Message from the Program Director

WilliamOppat_VSIn June 2012, I accepted the position of Program Director for the Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center (WSU/DMC) Vascular Surgery Fellowship. My decision to participate in surgical education was simply motivated by the desire to create an environment conducive to training in the “learning the art and science” of Vascular Surgery. This concept is modeled after my own journey through surgical training that cultivated the development of sound clinical judgment, critical thinking, and altruistic care under the supervision of many leaders in Vascular Surgery at leading institutions. With the support of surgical leadership at Wayne State University, I envision this Fellowship as a premier training program, rich in tradition, and ripe with opportunity in a region appreciative of compassionate care. This Fellowship provides the foundation, skills, critical thinking, and independence necessary to train the modern vascular surgeon. The Division of Vascular Surgery within the School of Medicine has been recognized for its collegiality, leadership, innovation, and professionalism within the community it serves as well as on a national and international level.

Prompted by dynamic changes in the landscape of local hospitals, the Fellowship has recently been successfully restructured, a challenging undertaking prior to a successful site visit in August 2012. This formidable task was supported by many instrumental and talented individuals within WSU, to whom the program will forever be grateful and required coordination of efforts on multiple levels. The amazing dedication and patience of the staff in the department of Graduate Medical Education was critical in successfully formalizing and navigating the reaccreditation process. Certain members of the Division deserve special mention, Mark Mattos, MD, a recognized leader in surgical education and simulation training, who defined and established the program core curriculum. Furthermore, with the recent evolution of the Fellowship came the incorporation of two additional affiliated clinical training sites under the supervision of enthusiastic Site Directors: Providence-St. John Hospital and Medical Centers overseen by Tamer Boules, MD, and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor overseen by Brian Halloran, MD. The additional affiliated clinical faculty members at each institution are University-trained and regionally recognized as leading talented surgeons, contributing skills and expertise that enrich the training program further.

The Division of Vascular Surgery within the School of Medicine has been recognized for its collegiality, leadership, innovation, and professionalism within the community it serves as well as on a national and international level.

Comprehensive vascular surgery training is achieved through rotations at multiple facilities set in both urban and suburban locations, providing a robust experience in both traditional open vascular surgery and advanced endovascular interventions. All participating sites have unrestricted access to advanced OR/endovascular suites with modern equipment and staff capable of performing complex percutaneous and hybrid vascular procedures. The Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory at Harper University Hospital is managed and supervised by the Division of Vascular Surgery, providing the necessary formal exposure to certify each Fellow as a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI). Educational conferences for the Fellows and the vascular service include a weekly topic-based vascular conference, a weekly prospective case planning conference, monthly morbidity and mortality conference, and a monthly journal club. Faculty members from all institutions participate in the monthly conferences. Fellows are expected to successfully complete the Vascular Surgery In-service Training Examination (VSITE), which is administered annually in the Spring.

The WSU/DMC Vascular Surgery Fellowship is an Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) traditional (5+2) accredited two-year training program. It was established in 1990 by internationally recognized vascular surgeon, Ramon Buerger, MD, although focused training in vascular surgery had been practiced for many years even prior to formal accreditation. In order to further enhance training in this rapidly evolving field and to remain competitive to applicants, ultimately we intend to develop and implement a “0+5” completely integrated vascular residency in conjunction with the Division of General Surgery.

Our primary objective is to train future leaders in vascular surgery. We are dedicated to developing clinically talented academic surgeons. All Fellows are expected to be actively involved in clinical research projects with a faculty mentor yielding at least 1-2 peer-reviewed publications in each year of training. We strongly believe that the high volume of advanced vascular services provided by our faculty in the setting of the rich diversity of Southeastern Michigan fuels our active and productive clinical research program.

William Frank Oppat, M.D. FACS
Program Director in Vascular Surgery
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit Medical Center

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