Neurologic Critical Care Fellowship Receives ACGME Accreditation

The UPMC Neurologic Critical Care (NCC) fellowship training program became one of the first five such programs in the US to be granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The ACGME is the preeminent accrediting body for medical training programs in the US. Now, all five Department of Critical Care Medicine fellowship programs—IM/EM, Pediatric, Anesthesiology, Surgical and Neurologic—are accredited by ACGME, elevating the Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program even further as an elite program. This designation builds on the innovative effort started by Drs. Peter Safar and Ake Grenvik in 1961 to provide a truly multidisciplinary critical care training experience.

“Our already-selective neurocritical care program immediately becomes even more competitive for fellowship recruits now that the program is ACGME accredited,” said Lori Shutter, MD, FNCS, FCCM, who is vice chair for Education and the program director for the Neurologic Critical Care fellowship program. “I am excited about recruiting high-caliber trainees with the potential to add future strength and expertise to the care of our patients with devastating neurological injury.”

Last year, the NCC program had 52 applications and interviewed 28 neurology or neurosurgery residents for the sole two-year fellowship position. Prior to the ACGME accreditation in April 2022, the NCC program was accredited, and continues to be so, by the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties (UCNS) and the Society of Neurological Surgeons’ Committee on Advanced Subspeciality Training (CAST).

“We have a big-picture vision and understanding of what it takes to run a critical care training program that standardizes the educational process across all specialties,” said Dr. Shutter. “Each of our five different programs builds on the strengths of the other programs and allows trainees to cross pollinate and learn from their peers.”

Each year, the unique UPMC Multidisciplinary Critical Care Training Program provides one, two or three years of training for 44 fellows.

Dr. Shutter explained that before a training program can be accredited by ACGME it must first have a cohort of physicians who are board certified by ACGME in the subspecialty. The first board exam for neurocritical care was October 2022, when six UPMC neurointensivists sat and passed the board exam; this success then allowed the program to apply for accreditation.

The other four NCC programs to gain accreditation status in April were Stanford University, Baylor University, Montefiore Medical Center, and University of New Mexico.