Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists

Dual Training in Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine Information for Applicants

General Information

Critical Care Medicine (CCM) and Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia (ACTA) are separate fellowship training programs. Unfortunately, in the current GME environment, there is no truly “integrated” dual CCM/ACTA track (clinical time in the ICU intermixed with OR clinical time). Existing programs typically offer a sequential fellowship training paradigm (either CCM followed by ACTA or vice versa); there is no required “norm” for order of training. There exist institutions with CCM and ACTA programs that work closely together while others operate their fellowships very independently. This document serves to give applicants general guidance when navigating the process of pursuing ‘dual’ training.

Candidates who want to apply to both CCM and ACTA (“dual training”) are entering a complex process (but rewarding training paradigm and career path). Both CCM and ACTA use the SF Match service for applications and to conduct the “match” which takes place in the spring. The CCM match date is usually several weeks prior to the ACTA match date. There is not currently an integrated match process (a process that would allow a candidate to rank both CCM and CTA programs). Therefore, CCM and ACTA have an agreed upon “exception process” (see information on the SOCCA and SCA websites for more information).

Candidates who do not receive an “exception offer” will have to make a decision about their application and can usually only enter one of the two matches due to overlapping deadlines. There is great variability among programs in the extent to which they utilize this process. The lack of an “exception offer” from a specific program does not indicate that the program will not rank a candidate in the match.