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Medical Education

Overview of Medical Education

UC San Diego PCCSM Department values the education of its fellows and are committed to their pursuit of academic knowledge. With its strong emphasis on medical education, our fellowship program is dedicated to providing our fellows with the foundation to better understand respiratory and critical care disease processes. Our curriculum includes weekly didactic conferences, daily bedside rounds, and supplemental educational materials. It is expected that fellows attend all teaching conferences, especially weekly didactic conferences on Wednesday. Attendings are aware and provide coverage during these time periods.



Summer Education Series

This is a series of lectures and simulation-based training designed to provide foundational knowledge in respiratory and critical care medicine. Lecture topics include introduction to pulmonary physiology, pulmonary function tests, chest radiology, right heart catheterizations; critical care topics including shock, non-invasive and mechanical ventilation, ARDS; pulmonary topics including COPD/asthma, ILD, CF, pulmonary hypertension, lung transplantation, and sleep medicine. Simulations include basic critical care procedures such as central lines and critical care ultrasound; intubation including difficult airways; thoracenteses and chest tube placement; bronchoscopies; and advanced resuscitation training.

Wednesday Fellow Conference

  • Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Curriculum builds on the Summer Education Series to cover core topics based on the ABIM blueprint for pulmonary and critical care medicine boards.
  • Case Conference is our more formal case conference where fellows present educational cases with practical lessons in overall management of interesting disease processes in the pulmonary, critical care or sleep realm.
  • Journal Club is an opportunity for fellows to review the methodology and results of landmark or late-breaking articles in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.
  • Quality Improvement/Morbidity and Mortality allows fellows to perform an in-depth analysis of potential contributors to an adverse outcome and investigate manners in which these issues can be mitigated in the future.
  • Physiology Conference includes the John B. West Distinguished Lecture Series with world-class physiologists from around the country and world.
  • Research/Career Development Conference includes topics such as editing your CV and NIH biosketch, giving an effective presentation, finding a mentor, developing your research proposal, writing a grant, establishing a good work-life balance, planning your future career, etc. Additionally, it provides time for fellows to present their own research to the division and obtain insight regarding study methodology and design from faculty with expertise in basic, translational and clinical research.
  • Critical Care Ultrasound Conference helps fellows become proficient in critical care ultrasound by reinforcing interpretation of images obtained from their US image portfolio.

Case Conference

Fellows have the opportunity to present interesting ongoing patient cases in an informal manner, followed by an interactive discussion with the rest of the PCCSM division. Frequency: weekly at UCSD, weekly at VA

Radiology Rounds

Fellows enhance their skills in interpreting thoracic images by reviewing these films with thoracic radiology experts. Frequency: twice a week

Multidisciplinary Interstitial Lung Disease Conference

In this multidisciplinary conference, PCCSM faculty and fellows collaborate with thoracic radiologists and pulmonary pathologists to perform an in-depth review of real-time ILD cases with discussions focused around establishing appropriate diagnoses and providing an approach to management. Frequency: twice a month at UCSD, monthly at VA.

Sleep Conference

In this subspecialty conference, PCCSM faculty review any and all things sleep-related. This can range from difficult case conference to a lecture by a renowned Sleep specialist from all over the country. Frequency: weekly

Pulmonary Embolism Conference

In this subspecialty conference, PCCSM fellows review recent pulmonary embolism cases and discuss the thoughts behind their multi-disciplinary approach with Interventional Radiology. Additionally, PCCSM faculty review relevant VTE-related journal articles. Frequency: twice a month

Lung Transplant Conference

In this subspecialty conference, PCCSM fellows critically appraise lung-transplant related journal articles under the direct supervision of our Lung Transplant faculty. Frequency: twice a month

Combined Critical Care Conference

This multidisciplinary conference targets PCCSM, ACCM, NCC, and EM. Speakers from different divisions and departments cover critical care topics of their choice. Frequency: monthly

PCCSM Grand Rounds

Distinguished faculty members from around the country are invited to lecture on a topic in their area of clinical or research expertise. Frequency: weekly

San Diego PCCSM Conference

This conference is a collaboration from faculty members at healthcare systems all around San Diego, including UCSD, Scripps and Sharp. Speakers provide a comprehensive overview on highly-pertinent respiratory, critical care and sleep topics. Frequency: quarterly


Simulation Sesssions

  • Advanced Resuscitation Training (ART)
  • Airway including advanced airways, cricothyrotomy
  • Arterial and central line placement
  • Bronchoscopy including EBUS
  • Chest tube placement
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Paracentesis and Thoracentesis

Pulmonary Topics

  • Chest radiology 
  • Cystic Fibrosis and Non-CF Bronchiectasis
  • Diffuse Parenchymal Lung Disease including Approach to ILD, Cystic Lung Disease, Eosinophilic Lung Disease, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Pulmonary Vasculitis, Rare Lung Diseases, Sarcoidosis
  • Drug-induced Lung Disease
  • Hemorrhage including DAH
  • Infections including Anaerobic Lung Infections, CAP/HAP + VAP, Fungal infections, TB/NTM
  • Interpretation of PFTs and CPET
  • Introduction to Pulmonary Physiology 
  • Neoplasia including Solitary Pulmonary Nodules
  • Obstructive Lung Disease including Asthma, COPD
  • Occupational and Environmental Diseases  
  • Pleural Disease
  • Pre-operative Pulmonary Evaluation
  • Pulmonary Complications after SCT and in HIV
  • Pulmonary Histopathology
  • Pulmonary Physiology while Diving, in High-altitude States, in Pregnancy 
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary Vascular Disease including PE + CTEPH, Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Respiratory Devices
  • Tobacco Cessation
  • Transplantation including Post-Lung Transplant Complications

Critical Care Topics

  • Acid-base Disorders
  • Approach to shock
  • ARDS
  • Cardiac arrest and Post-Arrest Management
  • ECMO
  • Ethics in the Critical Care Setting
  • Mechanical Ventilation including Ventilator Management
  • Neurocritical Care Emergencies
  • Non-invasive Ventilation
  • Obstetric Emergencies in the ICU
  • Oncologic Emergencies in the ICU
  • Palliative Care in the Critical Care Setting
  • Post-intensive Care Syndrome
  • Right Heart Catheterizations

Sleep Topics

  • Interpretation of PSGs
  • Neuromuscular Diseases
  • Non-respiratory Sleep Disorders
  • Sleep Physiology
  • Sleep-related Breathing Disorders including OSA

Academic Development Workshops

  • Fellow as an Educator
  • How to give a talk
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Journal Appraisal
  • Quality Improvement
  • Scientific Writing 

Career Development

Our fellowship program is also commited to preparing our fellows for success in their future careers, whether it be academic or private. Each of our fellows have a career mentor and dedicated time to hone these professional skills during their three years. Additionally, UC San Diego has courses available for specialized career pathways. For example, the Fellows as Clinician Educators (FACE) program is designed to prepare fellows interested in becoming a clinician educator at an academic institution. During their fellowship, our fellows have numerous opportunities to practice these teaching skills with medical students, interns, and residents.

Regional Courses

Southern California Critical Care Ultrasound Course

This two-day course consists of didactics and high-quality hands-on ultrasound training. This course is heavily attended by our first year critical care fellows and teaches a useful skillset for their upcoming ICU rotations.

Annual Southern California Fellows EBUS Training Course

This one-day course provides hands-on simulation education on EBUS. Interventional Pulmonary faculty from southern California teach fellows of all years to master mediastinal anatomy and to be proficient in this minimally-invasive modality used to diagnose and stage thoracic malignancies.