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The Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program at UAB provides an opportunity for fellows to acquire in-depth knowledge of the pathophysiology of critical care, treatment of the most severely injured/critically ill patients and advanced skill in critical care techniques. The fellowship is a balanced program committed to excellent clinical exposure, as well as the refinement of the participant's research and administrative abilities. The educational program consists of a combination of mentoring by faculty, didactic and Socratic instruction, hands-on experience and self-education.


University Hospital is the only American College of Surgeons (ACS)-verified Level I trauma center in the state of Alabama. The Trauma Service receives patients from a primary catchment area of a seven-county region served by Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System (BREMSS), in addition to referrals from all of Alabama and surrounding states.

Fellows will be provided in-depth knowledge of therapeutic maneuvers and diagnostic modalities to manage the polytrauma patient, as well as the failing pre- and postoperative surgical patient. This will not only include the realm of general surgery, but will also include neurosurgical and cardiothoracic patients. The fellow is exposed to modalities such as CRRT, ECMO and TEE in our ICUs, in addition to more routine invasive hemodynamic monitoring and ventilator management strategies.

Each fellow will have full responsibility as trauma team leader, gaining a broad range of experience in the management of blunt and penetrating trauma. Fellows become proficient in the evaluation of critically ill and injured patients; the initiation of appropriate and complete diagnostic evaluation; the development and implementation of patient care plans; and providing leadership, which facilitates the interaction within the entire team of caregivers and with the patients and their families.

Fellowship Program Structure

The Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship is ACGME approved for four fellows per year and emphasizes clinical care.

The trauma team evaluates more than 6,000 trauma activations per year. Approximately 20 percent of admitted trauma patients are penetrating trauma patients.

Fellows have abundant clinical material to learn from, with 56 total ICU beds that are covered by the ACS faculty (28 dedicated Trauma/Burn ICU beds, 8 Neurotrauma ICU beds and 20 SICU beds). In addition to a robust experience with trauma, the SICU service provides critical care for emergency general surgery, elective general surgery, ENT, OMFS, OB/GYN, transplant and vascular patients (approximately 1,500 patients per year). Operative experience will be held within the maximum volume as stipulated by the ACGME.

Successful completion of the Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship curriculum qualifies the fellow to take the ABS Surgical Critical Care Examination.

Curriculum Months
Trauma/Burn ICU (TBICU) 6
Neurotrauma-Critical Care ICU (NICU) 1
Surgical ICU (SICU) 1
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)/Cardiovascular ICU (CICU) 1
Electives 3

Other potential electives include: MICU, PICU, Trauma Anesthesia, and Critical Care Transport

Educational Aspects

Fellows in the Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program will:

  • Attend weekly journal club meetings led by the faculty
  • Attend weekly didactic sessions
  • Attend weekly Trauma Quality Improvement Conference and Department of Surgery Morbidity and Mortality Conference.
  • Have opportunity to become instructors in ATLS and ASSET
  • Have opportunity to become proficient at perioperative Trans Esophageal Echocardiography (TEE)
  • Have opportunity to complete a formal one-day course on the proper use of Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma
  • Have opportunity to participate in Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) Course
  • Take the Multidisciplinary Critical Care Knowledge Assessment Program (MCCKAP) online exam, the Society of Critical Care Medicine endorsed in-training examination
  • Participate in the education of the rotating residents and medical students as well as evaluate their performance


Research is encouraged but not required in this fellowship. Multiple opportunities exist for research within the division, if desired.

Center for Injury Science (CIS)

Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN)

CIS Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

Program Application

The Critical Care Fellowship Program at UAB is accredited by the ACGME's Residency Review Committee for Surgery for four (4) twelve-month positions beginning in August of each year. Appointments are made through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) or through application to the Program Director.

Pre-requisite Qualifications for the Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program include:

  1. Graduation from an ACGME-approved general surgery residency program
  2. Board certification or eligibility
  3. Demonstrated ability to instruct residents and medical students

An interview and site visit will be arranged for applicants being considered for appointment. Applications are accepted starting January 1 to June 1. Applications will be processed through the SAFAS website: https://safas.smapply.io.

Additional inquiries regarding the program should be submitted to:

Lauren C. Tanner, M.D.
Program Director, Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
Assistant Professor, Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Associate Program Director, General Surgery Residency
Co-Director, UAB Women in Surgery Program

Phone: (205) 975-3030
Email: llcaldwell@uabmc.edu