The University of Pennsylvania’s “Surgical Critical Care” fellowship is a fully-accredited ACGME training program within the Department of Surgery. There are several tracks that will be discussed below under the “duration and scope of training” section. The fellowship is designed to educate fellows in all phases of care of the critically ill and injured surgical patient.
Our training philosophy can be divided into several discrete areas including clinical training, research, academic framework, and trauma community integration. The clinical training is focused on cutting-edge, evidenced-based experiences in trauma, emergency general surgery (acute care surgery) & surgical critical care. Fellows will complete the program with not only top notch technical expertise, but with the strongest command of all care strategies and theory. Fellows have clearly defined training goals and objectives with the highest attention to their educational experiences. Roles and responsibilities are clearly differentiated from the resident learners so there is minimal overlap.
Research opportunities abound at Penn, both within the division and in the very collaborative broader University of Pennsylvania community. Fellows acquire research mentors early who then ensure milestones are achieved resulting in successful completion of projects by fellowship end. Beyond the individual projects, all fellows participate in a continual research didactic series that provides all the building blocks to join or initiate a basic science or clinical research program at their next job.
Fellows will also leave our training program with a solid academic framework or understanding of how to establish themselves as an academic surgeon. This framework includes an understanding of choosing and obtaining growth and leadership opportunities locally and in external national and international societies. Formal administrative didactics and personalized exposure to our world-renowned faculty facilitates this exposure.
Fellow integration into the broader trauma and critical care community is facilitated by the large network of Penn trained acute care surgeons practicing around the world. This vast network (see history section below) exposes current and past trainees to the experience and mentoring of this academic faculty along with opportunities to collegially collaborate on a multitude of academic levels.
The Penn trauma training program was founded by C. William Schwab, MD in 1989. Since that time, over 100 fellows have completed the program and are now practicing around the world. Among this cohort are leaders in American Medicine including Deans, Chief Executive Officers, Chairs of Departments, Division Chiefs, Trauma Directors, ICU directors, and many other prestigious titles (see section on past fellows. This legacy of past trainees is a testament to vision and ideals created by Dr. Schwab that are now carried down and instilled in all our trainees. Of particular note is our strong history and commitment to training military trauma surgeons. Starting with Dr. Schwab who himself spent many years as a Naval surgeon, there have been over 20 military surgeons in the Penn trauma faculty and fellowship program.
World Renowned Faculty
All of the faculty have been hand-picked for their specific contributions to the Penn trauma platform. Their expertise covers all aspects of fellow education including clinical training, research, and academia. Together, this cohesive group forms an academic milieu that provides fellows with a stimulating and invigorating environment that is optimal for training. The following is a brief overview of the leadership in our division.
Patrick M. Reilly - Dr. Reilly is the Chief of the Division. He is past president of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. He is on a multitude of international committees that shape the way in which we care for injured patients, this includes the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. Dr. Reilly has received the Master Educator designation by the School of Medicine and instills excellent leadership skills in the fellows.
Niels D. Martin - Dr. Martin is the fellowship program director and is also the Section Chief of Surgical Critical Care. He has a vested interest in fellow education. He works closely with the Department of Surgery’s Division of Education and the Health System’s administration to maintain a cutting edge clinical environment within which the fellow education can flourish.
Jeremy Cannon - Dr. Cannon is the Trauma Medical Director and Section Chief of Trauma. He is responsible for maintaining the Level one trauma center status. Fellow involvement and education is paramount in that process.
Patrick Kim - Dr. Kim is the Vice-Chief at PPMC for the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Surgery. He oversees the divisions clinical operations and quality initiatives at PPMC.
Benjamin Braslow - Dr. Braslow is Section Chief of Emergency General Surgery and runs an extremely busy service line on which the fellow’s rotate.
C. William Schwab - Dr. Schwab is a pioneer of modern trauma care in the world today and continues to be an active member of the faculty. He is past president of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the International Association for Trauma Surgery and Intensive Care. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles and is a true visionary in trauma theory and practice. He is a tremendous resource to the fellows, from teaching at morning report to selecting a job that will launch one’s career.
Lewis Kaplan - Dr. Kaplan is the Medical Director of the Surgical ICU at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. He is also President-elect of the Society of Critical Care Medicine where he will play an important international role to improve care for acute life-threatening illnesses and injuries and to improve the development of optimal facilities for this purpose. Dr. Kaplan was recently awarded the fellow’s teaching award and is renowned for his mentorship.
Daniel Holena - Dr. Holena completed a Master’s of Science in Clinical Epidemiology as part of a K-award. He is a firmly established outcomes researcher and a vital component of the fellow’s academic experience. He has a dual appointment with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Mark Seamon - Dr. Seamon is the Director of Education for the division. Dr. Seamon’s clinical and academic expertize lies in the care of the injured patient. He has several leadership roles in nationally and internationally relevant trauma societies. He plays a major role in the fellow’s academic pursuits and in their mentorship.
Jose Pascual - Dr. Pascual is the Medical Director of the Surgical ICU at HUP and is renowned for his work in quality and safety. He is an outcomes researcher and basic scientist, generating tremendous opportunity for the fellows’ academic productivity. He also plays prominent roles in several leading societies including the Society for Critical Care Medicine.
Adam Shiroff - Dr. Shiroff is the Director of the PENN Chest Wall Injury Center. He is an expert in rib fixation. He also plays a larger role on our Emergency Surgery Service clinically.
Brian Smith - Dr. Smith is an outcomes researcher with a concentration on trauma care and gun violence.
Shariq Raza - Dr. Raza is the Director of PACE (PENN Acute Care Education) and is responsible for a multitude of societal and home-grown formal courses including ATLS, FCCS, DMEP, ASSET, and ATOM.
Elinore Kaufman - Dr. Kaufman is a fellowship trained Acute Care Surgeon and Outcomes Researcher. Her background in clinical epidemiology supports her work in gun violence and injury prevention.
Please click this link of a complete listing of our faculty.
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC) is home to the Pavilion for Advanced Care, a brand new, free standing hospital that houses our Level one trauma center. With 5 oversized trauma bays, 2 dedicated CT scanners, new operating rooms, and a 20 bed Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit, our facility optimizes trauma care delivery. State of the Art video conferencing and telemedicine further allow for unique and expansive educational opportunities.
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is a 700 bed tertiary care hospital and the primary teaching institution for the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school. There is a 56-bed multi-disciplinary Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) that has 2300-2500 admissions yearly. Fellows care for and learn from the full range of surgical cases including transplant, advanced vascular, complex GI, urologic, and gynecologic to name a few.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) provides our fellows with exposure to severely ill and injured children. CHOP is also home to a Level one pediatric trauma center.
Philadelphia VA Medical Center (PVAMC), located adjacent to HUP, is staffed by Penn faculty and has a 14 bed SICU caring for complex GI and vascular patients.
*Note that HUP, PPMC, CHOP, and the PVAMC are all located in the University City section of Philadelphia and are in easy walking distance of each other.
Duration and Scope of Training
2 year Trauma & Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
2 year Emergency Medicine Surgical Critical Care Fellowship (ABS approved)
Please note, as of 2021, the EM-SCC track will accept rolling admission so that candidates can seriously consider our program and NOT feel they will have to miss the match of other training disciplines such as anesthesia or neuro in order to do so.
1 year Surgical Critical Care Fellowship
Other Fellow Opportunities