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Message from the Program Director

Since 1999 we have had a Vascular Surgery Fellowship here at the University of Wisconsin. Given the significant changing nature of surgical practice, namely more specialization, the need for more focused and integrated training becomes paramount for our future surgeons. This change has been particularly acute in Vascular Surgery, where the endovascular revolution has made minimally invasive catheter-based approaches standard for many vascular therapies. Most general surgical graduates do not practice vascular surgery, and most go on for further training with a fellowship. This requires a long training period (7-9 years) and is less appealing on many levels. Similarly, although most current vascular surgeons have a full general surgical background, their practice is limited to the vascular system. Shorter training paradigms are attractive to a majority of medical students especially as more than half of students want to start a family and for many medical students today, medicine is a second career. Our program is at an opportune time to make the change to an Integrated Vascular Residency program that would satisfy the training needs of the resident and more importantly provide an outstanding trained vascular surgeon who would be able to treat vascular disease with medical, endovascular and surgical therapies.

Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency programs (0-5) were made possible by the recent approval of the Primary Certificate in Vascular Surgery by The American Board of Medical Specialties. The program allows for admission after completion of medical school. It dedicates five clinical years to the training of vascular surgeons. The current practice of vascular surgery demands broad training in operative techniques, increasing familiarity with catheter-based techniques, and formal training in vascular laboratory testing and interpretation. An integrated 0-5 program provides considerable breadth of training in vascular surgery. We have residents in their PGY-1-5 years in the 2016-2017 academic year. While our original plan was to phase out the fellowship as the integrated residency filled, we obtained approval for continuing the fellowship alongside of the integrated residency. Expansion of the training program to keep the fellowship was necessitated by an over 30% expansion in our clinical volume, the addition of vascular surgery faculty members and the reality that our trainees were too clinically busy (>95th percentile total and complex cases). Expansion to four senior residents (PGY-4 and PGY-5 integrated residents and first- and second-year fellows) will allow for case volumes that will exceed the 75th percentile nationally for all our trainees while providing residents greater time to read and develop critical thinking/research skills and requiring fewer call days and allowing for strict compliance with work hour rules.

The major goals of our integrated program are to provide incremental, progressive training in core surgery (CS) and vascular surgery (VS) during the five-year program, focusing on areas that will be critically important to the needs of a practicing vascular specialist. Progressively increased resident responsibility will be provided under careful attending supervision. Over the course of the five-year training period, vascular residents will spend a total of 24 months on core surgery rotations during their PGY-1 through PGY-3 years and 36 months on vascular surgery rotations, including 12 months of vascular training during the PGY-1 through PGY-3 years and 48 months of vascular care during their PGY-4 and PGY-5 years. This is a robust training that includes rotations at three integrated sites (UW Hospital, William S. Middleton Memorial VA Hospital and Meriter Hospital). The vascular residents will rotate through general surgery services, intensive care and trauma units, radiology services, thoracic surgery, cardiac surgery, transplant surgery, plastic surgery, cardiology, and vascular surgery services at UWHC and the VA Hospital at the appropriate levels of training to optimize learning. There is a four-week elective built into the PGY-3 year.

Our faculty members believe we offer the vascular trainee one of the premier integrated vascular residency positions in the country. Our strengths are multiple, including but not limited to the diversity of faculty, the volume of open complex vascular cases, and our capacity as a regional referral center for carotid stenting, thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair, EVAR and fenestrated EVAR, TEVAR, and limb salvage angioplasty programs. Perhaps our greatest strength lies in the inherent comradery that exists between our vascular trainees and faculty as well as the general surgery residents and faculty within the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin.

This five-year training program is designed to produce surgeons who can not only provide comprehensive care to the vascular patient, but also can be expected to fully participate in the rapid expansion of the field of vascular surgery, both clinically and academically. The resident is expected by the completion of training to have acquired the clinical judgment and technical skills necessary to be an independent practitioner of vascular surgery at the level of a board certified specialist. Our UW Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency has the full support of faculty in the Division of Vascular Surgery and our Divisional Chairman, Dr. Jon Matsumura, as well as Dr. Eugene Foley who serves as the General Surgery Residency Program Director, and our Department of Surgery Interim Chairman, Michael L Bentz, MD. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your consideration.


John R Hoch, MD
Program Director
Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery
600 Highland Ave, G5/325
Madison, WI 53792

Jon S Matsumura, MD
Professor and Chairman
Division of Vascular Surgery
600 Highland Ave, G5/325
Madison, WI 53792 Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System