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  • Thank you for your interest in the AAST's Acute Care Surgery Fellowship Program.

    This page will provide an overview of the application process as well as links to the resources you will need to apply to become an AAST-approved Acute Care Surgery Fellowship Program. 

    To begin the process, you will need to complete the Program Information Form (PIF). Once the Program Application Form (PIF) has been submitted and reviewed, a site visit will be performed by two members of the AAST Fellowship Review Certification Committee (FRCC).  The dates of the visit will be coordinated through the AAST office with the Program Director or Program Coordinator listed on the PIF. 

    Site Visit

    The site visit is the process by which the FRCC reviews the facilities and the proposed curriculum.  Prior to fellows being accepted into Acute Care Surgery, the program must be approved by the FRCC, Acute Care Surgery (ACS) Committee and AAST Board of Managers.  The review process results in a detailed report outlining that the minimum program requirements have been met and will also suggest areas for improvement.  The initial site visit with no deficiencies is good for three years.  A review needs to be conducted every three years. 

    Site Visit Preparation

    The site will need to provide 3-4 potential dates for the in-person site visit.  Staff will coordinate between the applicant and the FRCC to confirm the date.  In addition, the applicant will need to provide the following information:

    • Required Documents
      This is a list of the documentation that will need to be provided to reviewers in advance of the site visit.
    • Case Volume Form
      This form provides reviewers with an idea of the number of cases that fellows will be exposed to and helps reviewers determine if the volume is adequate.
    • Customizable Site Visit Agenda 
      This will give you an idea of who will need to be present at the site visit and the time frames for each interview.  However, you can rearrange the order of the agenda in a way that works best for your team.

    AAST Staff will provide a link where you can upload these materials.

    Materials (with the exception of the agenda) must be submitted 30 day prior to the site visit.  The agenda must be submitted two weeks prior to the site visit. If materials are not received by the deadlines indicated, it may result in fines and rescheduling the site visit.

    Report Process

    The site reviewers’ findings will be presented via a report that will be sent within 14 days of the review to the FRCC.  Once reviewed by the FRCC, if no significant issues arise, the report will be sent for review by the AAST Board of Managers.  If the FRCC identifies significant issues, those issues will be discussed at the ACS committee meeting and then moved to the AAST Board of Managers for final approval.  Recommendations and/or deficiencies will be highlighted and those that require changes, fixing, compliance or additional explanation will be given a deadline date to comply.  A written report will be required.  

    • Not Approved Sites
      After the review, if the site is not approved the report will detail recommendations for compliance and approval.  A second site review may be needed.
    • Contesting the Report Findings
      To contest the site visit report findings a detailed written letter must be sent to the AAST Board of Managers at AAST, 633 N Saint Clair St, Suite 2600, Chicago, IL 60611.  A response will be sent within 90 days after the initial letter was received.  All communication from the AAST Board of Managers to the site will be sent to the Program Director information listed on the Program Application Form.  

    Site Visit Cost

    The cost for a two-person site review team is $9,000.  This payment must be received prior to scheduling visit.  The fee includes the AAST administrative fee and honoraria for reviewers. 

    Travel, hotel, meals, and incidental expenses are the responsibility of the applicant (and not included in the above fee). 


    The site may be cancelled and rescheduled up to 30 days prior to the time of the visit.  All monies will be returned for cancellations minus any expenses incurred that cannot be refunded due to policies/procedures outside the control of the AAST (airline tickets and/or hotel reservations). 

    For questions please contact Bridget Lindbloom, AAST Acute Care Surgery Fellowship Program Liaison. 

    1. FAQ's

      How many years is the AAST Acute Care Surgery fellowship program?
      2 years. Critical care fellowship training is completed as part of the two-year curriculum (must be an ACGME accredited critical program in surgery or anesthesia).

      What is the value of a two year Acute Care Surgery program over a one year program?
      The second year provides an opportunity for advanced operative experience and to focus in more depth on the nuances of trauma and emergency surgery. It also 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.

      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 

      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.


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