Thank you for your interest in the University of Wisconsin Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship. Over the past 50 years, the University of Wisconsin Transplant Program has developed into one of the largest and most successful transplant programs in the United States. In 2014, our liver transplant program expanded with the initiation of the Liver Transplant Program at the William S. Middleton Veterans Administration Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. The early success of this program has led to the recent approval of the VA Kidney Transplant Program at the same hospital. The Madison VA Kidney Transplant Program is anticipated to begin January 2018.
The University of Wisconsin Abdominal Transplant Program performs an average of more than 400 organ transplants per year, with results that are consistently at or above expected outcomes based on national outcome assessments. In 2016, we were ranked as the fourth busiest transplant program in the United States, performing a total of 512 transplants, 485 of which were abdominal organ transplants.
Our transplant fellowship, which is accredited by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, has also evolved since its inception in 1984. Over the last 32 years, we have trained 51 surgical transplant fellows, many of whom have moved on to serve as program directors as well as national and international leaders in transplant surgery. The mission of our fellowship is to provide a broad-based transplant training program which results in the training of the “complete” transplant surgeon. During the rigorous two-year fellowship, fellows are taught the surgical techniques of adult and pediatric liver and kidney transplantation, pancreas transplantation, laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, hepatobiliary surgery, living donor hepatectomy, liver and pancreas allograft biopsy, and vascular access surgery. In addition, they gain significant experience in both donation after brain death and donation after circulatory death (DCD) donor organ recoveries.
In addition to the high-volume clinical training, fellows have opportunities to initiate and participate in both clinical and translational research projects. Our clinical fellows have access to a robust, prospectively maintained transplant database which was developed in 1988. Research projects can be pursued using the database with the assistance of both database coordinators and a statistician. Utilization of this database throughout the years has led to hundreds of abstract presentations and publications for fellows during and after their training. Currently, our fellows attend one transplant CME meeting per year (ATC, ASTS Winter Meeting), in addition to the ASTS-sponsored Fellows Symposium during the second year. In addition, we will financially support travel to any other meeting at which a fellow has an oral abstract research presentation.
In summary, we are striving to offer one of the most comprehensive training programs available. The large clinical volume and exposure to operative as well as pre- and postoperative care will assure the fellow extensive training in transplantation surgery and medicine. Most important, each of our faculty are truly committed to the mission of fellowship training. By balancing both oversight and autonomy for each individual fellow, our faculty allows the fellows to mature and grow as competent transplant surgeons.
David P Foley, MD