Critical Care Medicine Division

CCM Division-2018

Clinical Program

The Division of Critical Care Medicine performs [provides] patient care, teaching and critical care research in several Duke University Medical Center ICUs: the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) , Adult Cardiothoracic Unit (CTOR), Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NICU) ; and at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) SICU.  Divisional faculty also provides medical care in the Hyperbaric Center and the Pediatric ICU.

SICU Attending Staff

Patient care is provided in the SICUs at DUMC and at the VAMC under the co-directorship of faculty within the department. The Duke University Hospital SICU is a 24-bed, level-one trauma unit. In addition, it serves as a site for care of a variety of postoperative general and subspecialty surgical patients. Attending staff from the Departments of Anesthesiology and Surgery provide 24-hour a day, seven days per week coverage by – Anesthesiology: Dr. Ehimemen Iboaya, Dr. John Lemm, Dr. Nancy Knudsen, Dr. Eugene Moretti, Dr. Arturo Suarez, Dr. Shelly Wang, and Dr. Christopher Young; Surgery: Dr. Kelli Brooks, Dr. Lisa Pickett, Dr. Vanessa Schroder, Dr. Mark Shapiro, Dr. Courtney Sommers, Dr. Steven Vaslef, Dr. Cory Vatsaas, share attending responsibilities.

The VAMC’s 8-bed unit serves as step-down and ICU. Open-heart patients, as well as post-operative general surgical, orthopedic, urologic, plastic, and other subspecialty surgical patients are treated in this unit. Attending staff coverage is provided by Dr. Atilio Barbeito, Dr. Raquel Bartz, Dr. Karthik Raghunathan, and Dr. Scott Brudney.

Training Program


The Department of Anesthesiology has been offering an ACGME-accredited Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine since 1994. In addition to retaining full accreditation status, the program was awarded a special commendation recognizing the development and implementation of innovative web-based modules for the education and evaluation of Critical Care Fellows. The fellowship continues to attract a number of strong applicants. Additional training in Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) is now offered to Critical Care Fellows in collaboration with the Fellowship Program in Cardiothoracic Anesthesia.


First-year residents in anesthesiology are introduced to critical care medicine at the VAMC SICU. Here they have an opportunity to learn the skills needed to care for critically ill post-operative patients and those patients requiring intermediate levels of care.

Additional training in critical care medicine for CA-2 residents in Anesthesiology is provided in the 24-bed SICU at DUMC (6WestDMP). Residents gain additional experience in managing complex patients in this busy trauma/post surgical unit. One of the unique features that distinguish the Duke Critical Care experience for the residents in 6WestDMP is the presence of Attending staffed from the Departments of Anesthesia and Surgery. The varied backgrounds and training of the Attending Physicians allows the residents to gain multiple perspectives in the treatment of critical illness. The clinical and didactic components of this rotation are maintained at high levels with the input of the Critical Care Fellows and Attending staff.

CA-3 residents can choose to spend additional time in the DUMC SICU during their final year of training. During this time, senior residents have gained additional experience in managing complex ICU patients while acquiring more responsibility for daily rounds, decision-making, and education of junior members of the SICU team. Opportunities for training in TEE are also offered to senior residents during this elective rotation.

Medical Students

Instruction to medical students in Intensive Care Medicine is offered through the Duke University School of Medicine. A month-long rotation in SICU is available to fourth-year medical students from Duke and other institutions (both national and international) Students enrolled in this course join in daily rounding in the SICU at DUMC. After an initial introduction to Critical Care Medicine, they participate in the care of critically ill patients by evaluating and presenting patients on SICU rounds, and taking in-house call with the residents. The students frequently cite the experience in managing complex medical problems and enthusiastic teaching by residents, fellows, and attendings as strong positives of this course.

With the recent re-structuring of the curriculum at the School of Medicine, a new Critical Care intersession (“Clinical Core”) has been instituted. This course is designed to give medical students a brief introduction to acute, in-hospital care early in their medical education. One- hundred, second-year Duke medical students are instructed by members of the Critical Care Division in the methods of critical care during the Clinical Core. Day one of this seminar is devoted to the presentation of a case to the students, followed by small group discussion of critical care issues raised by the case presentation. During the next two days, the students are given the opportunity to make rounds in the Duke SICU with Critical Care Medicine Attendings and explore related technologies such as invasive hemodynamic monitoring and mechanical ventilation. A month-long elective in Critical Care Medicine is available for those students who wish to further advance their knowledge.

The missions of the division–excellence in patient care, education, and research–continue to be well served. 24 hour a day/ 7 days a week Attending physician coverage in the Duke SICU continues to provide the highest level of care for our critically ill patients. Education of medical students, residents (both junior and senior), and fellows remains an integral part of our practice. Multidisciplinary critical care rounds are scheduled weekly under the direction of Dr. Young and Dr. Raquel Bartz. Duke University School of Medicine, Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) has granted these conferences CME accreditation. They provide the opportunity for health care professionals from various backgrounds to meet and discuss critical care topics of mutual interest while earning needed educational credits for re-licensing purposes.

Chris KeithCritical Care Medicine Division