Adult Cardiothoracic Fellowship

The University of Chicago offers two ACGME-accredited Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellowship positions that are one year in length. The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to have in-depth adult cardiothoracic anesthesia training with a very strong emphasis on intraoperative use of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). The University of Chicago does approximately 500 adult cardiac cases a year, including on-pump and off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), valve repair/replacement, robotic cardiac surgery, and insertion of ventricular assist devices. We also have thoracic surgery and lung transplant program, and a very active heart transplant program.

Each Fellow spends six months on adult clinical cardiothoracic rotations (operating rooms), one month on an adult clinical thoracic rotation (operating rooms), and one month in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (taking care of postoperative cardiac surgical patients). The primary responsibility during these rotations is to learn how to clinically manage complex cardiovascular and thoracic cases, supervise and help facilitate resident education, and gain a thorough understanding of perioperative TEE. Additionally, all Fellows spend an entire month outside of the operating room with the Department of Cardiology intensely studying echocardiography. This is perhaps the most important echocardiography (transthoracic/transesophageal) experience the Fellows will have. Furthermore, all of our clinical attendings (cardiac anesthesia) are board certified by the National Board of Echocardiography (NBE). Their expertise is invaluable not only to our Section but to our entire Department. In the past five years, all ten of our Fellows have taken the PTEeXAM and have passed. Lastly, all Fellows spend 0.5 month (2 weeks) with the perfusion team learning all aspects/techniques of cardiopulmonary bypass.

The remaining 2.5 months are flexible electives, allowing the Fellows to pursue their own individual interests regarding their future in cardiovascular anesthesia. Electives available include advanced echocardiography training, pediatric cardiothoracic anesthesia, additional intensive care, and/or research. Many of our Fellows have participated in clinical research and have presented at several regional and national meetings. In fact, in the past five years, all ten of our Fellows have presented accepted material at the yearly Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting.

We also offer a very strong didactic program. Included is a weekly Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellow Lecture, a weekly Cardiothoracic Surgery Conference, and a weekly Department of Cardiology Echocardiography Conference. The weekly cardiothoracic anesthesia fellow lectures are given by our cardiac anesthesia faculty and encompass material that is important for both the Advanced PTeExam as well as the upcoming Adult Cardiac Anesthesiology (ACA) exam, which will be first administered in 2023. Fellows are also encouraged to attend the numerous Departmental Lectures (Grand Rounds, etc.) that they would benefit from.


Mark A. Chaney, MD
Director of Cardiac Anesthesia

Danisa Daubenspeck, DO 
Assistant Professor
Program Director of Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship

Jarva Chow, MD
Assistant Professor

Richa Dhawan, MD
Associate Professor

Frank Dupont, MD
Associate Professor
Section Chief, Vascular Anesthesia

Sajid Shahul, MBBS PhD

Kristin Trela, M.D. 
Assistant Professor

Avery Tung, MD
Director of Critical Care Services, Burn Unit


We are excited to offer what we feel is a robust program aimed at targeting not only what is paramount to becoming a successful cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, but also tailoring our program to best fit the individual interests of our Fellow following their graduation. Our Fellows have a long history of success, both in the academic and private sectors, and we plan to continue in that tradition.

Two ACGME – accredited Fellowship positions will be offered per year.

Please submit your application and three letters of recommendation via the San Francisco Match. Should you have any questions concerning the application process, please e-mail Tiffany Schmidt at