The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

The Department of Medicine

Pulmonary Disease/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program

Letter from the Chiefs

Dear Prospective Applicant:

Welcome to the University of Tennessee Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program in Knoxville! We are excited that you are interested in learning about our program. As chief fellows, we are part of this big family of fellows, physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, respiratory therapists, medical assistants, and administrative staff and are excited to tell you a bit about this program we feel fortunate to have been a part of over the last few years. Our past fellows have graduated as confident and skilled pulmonary and critical care physicians, practicing in a wide variety of clinical and academic settings.

Our training is centered around a large, tertiary academic hospital, the University of Tennessee Medical Center, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Medical Center is a Level 1 Trauma Center that provides care to patients in a radius of approximately 200 miles. It serves as an ICU (and ECMO) referral center for east Tennessee as well as regions of Kentucky, North Carolina, and Georgia.

One of the biggest strengths of the program is the collegial atmosphere and the camaraderie amongst the as well as the faculty. The program encourages fellow autonomy, supported by an experienced and easily approachable faculty. Along with having exposure to a wide variety of outpatient and inpatient general pulmonary pathology, you will also work with experts of various subspecialties including ILD, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, sleep disorders, and interventional pulmonology (IP), among others.

Our procedural volume is a major highlight for our fellowship. Graduates routinely have over 200 bronchoscopies by graduation, including EBUS, navigational, and robotic.  Although we have trained IP attendings, we do not have an IP fellowship. Thus, we have ample opportunity to perform more advanced procedures, like endobronchial valves, electrocautery, endobronchial stenting, cryobiopsies, and more, which are usually reserved for IP fellows. We also perform our own intubations, in addition to all the classic procedures involved in critical care medicine. Additionally, we have the opportunity to perform right heart catheterizations in the cath lab with our pulmonary hypertension attendings.

As a fellow, you will participate in a variety of clinical research and quality improvement projects with faculty mentors. Fellows are encouraged to develop their own projects and are given dedicated research time with mentorship from faculty The program provides financial support and educational leave as incentive to present in national and international meetings.
Knoxville is an amazing place to live and work! Knoxville was named one of the Top 50 Best Places to Live in the USA by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. It is home to the University of Tennessee Volunteers or “the Vols,” giving it a reputation as a premium college sports town. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, less than an hour drive away from Knoxville, is one of the most visited national parks in the country, and full of beautiful trails for hiking and biking, camping, kayaking and amusement parks. There are numerous lakes and rivers in the area where residents and fellows enjoy a variety of water sports.
We hope you will consider UT Knoxville in your application process. We look forward to meeting you when you interview in the fall. If you have questions about our program or living in east Tennessee, please do not hesitate to contact us. We wish you all the best during this application season!

Drs. Milind Bhagat and Nick Fuerst
Chief Fellows