• FAQ's


    How many years is the AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship program?
    2 years. Surgical critical care fellowship training is completed as part of the two year curriculum.

    What is the value of a two year Acute Care Surgery program over a one year program?
    The surgical critical care requirements include a minimum of 9 months of surgical critical care. This limits the opportunity to focus in more depth on the nuances of trauma and emergency surgery. The second year provides an opportunity for advanced operative experience and allows the fellow to further develop research interests in acute care surgery. Graduates of this program report high levels of confidence to practice independently.

    What are the prerequisites for applying for the AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship program?
    You must have completed or be in the final year of a residency in General Surgery. This is different than the requirements for surgical critical care.

    What are the requirements to enter a surgical critical care program?
    Prior to appointment in the program, fellows must have completed at least three clinical years in an ACGME-accredited graduate educational program in one of the following specialties: anesthesiology, emergency medicine, neurological surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, or urology. (Core)

    Fellows who have completed an emergency medicine residency must also complete one preparatory year as an advanced preliminary resident in surgery at the institution where they will enroll in the surgical critical care fellowship. The content of this year should be defined jointly by the program directors of the surgery program and the surgical critical care program. It must include clinical experience in the foundations of surgery and the management of complex surgical conditions. At a minimum, this preparatory year of education must include supervised clinical experience in: (Core)

    pre-operative evaluation, including respiratory, cardiovascular, and nutritional evaluation; (Core)
    pre-operative and post-operative care of surgical patients, including outpatient follow-up care; (Core)
    advanced care of injured patients; (Core)
    care of patients requiring abdominal, breast, head and neck, endocrine, transplant, cardiac, thoracic, vascular, and neurosurgical operations; (Core)
    management of complex wounds; and, (Core)
    minor operative procedures related to critical care, such as venous access, tube thoracostomy, and tracheostomy

    Can I complete the AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship in 1 year if I have already completed a surgical critical care residency?
    Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery programs do not need to be completed at the same institution.

    Do AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship programs sponsor J-1 visas?
    Sponsorship of foreigners is at the discretion of individual programs. Each prospective program should be contacted to determine your eligibility.

    How do I apply for the AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship?
    The AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship match positions are included in the NRMP Surgical Critical Care match and as of 2015 there is a central application program run through the Surgical Critical Care Program Director’s Society found at this link www.safas-sccpds.fluidreview.com 

    Must I apply for a medical license for the Acute Care Surgery fellowship?
    Each program has different licensure requirements for trainees but often a full license is required by the second year of the program. Please confirm the license requirements with your individual program.

    What rotations are included in the AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship?
    A variety of rotations on thoracic/vascular/hepatobiliary or transplant may be provided by fellowship programs. In 2018, curricular requirements shifted to a longitudal/experiential model with case minimum requirements; hence some programs may or may not have dedicated rotations in these disciplines. Many electives are provided included international rotations at a few programs.

    Can I moonlight as an AAST Acute Care Surgery fellow? 
    Moonlighting can be done at the discretion of your program director. Internal moonlighting must not exceed the 80-hour weekly limit.

    Is there an exam at the completion of the AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship?
    Trainees must complete a multiple choice examination towards the end of the fellowship program. The examination is currently free and online.

    Is board certification available for Acute Care Surgery?
    There is currently no board certification in Acute Care Surgery, but fellowship graduates are issued a certificate from the AAST. Fellows are eligible to take the surgical critical care certifying exam at the end of the first year.