offer patients this care opportunity and partner with their current Saint Vincent primary care or specialty physician to ensure positive continuity of care. Saint Vincent continues to remain a leader in cardiac, neurological and women's services and continues to offer patients several options in primary care and specialty physicians.

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