The educational program is designed to provide fellows a comprehensive exposure to topics relevant to the practice of cardiothoracic anesthesiology. We achieve this by a combination of didactic lectures, journal club, TEE lectures, TEE case presentations, and patient safety/quality improvement sessions. The educational program is refined and adjusted yearly based on fellows’ feedback and their perceived learning needs.

The didactic program aims to provide fellows with a comprehensive knowledge of topics related to cardiothoracic anesthesia. Our didactic program is multidisciplinary, drawing on the expertise of faculty from other divisions (such as pain, neuroanesthesia, critical care and pediatric) and other departments (such as cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery). Fellows’ lectures are held weekly. In addition, departmental Grand Rounds, Critical Care Rounds, and Research meetings are held weekly.

The weekly TEE didactic lectures are led by Drs. Jack Shanewise and Isaac Wu. They combine basic TEE knowledge, advanced TEE interpretation, hemodynamic calculations, artifact recognition, and review of interesting cases. TEE case presentations, led by a fellow and moderated by faculty, offer the opportunity for reviewing and learning from interesting TEE findings with the group.

Journal club sessions are held every other month, led by fellows and moderated by ACTA faculty. The purpose of journal club is the critical review of a recently published article from peer-reviewed journals, relevant to the practice of cardiothoracic anesthesia.

Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (PS/QI) conferences are held every other month and are prepared and presented by ACTA fellows and moderated by ACTA faculty. PS/QI conferences serve to review systems problem, identify challenges and areas for improvements, investigate solutions and propose steps for implementation. Several PS/QI projects completed by ACTA fellows have had an important impact on our practice. Examples of such PS/QI projects include intraoperative glucose monitoring, antibiotic administration, orientation of residents on their first ACTA rotation, and workflow efficiency in the operating room.