Fellowship In Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Message from the Fellowship Program Director
Welcome to the web page for the Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. The Northwestern Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program is committed to providing outstanding clinical training in all aspects of pulmonary and critical care medicine, in conjunction with rigorous investigative training in basic mechanisms of lung disease and/or patient-oriented/translational research. The fellowship experience is designed to prepare trainees achieve successful, independent careers in academic pulmonary and critical care medicine. Our clinical and research facilities are state-of-the-art, our faculty is dynamic and diverse, and our programs have undergone substantial growth in recent years. The Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Northwestern is dedicated to providing the best possible fellowship experience, and to fostering the success of our trainees. We invite you to review the information that follows to learn more about our program.
Please note that applications for fellowship training at Northwestern are accepted exclusively through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). To apply to our fellowship program, please go to the ERAS website. We appreciate your interest in our training program and look forward to receiving your application.
The fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University provides both a broad-based clinical experience and rigorous research training. Completion of the three-year fellowship fulfills the requirements for certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine. Additional training beyond three years is encouraged for those seeking a career in basic science or clinical research. The program is designed to prepare physicians for careers in academic medicine.
The training program is based at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the principal teaching hospital for Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and serves as the primary site for clinical training in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. Northwestern Memorial Hospital has 900 total beds and 150 intensive care unit beds, and features comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical and surgical programs, including bone marrow and solid organ transplantation, cardiac surgery and trauma care. The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center is a 250-bed facility with 24 intensive care beds. Clinical experience is also provided at the 180-bed Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. The research laboratories of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine are located at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University, directly across the street from Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The fellow on the Pulmonary Consultation Service at each hospital is responsible for all initial consultations, daily follow-ups, in-patient bronchoscopies and other procedures. The fellow interacts closely and rounds daily with a faculty attending physician. The fellow also plays a major role in supervising residents, interns, and medical students rotating on the Service. At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the fellow sees 60-90 new consults and performs 20-30 bronchoscopies per month. At the Jesse Brown VA, the fellow sees 30-40 new consultations, performs 15-20 bronchoscopies each month, and is responsible for interpretation of pulmonary function tests. Patients seen by the consultation services at both hospitals exhibit a broad range of clinical problems encompassing all aspects of pulmonary disease.
Critical Care Medicine
Fellows rotating through the Medical Intensive Care Units function as senior members of the team with primary responsibility for patient care and responsibility for performing or supervising all procedures with housestaff and students. Rounds are made daily with a faculty attending physician. Northwestern has a 35-bed Medical Intensive Care Unit with an average of 200 admissions per month, encompassing a wide variety of acute conditions. The Jesse Brown VA has a 24-bed combined Medical Intensive Care / Coronary Care / Surgical intensive Care Unit with an average of 100 admissions per month, encompassing patients with both acute critical illness and acute complications of chronic disease. Fellows also rotate through the Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Outpatient Pulmonary Medicine
One half-day per week throughout the fellowship is devoted to a continuity pulmonary medicine clinic. Outpatient experience is provided in the offices of the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (the Feinberg School of Medicine faculty practice), the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. In addition, during the first year of training, fellows gain experience in the Sleep Disorders Clinic, Asthma / COPD Clinic, Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic, Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, Neuromuscular Disease/Non-invasive Ventilation Clinic, and Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
Pulmonary Function Laboratory
Exposure to physiologic testing and interpretation of pulmonary function tests takes place during dedicated rotations in the Pulmonary Function Lab at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and in conjunction with the Pulmonary Consultation Service rotation at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. This includes in-depth experience in performance and interpretation of both basic and specialized pulmonary function tests, including cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Fellows participate in cardiopulmonary exercise tests at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and interpret these studies in conjunction with pulmonary faculty.
Active participation in research is an integral part of fellowship training at Northwestern. A wide array of opportunities exists for involvement in basic investigation in lung biology and in translational/patient-oriented research. The accompanying list of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and other Lung Biology Training Program Faculty includes an overview of numerous ongoing research programs, all of which are available for fellows to choose among for research training.
Fellows are introduced to ongoing research activities early in the course of their training. Each fellow selects a research area and mentor(s) from among the faculty of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine or other divisions and departments participating in the National Institutes of Health-funded Northwestern Training Program in Lung Biology. Fellows receive guidance in choosing mentors and research projects from the Fellowship Program Director and the Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. With the assistance of the mentor(s), fellows prepare and present a research proposal at the beginning of the first research year. Fellows receive guidance during their research training from their individual mentor(s) and a Research Advisory Committee constituted specifically for each trainee. Although traditionally the first fellowship year has been has been devoted primarily to clinical training, followed by second, third, and optional fourth years focused mainly on research, the option of starting the fellowship with research in the first year is also available. Fellows are strongly encouraged to apply for individual national fellowship research training awards from the National Institutes of Health or other agencies, and are guided in this process by the research mentor(s) and Research Advisory Committee. Fellows are expected to discuss their research projects and data periodically at Divisional Research-In-Progress Conferences, to present their work at local and national scientific meetings, and ultimately to submit their results for publication in the peer-reviewed biomedical literature.
Pulmonary and Critical Care Core Curriculum
Weekly didactic lectures by Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine faculty and fellows, as well as invited speakers, covering key clinical topics in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine.
Pulmonary and Critical Care Morning Report
Brief presentations and discussion of new pulmonary and critical care cases held Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Pulmonary and Critical Care Grand Rounds
Bi-weekly conference with clinical case presentations by fellows emphasizing clinical, physiologic, radiologic and pathologic findings.
MICU Outcomes Conference
Monthly meeting of MICU physicians and nurses to review clinical outcomes data, develop and implement quality assessment and improvement programs, and discuss notable events in a morbidity and mortality case format.
Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Conference
Weekly discussion of diagnosis and management of chest tumor cases with participation of faculty, fellows, and residents from Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Medical Oncology, Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Thoracic Surgery and Pathology.
Pulmonary and Critical Care Research Conference
Weekly conference featuring current basic lung biology and clinical/translational research by Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine faculty, fellows, other Northwestern faculty, and eminent scholars from other institutions.
Pulmonary and Critical Care Journal Club
Twice-monthly journal club at which Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellows and Faculty review and critique recently published clinical/translational studies and lung biology research.
Training Program Overview
This year is devoted to educational training, the majority of which is spent on the Pulmonary Consultation and MICU Services at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Additional rotations include the PFT Lab / Bronchoscopy Service, Sleep Medicine, Surgical ICU, Neurosciences ICU, and Palliative Medicine Consultation Service, all at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Fellows spend approximately 11 months conducting research and two to four weeks on in-patient services. In addition, fellows maintain a half day per week continuity clinic.
Fellows spend 6-8 months doing research and 4-6 months on clinical rotations, including those described above, with elective options including the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation Sleep Disorders Clinic, Asthma / COPD Clinic, Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic, Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, and the Neuromuscular Disease/Non-invasive Ventilation Clinic. Outpatient experience continues in the half day continuity pulmonary clinic.
An optional fourth year of training is strongly encouraged to provide additional research experience for fellows seeking an academic career. The structure of the fourth year experience will be determined on an individual basis depending on the fellow's career goals and availability of extramural funds.
In early 2012, night call from home to cover the MICU and Pulmonary Service at NMH was eliminated. In its place, a system of 24/7 in-house intensivist/pulmonologist coverage was instituted. Night coverage is provided by fellows and/or faculty, who oversee patient care delivery by resident teams and mid-level providers. For first-year fellows during 2013-2014, night shift responsibility consists of fifteen 12-hour night shifts (7:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M.), which are scheduled as three separate five-night blocks distributed throughout the year. During these blocks of night shifts, first-year fellows are excused from daytime responsibilities, including clinics. Second and third year fellows are required to cover 13 night shifts each during 2013-2014, scheduled as individual nights throughout the year. Fellows are compensated at an hourly rate for night shift coverage, which supplements the regular fellowship salary, during the second and third year. Fellows have the option to work additional night shifts beyond the number required; supplemental compensation is provided for such optional night coverage as well.
Weekend daytime call responsibilities during 2013-2014 are distributed as follows: first year fellows – 14 weekends; second year fellows – 8 weekends; third year fellows – 3 weekends. On weekends at NMH, fellows on call cover the MICU and/or Pulmonary Consult service from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. On weekends at the Jesse Brown VA, fellows on call cover the MICU and Pulmonary Consult service, and can generally leave the hospital once rounds and documentation in the electronic medical record have been completed. Fellows assigned call at the Jesse Brown VA remain on “beeper call” once they have left the hospital on weekends, as well as at night during the week.
Compensation and Benefits
Salaries for the first, second, third and optional fourth years of fellowship are $58,980, $61,131, $63,667, and $66,169 respectively, during the 2013-2014 academic year (this scale is adjusted annually). Fellows receive four weeks of paid vacation during each year of training. Individual membership in the house staff group health insurance plan is provided at no charge to fellows; family membership is also available. Group life insurance and disability insurance are available as well.
Parking is available at $75 per month to those who live two miles or further from the Medical Center.
Membership fees for the American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, and Chicago Thoracic Society are paid for all fellows throughout training.
Each first year fellow receives a $250 allowance for purchase of books, journal subscriptions, etc. Second, third and fourth year fellows are provided support to attend one or more national scientific meetings during each of these years of training. E-mail and Internet access are provided for all fellows through Northwestern University.
For additional information on stipends, benefits, policies and procedures, please see the Northwestern McGaw Graduate Medical Education website at http://gme.northwestern.edu.
Please note that all fellowship positions for 2014 have been filled.
Applications for Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship training at Northwestern are accepted exclusively through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). To apply, please go to the ERAS website at www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/eras/fellowship_applicants/ and follow the directions for Fellowship Applicants. Applications and related documents submitted without the use of ERAS will not be considered. The deadline for reciept of applications for the 2015 positions (to be filled in the December 2014 Match) is August 15, 2014.
To complete your application, the following documents are required:
1. A letter of recommendation from your Internal Medicine Residency Program Director or Department Chairperson.
2. At least 2 (but not more than 4) additional letters of recommendation. These should be from clinical faculty and/or research mentors who know you and your work well. Ideally, at least one letter should be from a senior member of the faculty in pulmonary and critical care medicine at your institution.
3. A personal statement describing who you are, why you have chosen to pursue training in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and your current thoughts about your future career path.
4. Your curriculum vitae.
5. Original reports of your USMLE (or COMLEX) scores.
6. Medical school dean’s letter and medical school transcripts.
Since we participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Medical Specialties Matching Program, fellowship applicants must also register with NRMP (www.nrmp.org) and agree to participate in the NRMP Match.
The Northwestern program provides combined training in pulmonary and critical care medicine, leading to eligibility for American Board of Internal Medicine certification in Pulmonary Disease and in Critical Care Medicine. We do not offer single-specialty training in only pulmonary disease or only critical care medicine.
Please also note that the Northwestern University/McGaw Medical Center Program does not sponsor H-1B visas.
For additional information regarding fellowship application procedures, please e-mail or call:
Fellowship Program Coordinator
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University
240 E. Huron St., McGaw Pavilion M-300
Chicago, IL 60611