The Vanderbilt University Medical Center Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellowship Program is committed to providing the highest quality training for future leaders, educators and practitioners of cardiothoracic anesthesia. We offer a breadth of clinical experience including but not limited to:

  • On-and off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery
  • Aortic surgery
  • Robotic Thoracic surgery
  • Heart and lung transplants
  • Ventricular assist device & ECMO
  • Pulmonary endarterectomy
  • Structural Heart procedures

Our program is ACGME accredited and we have five one-year positions available annually. For our large clinical volume (more than 1,800 cardiac cases/year), the number of fellows in the program is relatively small, allowing the opportunity for a personalized, tailored educational experience for each fellow. Vanderbilt has a robust heart failure program.  We are the largest heart transplant center in the country this year and have been in the top three for the last several years.  As such our fellows get exceptional experience and training in heart failure management.  

We provide the option to pursue additional subspecialty training and certification in critical care, pain or pediatric cardiac anesthesiology.  Vanderbilt’s critical care fellowship provides the highest quality training and education in multiple specialized surgical critical care units, with a depth and breadth of experience few places can match.  Fellows interested in critical care and cardiac fellowship receive excellent two year training without having to worry about changing institutions.  For fellow candidates interested in a more intensive research experience, we also offer a research track with a possibility to pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) in year two.


Adult Cardiothoracic Rotation
Our program offers a breadth of clinical experience in core cardiac surgery procedures such as CABG, valve replacement surgery, aortic surgery, pulmonary endarterectomy, LVADs and heart and lung transplant. In addition, fellows will get ample exposure to caring for patients undergoing hybrid procedures (Atricure, TAVR, Mitraclip, Lariat, and Watchman), electrophysiology lab procedures (pacemaker/ICD placement), and interventional cardiology procedures (ECMO placement, catheter based pulmonary thrombectomy, and device closure of septal defects). As part of a program of graduated responsibility, supervision of residents in cardiac cases will be available in the second half of the fellowship.

TEE Rotation
In addition to the TEE exposure throughout the year while performing cardiac cases, fellows will have two dedicated rotations on TEE, where they will have structured and focused TEE training on advanced echocardiography skills.

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit Rotation
Fellows spend a month in the cardiovascular ICU under the supervision of cardiothoracic and critical care anesthesiologists. Fellows will be responsible for the comprehensive management of critically ill cardiovascular and thoracic patients

Adult Thoracic Anesthesia Rotation
Fellows will get exposure to a wide variety of thoracic surgery cases including: VATS, thoracotomy, esophagectomy, lung volume reduction surgery, lung transplantation, Robotic thoracic surgery and pectus repair. In addition, fellows will spend time in the bronchoscopy suite performing bronchoscopies, BALs, and lung biopsy procedures under the guidance of our interventional pulmonologists.

Pediatric Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Rotation
Fellows are the primary anesthesia provider for pediatric cardiac surgery patients under the direct supervision of the attending. Pediatric cardiac areas include operating rooms, a catheterization lab, and an electrophysiology lab.

Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE)
Under the supervision of adult echocardiography cardiologists fellows will have hands on experience in both performing and interpreting transthoracic echo.  


The fellowship has several components that contribute to the academic enrichment of fellows:

Weekly Cardiothoracic Division Conference (CME)
Our CME accredited weekly conference covers a wide spectrum of topics pertinent to the management of the cardiothoracic patient. Lectures are given by cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional and heart failure cardiologists, electrophysiology specialists, thoracic surgeons, interventional pulmonologists, as well as our cardiothoracic anesthesiology faculty. Every quarter, a guest lecturer from an outside institution is invited to give a talk in their area of expertise. In addition, challenging case presentations and journal club are also held during this conference. This conference has been highly regarded by past fellows as an integral and beneficial part of their training.

Weekly ECHO Conference (CME)
Led by Director of Perioperative Echocardiography Dr. Robert Deegan, who has over 25 years of echocardiography experience, fellows will get exposure to evaluation and interpretation of both common and rare Cardiac Pathology. Approximately 150 cases are reviewed annually during this conference.

Scholarly Activities
Fellows are paired with a research advisor that mentors them throughout the year on their scholarly projects.  With an average of one academic day per week, fellows have ample protected time to pursue research interests.  They are encouraged to attend and submit presentations to local, regional, and national cardiothoracic meetings, and are given a Continuing Medical Education (CME) budget to help defray the expenses of attending conferences.

Oral Board Preparation
Several members of the department are oral board examiners. Fellows will be eligible to participate in the departmental oral board preparation program, which includes several mock oral examinations.

We will be accepting applications to fill 5 positions beginning November 9, 2020 and continuing through January 31, 2021. We will be participating in the SF Match program for the 2022-2023 academic year. If you wish to apply for the Vanderbilt Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellows' Program visit the SF Match website at and click on the "Log-In/Register" button and follow the prompts. Once we have received your SF Application you will be contacted to provide additional documents needed to complete your application. Please contact Jillian Powell ( with questions.

Important Dates:
November 9, 2020 - Application Registration Opens
January 31, 2021 - Application Deadline
June 1, 2021 - Rank List Submission Deadline
June 14, 2021 - Match Results Released