HomeProfessionalsCareer DevelopmentFellowsInnovations in Fellowship Education2016 ▶ A Novel International Exchange Program for Critical Care Medicine Fellows
A Novel International Exchange Program for Critical Care Medicine Fellows

Brown University, Alpert Medical School
Providence, RI

Program Director: Gerardo Carino, MD, PhD
Type of Program: Critical Care Medicine
Abstract Authors: Taro Minami, MD; Reimer Riessen, MD, PhD; Andrew Levinson, MD, MPH; Gerardo Carino, MD, PhD

Our program is a 2 year critical care medicine fellowship. Fellows rotate through the Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals and receive extensive training in the care of medical, surgical and cardiac critical care patients. Fellows are encouraged to develop an attitude of scholarship and the intellectual curiosity to remain in the forefront of the discipline throughout his or her professional lifetime.

Since 2012, a novel international exchange program has been integrated into the curriculum for Brown University Critical Care Medicine Fellows. The program, the Winter School in Critical Care, is a collaborative endeavor between the Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University and the University of Tübingen, Germany. As part of the 2 week long exchange program, a total of 16 fourth year medical students (from Brown, Tubingen and other international schools) have attended each year for the last 4 years. Each year, Critical Care faculty from both institutions and a critical care medicine fellow from Brown teach the course. The course is held in English and emphasizes fundamental concepts in critical care such as resuscitation and mechanical ventilation. In addition to the interactive seminar, the course includes teaching rounds in medical and surgical ICUs at the University of Tübingen and practical hands-on training workshops in various invasive techniques, emergency ultrasound, mechanical ventilation and endoscopy. One of the highlights of the course is a two-day high-fidelity full-scale critical care simulation training including an introduction in crisis resource management (CRM) utilizing video debriefing. Fellows from Brown University are involved in all teaching sessions, which are often given together with German colleagues. They are also responsible for several case-based learning sessions which have been highly received by the German students. In addition to teaching rounds, fellows also take part in regular rounds and case discussions in the Medical ICU. Through this and many other interactions they get an insight in the structure, organization and delivery of critical care at a German university hospital. Major differences between the German and US systems, especially in end of life care, transplant medicine and resource allocation are a key focus of discussion. Fellows and faculty members take part in several social events and gathering organized by the University of Tübingen and by the German students, thereby getting an impression of other aspects of life in Germany. Travel and housing expenses for Brown faculty members are covered by a German international exchange program. The Winter School in Critical Care is a unique international program for Brown critical care medicine fellows that gives them an intense teaching experience and broadens their knowledge of critical care medicine beyond the US. It is an excellent example of a valuable educational program which can be developed between distant universities to improve overall teaching at both sites.

Last Reviewed: December 2016