Critical Care Track

From the Oregon Scholars Critical Care Chief...

Vega, Eleanor_website


Thank you for your interest in the OHSU Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine (CCM) training program. We provide a top-notch education in critical care medicine under highly respected and accomplished faculty. Currently, there are two ways in which anesthesiology residents can pursue a critical care fellowship at OHSU. For trainees who have completed their anesthesiology residency, we offer a traditional, one-year CCM fellowship (for more information, click here). Trainees entering anesthesiology residency from medical school can apply for the Oregon Scholars Program (OSP), a 48-month program (not including intern year) that integrates a one-year CCM fellowship into the two final years of anesthesiology residency.  We are proud to have the longest running combined anesthesiology-critical care medicine program in the country.



Clinical Experience
The OSP critical care track satisfies the ACGME requirements for both anesthesiology residency and specialty training in anesthesiology critical care. In addition to the core anesthesiology curriculum, scholars will complete nine core critical care rotations, one elective critical care rotation, and three non-critical care electives to complement the critical care education. Critical care experiences are obtained primarily in the adult ICUs (surgical ICUs, cardiothoracic ICU, neurosciences ICU and medical ICU) with elective opportunities to train in the pediatric ICUs (neonatal ICU, pediatric ICU). Trainees become competent in caring for patients undergoing cardiac, thoracic, vascular, and major abdominal surgeries, in addition to liver and kidney transplantation. ICUs are staffed with intensivists who are experts in a variety of disciplines, including surgery, anesthesiology, neurocritical care, and pulmonary critical care, creating a comprehensive education in critical care. Electives are offered in a variety of subjects to enhance the critical care training, including nephrology, infectious disease, pulmonology, heart failure, and transthoracic echocardiography. Research opportunities are also available. For information on the core anesthesiology program, please click here. A sample schedule is included below.

Didactic Experience
OSP scholars follow an extensive didactic curriculum for the entirety of the 48-month program. A weekly lecture series given by faculty members from a wide variety of clinical disciplines provides the scholar with a solid foundation of critical care knowledge. During monthly anesthesiology CCM conferences, scholars present critical care topics and relevant journal articles to faculty and trainees. In addition, a monthly echocardiography conference teaches scholars to be competent in bedside echocardiography and ultrasound in the ICU.  Finally, for six weeks at the beginning of each academic year, scholars in the PGY-4 and PGY-5 years attend daily multidisciplinary lectures as a part of the critical care core lecture series which serves to enforce basic critical care concepts.

OSP Sample Schedule

PGY-1 Year:      2 ICU rotations as an intern

PGY-2 Year:      2 ICU rotations as a CA-1 resident

PGY-3 Year:      2 ICU rotations as a CA-2 resident

PGY-4 Year:      3 ICU rotations as a CCM fellow

                           3 elective rotations as a CCM fellow

                           7 anesthesiology rotations as a CA-3 resident

PGY-5 Year:      6 ICU rotations as a CCM fellow

                           1 elective ICU rotation as a CCM fellow

                           6 anesthesiology rotations as a CA-3 resident



Integrating the CCM fellowship program into anesthesiology residency creates a unique learning environment that allows the scholar to learn how to practice anesthesiology and critical care medicine simultaneously, becoming a true peri-operative physician. Skills and knowledge learned in each clinical environment enhance that of the other. For example, familiarity with the challenges of post-operative ICU management may influence decisions made in the operating room (OR) regarding medication choice, fluid administration, or vascular access and monitoring.  Experience in managing hemodynamically unstable patients in the OR is directly applicable to caring for patients in the ICU. Another benefit of the OSP CCM program is the consistent exposure to critical care didactics over the 48-month course. Repetition of core concepts help build a substantial base of knowledge even prior to starting fellow-level rotations.  

The uniqueness of this integrated training has made our graduates highly competitive when applying for jobs and subsequent fellowship positions. Previous graduates have been very successful in obtaining positions practicing anesthesia and critical care medicine in renowned academic and private practice hospitals across the country. Others have gone on to pursue further specialty training at prestigious programs nationwide prior to entering practice.



Portland is an amazing place to live and work; it offers endless outdoor activities and cultural experiences in the setting of a spectacular landscape and interesting people. OHSU is situated atop Marquam Hill, and provides some of the most stunning views of the city, the Willamette River, and Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood. The Pacific Northwest is home to a variety of landscapes, including the beautiful Oregon coast, the mountainous terrain of the Cascade Mountains, and the high desert of eastern Oregon, all which are within a short drive of Portland. Locals enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, running, bicycling, boating, fishing, and hunting. There are also extensive opportunities to attend concerts, professional sporting events, and festivals. The city offers an remarkable array of excellent dining options, ranging from food carts to 5-star restaurants. Portland is also known for its farmers markets, providing organic fruits and vegetables and responsibly-raised meat and fish from local farms. OHSU even sponsors a weekly farmers market on campus from June to October.  Portland has an impressive number of microbreweries and distilleries for those who enjoy craft beer and spirits. In addition, the nearby Willamette Valley is home to more than 300 wineries. It is difficult to imagine a better place to train and live.  

Thank you again for your interest in our program. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the program or life in Portland.


Eleanor Vega, MD
Critical Care Chief
Oregon Scholars Program