Critical Care Fellowship

Dr. Alan Kovar
Dr. Alan J. Kovar, Program Director, Critical Care Anesthesiology Fellowship 

Thank-you for your interest in our Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine (CCM) fellowship program.  Our mission, first and foremost, is to educate clinicians in a way that emphasizes and supports the humanitarian aspect of critical care medicine.  We absolutely believe that you will gain the tools necessary to be a preeminent clinician with the expertise to care for the most critically-ill patients, but if that is all we do I believe we would have failed.  By the point that you are considering our fellowship you are well aware of what we are up against as critical care physicians.  I continue to love this field, not because it is not without significant challenges, but because it is a chance to walk alongside patients and their families’ at the most critical times of their entire lives.  This matters. I do not believe the key to burnout is to work less necessarily (although I believe balance is important), I believe it is our connection to each other and our work that give it meaning.  The interactions I get to have with the fellows as they learn and with those we care for, are constantly a source of inspiration to me.  Integration of the VitalTalk program into our fellowship and a robust collaboration between Palliative Care and our faculty ensure that you will have the tools you need to succeed in these endeavors.  It is my distinct pleasure to get to teach these techniques along with the world-class medicine you will also learn. 

In the following pages you can find much of the information about the specifics and particulars of our ACGME-accredited fellowship.  I encourage you to avail yourself of those resources.  What I want to leave you with here is a glimpse into our vision; into what we are trying to do.  We believe in this field and what we are doing in this time more than ever.

Alan J. Kovar, MD
Program Director, Anesthesia CCM Fellowship

80 adult ICU beds in total with four adult ICUs at the University hospital:

  • 26 bed Cardiovascular unit (Our primary teaching unit)   
  • 21 bed Trauma/General Surgery unit     
  • 17 bed Neurosurgical unit        
  • 16 bed Medical ICU
  • A robust Virtual ICU serving 7 hospitals across the state 

Oregon Health & Science University Hospital (OHSU Hospital) is a 576-bed teaching hospital, biomedical research facility, and Level I trauma center located on the campus of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland in the U.S. State of Oregon. 

OHSU is also Portland's largest employer and a statewide economic powerhouse. Our operations include multiple campuses, adult and children’s hospitals, and clinics across Oregon. We also have state-of-the-art research facilities, including the 320,000-square-foot Knight Cancer Research Building.

U.S. News & World Report rankings:

  • Best hospital in Oregon (2021-22)
  • Health care national rankings in six adult specialties (2021-22) and five children's specialties (2021-22)
  • Education rankings in six programs and more than 10 specialties (2022)

To get a sense of community and campus, please see this video.

  • The OHSU Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine fellowship offers trainees the opportunity to learn critical care in a variety of general and specialized high-volume, high-acuity ICUs.  Core rotations adhere to ABA and ACGME guidelines and include rotations in the Cardiovascular ICU, Neurosciences ICU, Medical ICU, and the VA Surgical ICU.  ICU electives include the Pediatric ICU, Trauma/General Surgical ICU, OHSU Hillsboro ICU (community hospital partner, mixed medical-surgical critical care experience), and our new Virtual ICU (consulting on ICU patients in multiple smaller hospitals in the state of Oregon).
  • Critical care education is enhanced with other elective rotations tailored to the interests of the individual fellow. Some of the more popular elective opportunities include nephrology, radiology, palliative care, scholarly activity/research, medical ethics, echocardiography, and ICU/Hospital administration. Research opportunities abound in our department, which ranks highly in the country for NIH funding. 
  • Fellows learn from a plethora of board-certified attending critical care physicians, including those from anesthesiology, surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, medicine/pulmonary, emergency medicine, and cardiology. All supervising attending physicians have completed specialized training in Critical Care Medicine. In addition, the University has a strong group of Advanced Practice Providers in many of the ICUs, providing more educational and clinical care support.
  • All of our core units operate as closed-type ICUs, with emphasis on multidisciplinary and collaborative care. As OHSU is the quaternary referral center for Oregon and a large part of the Pacific Northwest with exposure to high acuity and clinically complex cases.  There are two additional ICUs at our affiliated VA Hospital and one at our community hospital partner, Hillsboro Medical Center.  
  • For more information, please see these FAQs. 
  • Didactic experiences are plentiful. A multidisciplinary critical care didactic conference occur on a daily basis for the first six weeks of the academic year, then weekly for the remainder of the year. This series covers all major topics in critical care medicine, and we strive to have our local experts present at this conference. Monthly conferences include a topic-centered presentation and a journal club, in collaboration with the Neurosciences ICU fellowship program, a multidisciplinary fellow’s POCUS conference, and a fellow’s leadership conference.  There additional conferences related to patient-centered care that are optional including the Schwartz’s Rounds and an All-Hill Critical Care conference.
  • Our ultrasound training program aligns with recommendations from the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists and occurs over the entirety of fellowship training. The curriculum includes a self-guided, faculty-facilitated ultrasound checklist, availability of daily ultrasound scanning and image review, every-other-week echo review conference with our cardiology department as well as TTE and self-directed ultrasound electives. In addition, weekly TEE review with the Cardiothoracic Anesthesia fellowship is available for those who are interested. Our goal is to graduate critical care physicians competent in critical care ultrasound. 
  • If you are interested in a dual-training pathway, such as in Critical Care Medicine and Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, or Critical Care Medicine and Neurocritical Care, please mark this on the SF Match application, as well as email us directly so that we can coordinate with you and our colleagues.
  • We are proud to accept EM residents who are interested in applying for our ABA approved EM pathway can apply using the SF match.  You are required to complete a 2 year fellowship to satisfy ACEP requirements.
  • Portland is a beautiful city, which holds many attractions.  Located near mountains and Pacific Ocean with its rocky and wild coast, many consider this a perfect place to live.  The city has the art, food, culture and amenities of much larger cities, while maintaining easy access to outdoor activities and a high quality of life. Especially during the recent pandemic, the availability of outdoor activities has been essential to our wellness!
  • To learn more about Portland, see this official website:
  • Oregon Travel Resources:
  • Essential Restaurants and Food Carts:

Our program has two, 1-year ACGME-accredited fellowship positions in Critical Care Medicine for anesthesiology-trained applicants. Our program is participating in the SOCCA Fellowship Match through SF Match utilizing the Centralized Application Service. All anesthesiology department fellowships, including the Critical Care Fellowship, will have a start date of August 1st

To apply, please complete the application submission form through SF Match. Included in your SF Match Application should be:

  • Application form 
  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation (including one from your residency program director)

Additionally, please arrange for the submission of: 

  • Dean's Letter/MSPE
  • Medical school transcripts (unofficial/copies accepted)
  • USMLE and/or COMLEX score reports (unofficial/copies accepted)

Please send these application materials to: APOM Fellowship Applications

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Education office at (503) 494-4878.

Hillary Paasch, BA 
Senior Education Manager

Alan Kovar, MD
Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program Director

Katherine Rog, MD
Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Assistant Program Director

OHSU provides equal opportunities to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military service, or any other status protected by law. It does not discriminate on any status protected by law. This policy applies to all employment, education, volunteer, and patient care related activities or in any other aspect of OHSU's operation. Such compliance efforts are coordinated by the OHSU’s Office of Civil Rights Investigations and Compliance (OCIC). OHSU complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and 34 CFR Part 106 by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in education programs, activities, employment, and admissions. Inquiries about Title IX compliance or sex/gender discrimination may be directed to the OHSU Title IX Coordinator. Mailing address: Mail code MP240, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland, OR 97239. Office: Marquam Plaza Suite 240, 2525 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR; OCIC website. Title IX inquiries may also be directed to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 1-800-421-3481