Cardiothoracic Anesthesia

Thank you for your interest in the Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Our one-year training program offers a well-balanced clinical and educational experience. We offer three ACGME-accredited fellowship positions per year.

The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia provides care for approximately 1,000 adult and 850 pediatric cardiac catheterizations and operations, as well as 1,100 thoracic cases each year. Fellows are exposed to a full spectrum of cardiac cases, including on- and off-pump coronary revascularization, valve repair and replacement, major aortic reconstruction, operations for adult congenital heart disease, transmyocardial laser revascularization, pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, ventricular assist device placement, as well as a busy heart and lung transplantation service. Clinical responsibilities focus on maximizing educational benefit. Fellows are assigned complex adult cardiac cases, with a fairly equal distribution of “doing their own cases” and providing resident supervision. Our fellows complete their training as well-rounded cardiothoracic anesthesiologists skillful in both independent anesthesia practice and supervision, ready to excel in any practice environment.

Significant emphasis is placed on ensuring that our fellows become facile in perioperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Each fellow is given two months of dedicated TEE experience under the guidance of board-certified TEE staff in the division. A comprehensive TEE lecture series, in addition to weekly departmental echo reading sessions, further enforces knowledge gained through hands-on experience in the operating room. All of our graduates have successfully passed the Advanced PTeExam and have easily obtained the necessary number of exams required for board certification.

The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia has a comprehensive fellow didactic program conducted throughout the year. Additionally, fellows are active participants in the resident educational program, allowing them to greatly enhance their own knowledge base, as well as hone their teaching skills, as they lead discussions and presentations with residents rotating on the service

Rotations in intensive care, congenital cardiac anesthesia, and electives (including perfusion, transthoracic echocardiography, cardiac cath lab, electrophysiology lab, and clinical research) are included in the fellowship experience. The rotations are set up as indicated below:

  •  6 months in the Cardiac OR at UAB Hospital (with 1 month equivalent of non-cardiac thoracic surgery during this period)
  •  2 months (or equivalent) dedicated to transesophageal echocardiography
  • 1 month dedicated to postoperative care of the cardiac surgical patient (CICU)
  • 1 month dedicated to congenital cardiac anesthesia
  • 2 months of electives, to be arranged with the program director prior to starting fellowship


The Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology at UAB is highly committed to providing an outstanding fellowship training experience. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

Matt Townsley, MD
Program Director
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