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tRmedic21

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Hey all. I just want to thank all of you for your contributions to this forum, there is a ton of great info here.

I was wondering about the track to transplant. I mean, I don't think I've ever seen or heard of a fellowship in transplant surgery. Is there one? If not, then how does one become a "transplant surgeon". I realize thransplants probably wouldn't make up a full practice, but if someone wanted to do a large amount of this, what would be the way to go about it?

Is it just a matter of working/doing residency in a large treatment center, where transplants are handled routinely by the general surgery team? Without an accredidation or board certification available?

Haven't seen much about this topic, so I thought I'd ask, as I think it's a very cool area of surgery. Would an elective in immunology possibly help land a residency spot at a large transplant facility?

Thanks in advance for any info!
 

Galaxian

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I did my surgical rotation at a designated transplant hospital, and from what I saw, the lifestyle sucks. :( Organ transplantation is a very time sensitive issue, requiring imediate response to harvesting and implatation situations. Plus, liver transplants take FOREVER and a day to complete. However, if I were to do general surgery, I would want to do transplant, because frankly it is the most challenging, interesting, and rewarding work in the field. I just don't think I'm up for the sacrifice.
 
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DoctorDoom

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Did my first residency at a big kidney transplant site... definitely fellowships for transplant. Lifestyle is tough, since the one surgeon did a majority of transplants, including kidney/pancs. The way to make a practice out of it is to do a fellowship and work at one of the places that will support it, definitely not likely as a community surgeon. Compared with other subspecialties there is far less planning as transplant is dependent on donor availability... good luck to you, it is a very difficult but rewarding road!!!
 

TysonCook

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My GF's uncle does the front end of the transplant (harvests) and then flys back to St. Louis to help put it in (heart and/or lung).

He is pretty much on call always and really doesn't ever go home. When we have visited it is not uncommon for him to be up by 4:30, at the hospital by 5am and not home until 6-8pm or he just stays there. He has already fallen asleep at the wheel several times, and totaled a car last fall when he fell asleep and hit a tree.

Very very very demanding lifestyle, they even dictate how far he can live from the hospital (must be w/in 15min drive time).

On the flip side he loves what he does and thinks that it is the greatest thing in the world, on the other hand he got super depressed last year and almost quit.

He did 5 year gen surg, then 2 year CT fellowship at Barnes-Jewish in St. Louis.
 

mexsurgeon

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You can log in to the ASTS american society of transplant surgeons web site and find the approved fellowship programs

hope this helps
 

SteadyEddy

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The Transplant Program at UW-Madison is one of THE top transplant centers in the world. Check it out.
 

The_Id

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Transplant surgery lifestyle is not always THAT bad... I can speak for Yale, at least, where transplant surgery attendings have a three-week rotating schedule:

Week 1: you are the attending for all inpatient transplant patients, on call in the ER every day and night for transplant patients, and you are on first call for transplant operations

Week 2: you are second call for transplant operations (i.e. you only operate when the first-call surgeon is already operating on someone else)

Week 3: you are not on call at all, and can thus devote all of your time to your research lab.

No matter which week you are in, you still have outpatient clinic to see your patients two days per week.
 

supercut

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I did an elective at Vandy (transplant center there was started by Senator Bill Frist)

They have it set up great. The transplant areas are subdivided...there is a liver/hepatobilliary surgery team, a renal surgery team, etc.

So the liver team only does liver transplants plus other liver surgery. Renal does kidney stuff.

Best of all, the also have hepatologists, nephrologists, etc who take care of post tranplant pts after the surgical issues are resolved. So if Mr X who had a liver 5 year ago, who has Hep B/C, DM, etc comes in with a fever, he is admitted to the hepatology team (NOT the transplant surgery team).

I was on the liver team. THey do most liver transplants in 6 hours or less (not counting procurement time) using very little or no blood (via a piggyback method)

If that was standard for the way transplant centers were run, I'd be tempted to go into transplant.
 
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