Surgical Critical Care Fellowship


The one-year ACGME-accredited Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program trains future leaders in trauma, critical care and emergency surgery while providing clinical excellence. Our fellows have achieved a 100 percent pass-rate for the American Board of Surgery, Surgical Critical Care Certifying Exam for the past eight years.

Clinical experience

Fellows will spend most of their year in the Surgical Trauma ICU, where they will master the care of critically ill trauma, burn and surgery patients. They are expected to participate in and eventually lead daily teaching rounds and perform bedside procedures such as tracheostomies, PEGs and chest tubes. Fellows will learn the use of echocardiography and point-of-care ultrasound for fluid status management and graduate proficient in advanced critical care ultrasound.

Fellows take trauma call once a week in the second half of their fellowship year. During this call, fellows manage all trauma activations including operative interventions. An attending trauma surgeon is in house during this call as backup and to provide oversight and education.

Additional educational opportunities include:

  • Weekly trauma conference and M&M
  • Weekly international trauma tele-grand rounds with the Panamerican Trauma Society
  • Elective rotations in burn, anesthesia or medical ICU
  • Involvement in the education of pre-hospital personnel and students
  • Certification as instructors for Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • Certification in Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET)
  • Participation in Stop-the-Bleed training

The fellowship program also provides opportunities for international collaboration with other trauma-related professionals through its active partnership with the Panamerican Trauma Society.


VCU Health System is Central Virginia’s only Level I trauma center for adult and pediatric patients.

The Surgical Trauma ICU has 25 beds, in addition to neurosurgical, cardiac surgery and burn critical care units. Our annual trauma admissions total 3,500 and ED visits at 90,000.Learn about the VCU Trauma Center


While the focus of the fellowship is clinical, fellows will complete at least one research or quality improvement project.


  • Weekly trauma conference and M&M: Peer-review of morbidities, mortalities and interesting cases on the trauma and emergency general surgery services
  • Weekly international trauma grand rounds with the Panamerican Trauma Society: Interesting and challenging case discussions presented by the international members of the Panamerican Trauma Society
  • Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma’s annual conference: All fellows attend the annual meeting of EAST
  • VCU Health Rao Ivatury Trauma Symposium: Annual regional trauma conference hosted by VCU Health with focus on multidisciplinary trauma management in pre-hospital, ED and ICU settings

Our Alumni

Program Alumni 2016–2021


"Congratulations to our Alumni–!! / Molly Flannagan, MD '16 and Ashanthi Ratnasekera, MD, '17 on their recent leadership positions announced at the annual meeting of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), one of the largest trauma associations in US.

Molly Flannagan — new chair of the mentoring committee
Ashanthi Ratnasekera — heading first multi-centric trial with the help of our own Hannah Sadek, MD (Thank you Hannah!)

Thanks to all the faculty, APPs, and nurses that contribute everyday to our fellows' experience, training, and research!" — Dr. Ferrada

2021: Lisbi del Valle Rivas Ramirez
2021: Jennifer Catlin

2020: Audrey Pendleton — Rush University Medical Center, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL
2020: Hiba Ezzeddine — VCU Medical Center, VCU Health, Richmond, VA

2019: Raquel Weston — Tallahassee Memorial, Tallahassee, FL
2019: Charles Grigsby — Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA

2018: Roberto Castillo — St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, PA
2018: Aela Vely — Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

2017: Mark Blum — Lifebridge Health Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD
2017: Ashanthi Ratnasekera — Crozer-Keystone Health Network, PA

2016: Molly Flannagan — Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
2016: Aditi Kapil — Baystate Health, Springfield, MA


How to apply

Our fellowship uses the National Resident Matching Program to fill available slots. The application process is open February to August of each year.

To apply, complete the SAFAS online application.

Required documents include:

  • Photo
  • Three original letters of recommendation (one must be dated within the past year; if currently in a program, must have one from current program director)
  • Medical school diploma (certified copy)
  • Medical school transcript (certified copy)
  • Current CV
  • Personal statement

Applications will be reviewed only after receipt of all required materials. The deadline for scheduling interviews is August 15.

For more information, contact Dannette Arezzi, Fellowship Coordinator at

From the Program Director

VCUSOM director's message [View Image]

From the Program Director

"We train future leaders in trauma, critical care, and emergency surgery. Our fellowship at VCU offers the whole range of acute care surgery in a personalized and supportive training environment."

Paula Ferrada, M.D., FACS
Program Director

Center for Adult Critical Care

Contact Us

Paula Ferrada, MD, FACS
Program Director

Stefan Leichtle, MD, FACS
Assistant Program Director

Dannette Arezzi, CTFC, MHA, MPI
Fellowship Coordinator

Office location:
West Hospital
15th Floor, East Wing

Mailing address:
Box 980454
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0454

Phone: 804.828.7748
Fax: 804.827.0285

Current Fellows:

Michael L. Iannamorelli — Berkshire Medical Center, MA
Mike M. Mallah — Carolinas Medical Center 


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