Critical Care Track

From the Oregon Scholars Critical Care Chief...

Menzel CCM Chief photo - 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.  OSP trainees can begin their time at OHSU either as a categorical anesthesiology intern or as a CA-1 followng a preliminary or transitional intern year elsewhere. 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 three core adult intensive care units (cardiothoracic ICU, neurosciences ICU, and the Veterans' Administration surgical ICU), with elective opportunities to train in the pediatric ICUs (neonatal ICU, pediatric ICU), medical ICU, trauma ICU, and university surgical ICU. Trainees become proficient in caring for patients undergoing cardiac, thoracic, vascular, neurologic, and major abdominal surgeries, in addition to liver and kidney transplantation. Trainees also work extensively in the care of patients with devastating neurologic injuries, including subarachnoid hemorrhages and strokes. Over the next few years, the scope of our core training will expand to include non-surgical cardiac critical care patients as OHSU's Knight Cardiovascular Institute continues to develop into a world-class multidisciplinary cardiovascular care center. Our ICUs are staffed with a multidisciplinary group of intensivists, which includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and pulmonologists, 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, palliative care, radiology 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

Scholars follow an extensive didactic curriculum for the entirety of the 48-month program. A weekly multidisciplinary lecture series, led by faculty members from a wide variety of clinical disciplines including pulmonary medicine, hematology, infectious diseases, trauma surgery, and anesthesiology, provides the scholars with a solid foundation of critical care knowledge. Once a month, this conference is replaced by a multidisciplinary critical care M&M, which is a favorite conference among our fellows due to excellent learning opportunities concerning both interesting cases and systems issues.

During monthly evening conferences, Oregon Scholars present critical care topics and relevant journal articles to the anesthesiology critical care faculty and their fellow OSP trainees. In addition, a monthly echocardiography conference gives scholars hands-on learning 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



The Oregon Scholars Program is an innovative and exciting way for anesthesiology resident to become simutaneously confident and proficient in providing both intraoperative and post-operative care to critically ill patients. As anesthesiologists, we have a unique knoweldge of the physiologic and pathophysiologic changes that occur in surgical patients, which makes us exceptionally well-suited to provide post-opeartive critical care. Conversely, familiarity with the challenges of ICU management of a braod range of surgical patients allows us to plan for the post-operative course while taking care of patients in the operating room. Each complements and enhances the other, so that senior fellows are able to maintain their intraoperative skills while simultanesously enriching their critical care practice. Another benefit of the OSP CCM program is the consisten exposure to critical care didactics over the 48-month course, which builds and reinforces a knowledge base in critical care, ensuring that trainees are preapred prior to starting advanced critical care rotations. An additional perk of the program is the pairing of OSP trainees with faculty advisors from within the critical care division. The consistent mentorship throughout the 48-month porgram helps to integrate the junior trainees into the critical care divisionn, and give scholars an invaluable source of career advice and planning.

This thorough, integrated training has made our graduates highly competitive when applying for jobs and additional fellowships. Previous graduates have been very successful in obtaining positions in anesthesia and critical care medicine at broad range of academic and private pracitce hospitals across the country, including OHSU. Others have gone on to pursue further training at prestigious programs nationwide prior to entering practice.

Living and Working in Portland

It’s hard to think of a better place to live and work than Portland, OR.  Situated at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, near the end of the Oregon Trail, at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, in the shadows of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens, the Rose City is a nature lover’s dream.  The area offers unparalleled scenery and opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, water sports, camping and snowboarding.  Even within the city limits, a hike to the top of Mt. Tabor will provide beautiful views of the city (almost as good as those from OHSU’s vantage point atop Marquam Hill!), or you can explore Forest Park’s 5,000 acres of lush forest trails.  The spectacular Oregon coast is a short drive away, as are Seattle, Oregon’s renowned Pinot Noir country, and the popular high desert city of Bend, OR.

As the principal metropolitan area in a largely rural state, Portland has the excitement and variety of a major city combined with the friendly, neighborly feel of a small town. Families of all shapes and sizes are welcome and celebrated here. The city is growing and changing constantly, and as a result the entertainment options are endless. For dining enthusiasts, Portland offers a spectrum of amazing options, ranging from hundreds of our famous food carts to fine dining, including several James Beard Award winners. The Pacific Northwest climate nurtures a wide variety of locally-grown produce, which is showcased at a number of popular farmers’ markets in the spring and summer months. Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world, with new options opening constantly; you can get your fill at the brewpubs around town or at the multiple beer festivals taking place throughout the year.  As mentioned above, the area is also internationally known for our Pinot Noir, and several wine regions are easily accessible.  Not to be forgotten, we love our coffee in Stump City; there are many excellent indepdendent roasters to choose from. There are numerous music and theatre venues throughout the city; on any given weekend you could enjoy an up-and-coming band at a small venue, a classical performance in a concert hall, a nationally touring artist in a stadium or at an outdoor festival, or just sit back and enjoy a film (with pizza and beer) at one of our many historic neighborhood movie theaters.  Portland also has three beloved professional sports teams: the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, the Portland Timbers major league soccer team, and the Portland Thorns women’s soccer team. It truly is a city with something for everyone. 

Thank you again for your interest in our exciting program; I speak for all of us when I say we are proud of the top-quality training we provide in a supportive, engaging environment.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the Oregon Scholars Program, OHSU, or life in Portland.



Katie Menzel, MD

Critical Care Chief
Oregon Scholar Program