Department of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

We offer world-class opportunities for advanced training in adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology. The adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology service provides anesthetic care for over 2,000 adult cardiac surgical procedures per year at UPMC. Four ACGME-accredited one-year positions are available each year.

Clinical Experience

Cases encountered on the adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology service span the entire range of cardiothoracic and thoracic surgical practice. UPMC is a world leader in heart and lung transplantation, and fellows gain substantial expertise in the management of these challenging procedures, in addition to removal of ventricular assist devices as a bridge to transplantation and the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for short-term support after lung transplantation. Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellows also develop expertise in the management of common cardiac surgical procedures such as coronary bypass (including a variety of minimally invasive techniques), valve replacement and repair, thoracic aortic reconstruction, surgical management of atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias, and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy.

A busy thoracic anesthesia service is staffed by a closely related group of UPMC faculty, offering a rich resource for fellows who wish to enhance their experience managing patients undergoing thoracic surgery.

Fellows also gain exposure to procedures in the electrophysiology and cardiac catheterization laboratories, including laser lead extractions, percutaneous mitral valve repair, left atrial appendage occlusion procedures, catheter-based arrhythmia ablations, and placement of cardiac implantable electronic devices.

Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to gain expertise in pediatric cardiothoracic anesthesia during a one- to two-month rotation at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Fellows interested in this option should make it known at the time of their application, so that they may visit CHP during their visit to Pittsburgh.

Perioperative Echocardiography

Intraoperative echocardiography is used to monitor every patient undergoing cardiac surgery at UPMC. The Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine  supports a very active Perioperative Echocardiography Service, with substantial equipment resources and rapport with the Cardiology Division. Intraoperative echocardiography has been a fruitful area of research for faculty and trainees at UPMC. Adult Cardiothoracic Fellows will gain extensive experience in the clinical use of intraoperative transesophageal echo, and all fellows rotate for one month in the echocardiography lab. Adult Cardiothoracic fellows participate in a monthly joint Interdisciplinary Echocardiography Conference held in conjunction with faculty and trainees in the Divisions of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Educational Program

The Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Service supports a monthly subspecialty conference, in addition to the department’s very full schedule of didactic lectures, journal clubs, case conferences, research conferences, and Grand Rounds.

Research Opportunities

The Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology faculty have a national profile in research. Foci of special expertise include mechanisms of myocardial ischemia and functional properties of ischemic myocardium; intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography; anesthesia for lung transplantation; anesthesia for endovascular cardiac surgery; muscle relaxants; and mechanisms of anesthetic action.

Application Process

The qualifications for the Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship Program are completion of an AGCME-Accredited Anesthesiology Residency Program by the start of the fellowship. Upon completion of an application and submission of documentation via the SF Match website, the application will be reviewed for an interview by the Program Director and selection committee. A minimum of three letters of recommendation from senior faculty, preferably those who have worked with the trainee performing cardiac anesthesiology, are required.

This program participates in the San Francisco Match (www.sfmatch.org). Please register, complete the application, and submit the following supporting documentation to the ACTA Fellowship Coordinator at AnesEducation@upmc.edu.

For a completed application, please submit:

  • Current CV
  • Copy of Medical School Transcript and Dean’s Letter
  • Copy of Board Certification or Most Recent In-Training Examination Report
  • Copies of USMLE/COMLEX Steps 1, 2, and 3
  • Copy of ECFMG Certification (if applicable)

Current Fellows

Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology News

For further information, please contact:

Erin A. Sullivan, MD
Director, Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine 
200 Lothrop St., PUH C-224
Pittsburgh, PA  15213
Phone: 412-647-3262
Fax: 412-647-6290
E-mail: sullivanea@anes.upmc.edu