Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship Program

The Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship program at the University of Florida was founded in 1970 with the intent to train sub-specialists for clinical and research activities in the fields of pulmonary and critical care medicine. Physicians who have completed an Internal Medicine Residency program can apply for a fellowship position. Applicants go through a rigorous and highly competitive application process, before being selected for training.  The duration of the fellowship appointment is 3 years. The program is fully accredited by the ACGME.  Currently we have a total complement of 18 fellows, six in each year of training. We have developed and provide training in specialized clinical and research programs in Interventional Pulmonology, Lung Mass, Lung Cancer Screening, Lung Transplant, pulmonary Hypertension, Intersitial Lung Disease, Sarcoidosis, Asthma, COPD, Sleep, Lung Immunology (research), Cystic Fibrosis, Alpha-1 Antirypsin Deficiency and Non CF- Bronchiectasis. From a Critical Care Medicine perspective, our fellows are trained to manage patients not just in the Medical ICU but also the Neuro-ICU, Neuro-Surgical ICU, Surgical ICU, and Cardiothoracic ICU. Fellows are also trained to perform Bronchial Thermoplasty, Pleural Manometry, Navigational Bronchoscopy, Radial Endo-Bronchial Ultrasound, Critical Care Ultrasonography & Echocardiography, hemodynamic TEE (hTEE), ECMO (Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) and provide Critical Care using innovative robotic E-ICU technology.
In addition, all fellows spend about a third of their time at our institution performing research. Tools to perform research are provided through a comprehensive in-house research course and mentoring (both research as well as career) is provided through a formal mentoring process.

The Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine fellowship training program at the University of Florida seeks to train sub-specialists for clinical and research activities in the fields of pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine, lung transplantation, and sleep medicine. Fellows are trained to develop the skills necessary for a successful career in academic or private practice medicine. Critical Care and Pulmonary Board Pass Rates are currently 100% each. Qualifications for the pulmonary training program include one year of internship and two years of residency in internal medicine.
The Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine training program at the University of Florida is under the direction of Dr. Ibrahim Faruqi. The division chief is Dr. Borna Mehrad. Other faculty include: Drs. M Brantly, H. Alnuaimat, R. Berry, E. Harman, M. Jantz, J. Lascano,  H. Mehta,  D. Patel, A. Pelaez, S. Chandrashekaran, A. Emtiazjoo, N. Moguillansky, E. Papierniak, D. Gomez, P.S. Sriram, D. Urbine, J. Wynne, and R. Foster. The fellowship includes rotations at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida and the Malcolm Randall  Veterans Administration Medical Center, which serves the north Florida/south Georgia region and is conveniently located across the street. Fellows are thereby exposed to a wide variety of patients and have excellent facilities for procedural training.

Shands Hospital at the University of Florida and the Gainesville VA medical center are fully equipped with state of the art pulmonary function testing and bronchoscopy facilities. Fellows are taught how to perform bronchoscopy, bronchial brushing, bronchoalveolar lavage, transbronchial lung biopsy, endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) and transbronchial needle aspiration. Fellows are also taught how to perform thoracentesis, and chest tube insertion. Instruction regarding the interpretation of methacholine challenge testing, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, shunt study calculation, and polysomnogram interpretation is provided. For those fellows who are interested in interventional pulmonology, experience with  endobronchial electrocautery, stent placement, navigational bronchochoscopy, rigid bronchoscopy, transtracheal oxygen catheter placement, and medical thoracoscopy is available. Fellows also will be proficient in critical care procedures such as endotracheal intubation, arterial and central venous line placement, and pulmonary artery catheter placement. The fellows perform procedures under faculty supervision.

Primary Aim:

The mission of the fellowship training program is to provide an outstanding educational experience in the clinical practice and research of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and to cultivate an environment in which future leaders in this field are nurtured.

Secondary Aims:

– Improve our research activity and throughput.

– Improve fellows’ preparedness to perform rarely needed but important life-saving procedures in the field of critical care medicine

– Improve the national and international stature of our training program

Primary Aim: (Provide an outstanding educational experience)

– We have continuously invested in acquiring as well as creating expertise and technology to improve the educational opportunities of the fellows. We have hired 17 new full-time faculty in the last three years with expertise in various sub-specialties and expanded our clinical as well as research activity by establishing new programs.

– The Program has achieved continuous improvement through implementation of ideas brought forth by both the fellows and faculty through the monthly Fellow-PD meeting, the monthly faculty meeting as well as the annual program evaluations. We initiated new multi-disciplinary educational conferences like a monthly Clinico-Pathological Conference (CPC) and the weekly ILD Multi-Disciplinary Conference based on this process.

 

Secondary Aims:

– Improve our research activity and throughput.

o We initiated a new, two-week long, combined Clinical & Translational as well as Basic Science Research Course for the fellows.

o We are taking steps to effectively implement our mentorship program.

o We have hired three new faculty who are NIH funded (RO1) [Drs. Mehrad, Avram & Jin] who have brought new skills and resources.

o We plan to apply for a T32 grant.

– Improve fellows’ preparedness to perform life-saving procedures

o We are setting up training workshops for Cricothyroidotomy, Transvenous Pacemaker Placement and Sengstaken-Blakemore Tube Placements

– Improve stature of our training program

o We have set up a panel of three faculty (Drs. Faruqi & Ataya) to impart training to the fellows in order to win the CHEST Challenge.

A number of conferences are held weekly, including:

 

  • Didactic teaching conference covering core topics in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine
  • Thoracic tumor board in conjunction with Radiology, Pathology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Radiation Oncology, and Medical Oncology
  • Pulmonary case conference
  •  In addition, journal club, research conference and pulmonary and critical care board review conferences are held once a month.

Unique Opportunities available to University of Florida pulmonary and critical care fellows:

  • Subspecialty training in lung transplantation
  • Subspecialty training in interventional pulmonology and advanced diagnostic procedures
  • Application to accredited sleep medicine fellowship with renowned sleep physician Dr Richard Berry
  • Mycobacterial diseases education and experience led by Drs Michael Lazaurdo, Principal Investigator of Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center and University of Florida Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine division faculty member
  • Shared facilities and research opportunities with the Alpha-1 Research Program, which was established at the University of Florida in 1998 and is under the direction of Dr Mark Brantly, our division chief.
  • Optional dedicated clinical and translational research training with certificate or Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science through NIH supported Clinical and Translational Science Institute