University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
203 Lothrop Street
Suite 500, Eye and Ear Institute
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
|Number of Fellowships: 3
Duration (in years) / Type: 1-2 years
Faculty:Umamaheswar Duvvuri, MD PhD
Robert L Ferris, MD, PhD
Jonas T Johnson, MD
Seungwon Kim, MD
Melonie Nance, MD
Shaum Sridharan, MD – Associate Director – Microvascular
Mark Kubik, MD
Mario Solari, MD
Moon Fenton, MD, PhD
Dan Zandberg, MD
Heath Skinner, MD, PhD
David Clump II, MD
Overview: The University of Pittsburgh Department of Otolaryngology offers fellowship training in advanced head and neck oncologic and microvascular reconstructive surgery as a one-year or two-year commitment, designed to prepare you for a career as a comprehensive head and neck surgical oncologist. Fellows are appointed as clinical instructors and work in collaboration with head and neck surgical faculty, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, oral surgeons, speech language pathologists and dental medicine. Our program offers two tracks, a clinical track and a research track. The clinical track is a one-year program that emphasizes patient care and surgery. The 2-year research track incorporates a high concentration of research, patient care and surgery. We offer a variety of research projects that in which the trainee can be involved.
Objectives: The main objective of the Advanced Head and Neck Oncologic and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship at UPMC is to provide a comprehensive educational experience in head and neck surgical oncology in the areas of surgery (including microvascular reconstruction, TORS, thyroid, salivary and other head and neck oncologic operations), treatment, management and diagnosis of head and neck cancer, in order to prepare them for an academic career.
Strengths: As one of the leading nonprofit health systems in the United States of America, UPMC is positioned to provide fellows with a large surgical volume. These include transoral robotic surgery (TORS), endoscopic laryngeal surgery, endocrine, microvascular reconstruction and skull base surgery. UPMC’s Department of Otolaryngology excels at multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art management of head and neck cancer and actively includes fellows in that care team. Fellows have access to the state-of-the-art CREATES laboratory, where they can hone their surgical robotic skills. The CREATES lab brings together physicians from UPMC, as well as engineers and researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, to support the growing industry in advanced surgical devices and systems. The CREATES lab also houses the da Vinci Surgical System®. UPMC has more da Vinci surgical robots and dual-console systems than any other medical center in North America. Dual consoles allow a team of surgeons to operate simultaneously, and to foster a truly comprehensive and collaborative approach to surgical care. In this environment, fellows have the opportunity to gain career-enhancing patient care experience in a graduated-responsibility clinical setting. Unique clinical and translational research opportunities are available to fellows. These are funded by NIH research and training grants, including an NCI-funded SPORE and NIH T32.
The University of Pittsburgh has become a high quality, high volume center for head and neck microvascular reconstruction with over 150 major reconstructive cases performed by our fellows on an annual basis. Our program seeks to optimize reconstructive care through high quality patient care, innovation, research, and application of technologic advances to improve outcomes. The group is actively engaged in several ongoing research projects to improve outcomes after head and neck reconstruction and explore new options for free tissue transfer. A particular area of reconstructive innovation has been in reconstruction of complex bone defects of the maxillofacial skeleton. Advances in computer assisted design allows the surgeons to essentially create a virtual simulation of the anticipated cancer surgery. This facilitates the generation of computer generated surgical guides, patient specific implants, and models that have been shown to both increase the anatomic accuracy of reconstructions as well as reduced surgical time. Additionally, these planning abilities have made primary dental implant placement during jaw reconstruction feasible for some patients. This shortens the time to oral rehabilitation and improves quality of life. An increasing interest in nerve reconstruction concurrent with these procedures has occurred, which optimizes the functionality and sensate nature of the reconstructed tissue.
Eligibility: Applicants must be Board Certified or eligible for certification in Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, or General Surgery. All applicants must be eligible for licensure to practice medicine in the State of Pennsylvania. Applicants must go through the American Head & Neck Society Match to be considered for a fellowship. The fellowship is a minimum of one year in duration. Applicants with a potential for a career in academic surgery are preferred.
Fellows’ Duties/Responsibilities: The successful applicant will be appointed as a Clinical Instructor in Otolaryngology. Active participation in weekly tumor board and patient planning conference, as well as all aspects of patient care, is anticipated. Fellows are expected to participate in medical oncology and radiation oncology clinics 6-8 days throughout their fellowship year. Once a month, each fellow will partake in clinic with that month’s assigned head and neck faculty. Other educational opportunities fellows are encouraged or required to attend include weekly Grand Rounds, bi-weekly Head and Neck Lecture Series, and bi-weekly Head and Neck Reconstructive Journal Club. fellows will oversee, teach and mentor head and neck residents. Currently, the fellow actively participates in a wide variety of surgeries, including microvascular free flaps and robotic surgery. Many procedures are undertaken in a multidisciplinary environment, including neurosurgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and thoracic surgery. The successful applicant must be able to function effectively in a high-volume surgical program with an emphasis on resident training and research. Fellows will have graduated clinical responsibilities and will become proficient in all aspects of head and neck cancer and microvascular reconstructive surgery from a new patient visit through survivorship care. A multitude of opportunities for personal growth are available, and fellows can look to Head and Neck faculty for mentorship, guidance and leadership.
Research Opportunities: Identification of a research project is an essential component of the training program. All fellows are required to design a prospective clinical trial concept during the fellowship year(s). Laboratory investigation may be pursued in a variety of laboratories affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hillman Cancer Center or in the Department of Otolaryngology. A variety of clinical research opportunities are available in our reconstructive division. With the addition of a REDCap prospective database and a dedicated research coordinator, our research efforts have become more streamlined. This will provide fellows with ample opportunity for clinical investigation depending on their level of interest. The Research Track is comprised of 12 months of research and 12 months of clinical practice. The sequencing of these 24 months is very flexible, allowing the fellow to choose whether he/she wants to do a full year of research then a full year of clinical, a full year of clinical then a full year of research, or integrate the research months into the clinical care months. Our goal is to meet the needs of the fellow, as we are committed to building his/her skill set, career, experience and prestige. The University of Pittsburgh is currently funded by the National Cancer Institute through the Head and Neck Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE), one of only 5 in the US, and is a recipient of a NIH T32 training grant in head and neck oncology. This T32 grant funds our research fellow, and those who match this track have the freedom to choose from an extensive array of research opportunities to meet their research interests. The list of oncologic studies includes basic, clinical and translational research. Areas of research to choose from under the NIH T32 grant include Head and Neck Cancer, Oncologic Immunology, Oncologic Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Molecular Genomics, Thyroid Pathology, Biomedical Informatics and Oncologic Neurobiology.
Supervision, Teaching & Call: The fellow will participate in the teaching of residents throughout their time here. All fellows are expected to take call approximately 6 weeks a year as a member of the faculty in the department.
Farzad Masroor, MD – Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Viran Ranasinghe, MD – Texas E.N.T. Specialists, Houston, TX
Jessica Moskovitz, MD – Ochsner Health Center, New Orleans, LA
Nathan Grohmann, MD – LSU Health Health Network
Meghan Turner, MD – Assistant Professor, West Virginia University
Matthew Geltzeiler, MD – Assistant Professor, Oregon Health & Science University
Arun Sharma, MD – Assistant Professor, SIU Medicine
Jessica Maxwell, MD – Assistant Professor, Georgetown
Nicole Schmitt, MD – Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Daniel Clayburgh, MD, PhD – Assistant Professor, Oregon Health & Science University
Yekaterina Koshkareva, MD – Assistant Professor, Rowan University
Vikas Mehta, MD – Assistant Professor, Montefiore Health System
Chwee Ming Lim, MD – Assistant Professor, Consultant, National Univ. Health System, Singapore
Irene Zhang, MD – McMaster University, Head and Neck Service
Andrew Tassler, MD, – Assistant Professor, Cornell University
Alec Vaezi, MD, PhD – Assistant Professor, UMass Medical School
Steve C, Lee, MD, PhD – Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Loma Linda University
Apostolos Christopoulos, MD – Associate Professor and Chair in Head and Neck Oncology, University of Montreal
Emiro Caicedo – Granados, MD -Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota
Brian J. Park, MD – Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
David Cognetti, MD – Associate Professor & Co-Director -Jefferson Medical College
Lee Zimmer, MD – Professor, University of Cincinnati
Stephen Lai, MD, PhD – Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Rohan Walvekar, MD – Professor and Mervin L. Trail Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Oncology, LSU Medical School
John Song, MD – Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Denver
Alfred Simental, MD – Professor and Chief, Loma Linda University
Karen Pitman, MD – Professor, MD -Medical Director, Milton J Dance Jr. Head and Neck Center, Professor, Johns Hopkins
Daniel Nuss, MD – Professor and Chairman, LSU Medical School
Christine Gourin, MD – Professor, Johns Hopkins
Kristin Gendron, MD – Private practice in St. Paul, MN
Lisa Galati, MD – Associate Professor, Albany Medical College
Jeffrey Bumpous, MD – Professor and Chairman, University of Louisville
Guy Petruzzelli, MD, PhD – Professor, Mercer University
Ehab Hanna, MD – Professor and Vice Chairman, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Bert O’Malley Jr., MD – Professor and Chairman, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Johannes Fagan, MD – Chairman, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa