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Education

Integrated (0+5) Program

The integrated program in vascular surgery represents a relatively new concept. Trainees can enter this pathway right out of medical school, and the five-year program will lead to a primary certificate in vascular surgery. The resident will not be eligible for certification in general surgery. However, many do not consider this to be a significant deficiency, because many vascular surgeons prefer a vascular-only practice. You can find a brief comparison of the integrated and traditional programs here, and you can get even more detailed information on vascular surgery training from the SVS website.

A distinctive feature of our program is our close connection with our sister program in cardiothoracic surgery. Trainees in the integrated program will have the option of undertaking a two-year accredited cardiothoracic surgery fellowship after their vascular surgery training, making them eligible for certification in both vascular surgery and cardiothoracic surgery. Upon completion, the surgeon will have a broad and unique set of skills encompassing vascular, cardiac and thoracic surgery.

Training program highlights:

  • Clinical Education: We have designed a comprehensive clinical program. In the first two years, the resident will receive solid exposure to vascular surgery rotations, as well as key non-vascular rotations. The latter rotations have been selected so as to provide maximal value to the resident's ultimate career in vascular surgery. A sample rotation grid is shown here.
  • Conferences: The resident will participate in a robust conference schedule. See here for more details.
  • Basic Skills Training: It is often assumed that residents will learn to do procedures while assisting or performing surgery on patients. While this is undoubtedly true, we believe that patient-based training should not be the only means of developing technical skills. Our clinical program will be supplemented with a Basic Skills Lab. This is a relatively new and exciting training concept. The resident will participate in a faculty-supervised lab in Years 1 to 3. This program is designed to teach key skills outside of the OR setting, so that the resident will be optimally prepared to perform cases on patients. Examples include knot-tying, basic suturing, and using a simulator device to perform virtual endovascular and laparoscopic surgery. Procedures on animals will also be performed as part of the Basic Skills Lab.
  • Supervised Didactic Education: Historically, it has been assumed that trainees will read on their own, in order to supplement what they learn from their clinical experience and conferences. We have noticed that self-learning works for some trainees, but not for others. In order to help oversee this crucial part of the resident's education, we have designed a program whereby the resident will meet twice a month with a faculty member, who will oversee the resident's "book learning." The program includes a comprehensive schedule of topics that the resident will read about each month over the first three years. The first year topics focus on general care of the surgical patient, and the following two years focus on vascular surgery, using the curriculum proposed by the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery.

 

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