Surgical Critical Care

Clinical Environment

Throughout this one-year clinical fellowship, the fellow spends a significant amount of time providing care for critically ill surgical and trauma patients requiring intensive medical care. As an ACS designated Level 1 Trauma Center, Spectrum Health-Butterworth Hospital provides services to a variety of blunt and penetrating trauma patients. The hospital and trauma center are supported by an extensive EMS system and Airomed flight program. As a tertiary and quaternary referral center, fellows will be exposed to a wide array of clinical care, innovation, and research initiatives spanning a population of over 1.5 million. Spectrum Health Butterworth is a 620 bed hospital with over 120,000 ER visits and 2000 trauma admissions each year.

Numerous patient populations are cared for including orthopedic, neurosurgery, cardiovascular, burn, trauma, peripheral vascular, urology and general surgery patients. The blended ICU structure provides the fellows with a unique opportunity to care for a variety of patients and to learn from a dedicated team of general and specialty surgeons. Additional rotations in the Cardiothoracic ICU aim to give the fellow exposure to heart and lung transplant patients, ECMO and assist device management.

The Fellowship also provides each physician with significant experience in invasive procedures including central line placement, chest tube placement and intubation, bronchoscopy, percutaneous gastrostomy tube placement, and tracheostomy placement. Fellows will also have the opportunity to maintain operative skills on the busy Emergency General Surgery service and participate in Trauma resuscitations and operative interventions.

In addition to clinical experience, the Fellowship also provides significant experience in the area of surgical nutrition and research. An integral part of the fellowship is experience in the areas of metabolic response to stress, shock, and multiple organ system failure. Under the guidance of two dedicated Nutrition physicians, the fellow will gain experience with fluoroscopic nasojejunal tube placement and determining TPN and tube feed needs.  Other rotations including Echocardiography will allow the fellow to develop a basic understanding of bedside ECHO in shock and resuscitation. Advanced airway skills are also offered to enhance the fellow’s ability to manage more routine to complex airway situations. Other activities required of the fellow include contributions to Quality Improvement activities and clinical protocol development.

Finally, each Critical Care Fellow has the opportunity to serve as a resource and teacher for junior residents in the General Surgery Residency Program. The SCC fellow will work with and lead the multidisciplinary surgical critical care team consisting of and overseeing, residents, medical and NP/PA students. The practice is also supported by Advanced Practice Providers.


Based upon the American Board of Surgery outline, fellows will have a dedicated weekly curriculum including question bank to prepare for the ABS Surgical Critical Care Examination. Weekly general surgery conferences including M&M are also attended. Other conferences include weekly SICU didactics, monthly ACS Journal Club, weekly ACS meetings, bimonthly Radiology-Surgery Conference as well as attendance to daily check in (DCI). Numerous opportunities to become involved in Process and Quality Improvement exist for those that are interested. The fellowship year provides ample opportunity for study and preparation for the critical care board exam.


The GME Research Department provides support to Spectrum Health residents and faculty in all areas of research and scholarly activity (e.g., quality, educational, surveys).  To access more details, including templates (e.g., study protocol, poster), help request forms and other contact information, visit Spectrum Health GME Research.

Ready to Apply?

All applications are accepted through ERAS. Please see the For Applicants section of your preferred program for additional details.

Apply Now