Program Mission 

The primary training goal of the adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship program is to prepare our graduates to be excellent clinicians, ready to enter and excel in any practice on graduation. Upon completion of the program, all graduates should be well versed in quality improvement and patient safety methodology. In addition, fellowship graduates should be prepared to be experts in cardiothoracic anesthesiology and serve as a resource for their medical communities.

Program Aims 

• To provide the training, experience, and education that will allow graduates to become excellent clinicians, ready to enter independent clinical practice as a consultant in adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology.

• To provide the educational and clinical experience for fellows to successfully obtain certification in advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography by the American Board of Echocardiography.

• To provide professional development in areas such as quality improvement and patient safety and healthcare disparities, and fellows as teachers to produce leaders in the profession.

Thank you for your interest in the Adult 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 five ACGME-accredited fellowship positions per year. 

The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology provides care for approximately 2500 adult and 850 pediatric cardiac catheterizations and operations, as well as 1000 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 utilizing left heart bypass and circulatory arrest techniques, operations for adult congenital heart disease, ventricular assist device placement, as well as heart and lung transplantation. Additionally, fellows are exposed to minimally invasive cardiac procedures including robotic cardiac surgery and the full spectrum of percutaneous structural heart interventions. 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 lecture series 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 are completed at the University of Alabama Medical Center and the adjoining Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Elective rotations include: perfusion, congenital cardiac anesthesiology, transthoracic echocardiography, structural heart, electrophysiology, and clinical research. The rotations are set up as indicated below:

  • 7 blocks in the Cardiac OR at UAB Hospital (with 1 block equivalent of non-cardiac thoracic surgery and 1 block equivalent of hybrid/structural cardiology during this period)
  • 3 block (or equivalent) dedicated to transesophageal echocardiography
  • 1 block dedicated to postoperative care of the cardiac surgical patient (CICU)
  • 2 blocks 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. Further information may be found on the Applicant Information page. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. 

Brad Meers, M.D.
Program Director