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Vascular Surgery Integrated Residency Program

The Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to educating future leaders in vascular surgery through our training programs in the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Our traditional fellowship was established in 1982. We are proud of our 36 graduates, all of whom are board-certified vascular surgeons, practicing in private, academic, and military practices. Our final fellowship graduate completed training in 2012.

We transitioned to a “0+5” training paradigm in 2008, the fourth program of its type in the country to receive Residency Review Committee approval. We were fortunate to be approved in 2010 for expansion to two resident positions per year.  In academic year 2015-16, we reached a full complement of ten residents. Our first chief resident graduated in 2013, and chose to join the faculty here at UMass. For a complete list of our alumni, click here. We have been very fortunate to attract a wonderfully talented group of residents to our program; they are a remarkably diverse, yet cohesive group! 

Photo of 2019 Vascular Surgery Residents
2019 Vascular Surgery Residents

About the Hospital, School, and City of Worcester

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The partnership between the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMassMemorial Health Care identified in its Strategic Plan that: Our mission is to advance the health and well-being of the people in the Commonwealth and the world through pioneering advances in education, research, and health care delivery. The University of Massachusetts Medical School is comprised of the Medical School, the Graduate School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The faculty boasts nationally and internationally recognized leaders, including recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Lasker Award, the Banting Medal, the Ellison Award, the Keck Award, the Gairdner Award, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professorships. Annual research funding awards exceeded $280 million in 2016, placing it in the top 2% of all NIH-funded institutions. UMass Medical School is consistently ranked in the top ten percent of the nation’s 129 medical schools for excellence in primary care education by weekly news magazine U.S. News & World Report in its annual review “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” UMMS was also ranked as the most entrepreneurial medical school in the US with $520 million/year in entrepreneurial and miscellaneous revenue, averaged over the last 5 years.

Our clinical partner, UMassMemorial Health Care, is the largest health care system in Central and Western Massachusetts covering a patient population of 1 million. The two main campuses, University and Memorial, house over 750 beds, including 7 critical care units, and a Stepdown Unit dedicated exclusively to patients admitted to the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence. The healthcare system generates over $2 billion in annual revenue, with approximately 60,000 admissions annually. We are a Level 1 Trauma Center, with numerous medical and surgical residency and fellowship programs. We particularly value our relationship with our General Surgery Residency colleagues! Under the direction of Dr Jennifer Lafemina, the residency continues its strong tradition of training general surgeons for whatever career path they choose. They are a tremendously accomplished group.

UMMHC locations 2014

Importantly, Worcester is a great city in which to work and live – a hidden gem! With nine colleges in the city, there are lots of local hang-outs, live music, sporting events, and cultural activities. We are only 45 minutes from Boston and Providence; in addition, Cape Cod, the Berkshires, and the White Mountains are all day-trips from here. For more information, please visit the Worcester Cultural Coalition website.

About the Residency 

Our fully accredited Integrated Residency participates in the National Resident Matching Program to match two residents for categorical positions each year. We have eight faculty members, each of whom is dedicated to the provision of the highest quality care to their patients and highest quality surgical education for their residents. We are committed to preparing our trainees to become leaders in any vascular surgery career they wish to pursue, in a friendly and respectful work environment.


Program Director:
Jessica Simons, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director, Vascular Surgery Integrated Residency Program

Program Coordinator:
Patricia Gillies - Patricia.Gillies@umassmemorial.org


Sub-internships

We have been delighted to offer sub-internships to fourth year medical students in order to get a first-hand experience in our residency program. Interested applicants may contact our program coordinator, Ms Patricia Gillies. (Patricia.Gillies@umassmemorial.org) Applications are accepted through VSAS. We are happy to work with students to accommodate rotation dates not posted on VSAS - please contact Ms Gillies.

Curriculum

The five years of training is divided up into three years of integrated training in general and subspecialty surgical rotations, cardiology/CCU, anesthesia, and noninvasive vascular lab training, with the final two years dedicated exclusively to vascular and endovascular training. This equates to 24 months of core integrated training, and 36 months of vascular training.

 

Procedural Volume

With a procedural volume of approximately 4000 cases annually, we offer a tremendous case volume for excellent training in both open and endovascular techniques. Our residents consistently graduate with case numbers far in excess of the ACGME case minimums. We performed over 125 aortic operations last year (with approximately 40% open, and 60% endovascular), nearly 200 carotid endarterectomies, and 145 lower extremity bypasses. In the endovascular suite, over 1000 interventions were performed. We opened a state-of-the-art hybrid OR suite in 2013, which has allowed us advance our Center for Complex Aortic Disease, under the direction of Dr Andres Schanzer.  On-table computed tomography capabilities, paired with cutting-edge imaging software, allow us to use fusion techniques to minimize contrast administration and radiation exposure for complex endovascular aneurysm repair. Our hybrid suite is an important resource for our Center for Complex Aortic Disease, which has grown rapidly since it was begun in 2011; work is underway to open a second hybrid OR by 2019. We have completed over 200 fenestrated and branched repairs to date, with excellent clinical outcomes.

Our focus on advanced endovascular techniques has not detracted from our robust open surgical training. Our residents have graduated with nearly twice the national average number of open aortic cases in each of the past several years.  In addition, under the direction of Dr Edward Arous, we offer a tremendous experience in the management of critical limb ischemia, as a result of our Limb Preservation Center. One of the only such centers in the country, our LPC offers a unique multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of critical limb ischemia.  Our rounds (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) are attended by our housestaff and inpatient advanced practice clinicians, our LPC Nurse Practitioner Coordinator, and faculty from Vascular Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Podiatry, Infectious Disease, and Endocrinology.

Procedure Volume Chart 2017-2018

Resident Research

We expect all of our residents to participate in research throughout training. Our residents have presented at many of our regional and national meetings (New England Society for Vascular Surgery, Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery, Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Annual Meeting, etc). Our residents received the Darling Award for Excellence in Clinical Research two years in a row (2012 and 2013). They have first authored publications in major peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Vascular Surgery, Circulation, Annals of Vascular Surgery, and Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. In addition, our division sends our residents to several research conferences during training, including SCVS, NESVS, and SVS.

Logistics

We are committed to adhering to the ACGME-mandated duty hours. We offer competitive benefits and compensation packages. More details are available on the homepage for UMMS Graduate Medical Education. There is an on-site fitness center in the Albert Sherman Center, available 24/7 with monthly membership fees of $25.

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