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:
We welcome you to the University of Tennessee Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship program in Knoxville, Tennessee. We appreciate your interest in our program and are excited to share with you our experience in Knoxville over the past 2 years. We are sure that, just like us, you will enjoy the opportunity to get to know the program better, and hopefully work with all the wonderful people who make this program what it is, such as our respiratory therapists, nurses, medical assistants, coordinators, attendings, and co-fellows who have been mentors, teachers, friends, and support during our stay in Knoxville.

Our training circles around a large tertiary, level 1 trauma, ECMO referral, academic medical center that serves as a reference point for East Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Georgia. The large size and higher level of resolution of our hospital translate into a large volume of cases (From the typical bread and butter to the most complex and unique ones). Luckily for us, this leads to a large volume of procedures which is one of the highlights of our program. Fellows rotating in the medical ICU, CVICU, neuro ICU, procedural block, and pulmonary consults are routinely involved in procedures such as central lines, arterial lines, thoracentesis, chest tubes, intubations, and diagnostic/therapeutic bronchoscopy. We have three IP-trained attendings as faculty members but no IP fellows, which helps all of us get exposed to more advanced procedures such as endobronchial valves, electrocautery, endobronchial stents, cryo-biopsies. In addition, we can participate in right heart catheterizations in the cath lab with our pulmonary hypertension attendings.

As second and third-year fellows, we have the chance to start leading rounds in the ICU with the support of our attendings, which helps us build confidence in our decision-making, shape leadership skills, and be better prepared for life as junior attendings. The general culture of the hospital is that of a collegial atmosphere and good camaraderie, which makes the transition smoother when coming from other facilities. 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 an incentive to present at national and international meetings.

We are personally happy that we matched in Knoxville and got to know the city better. It is an amazing place to live and work, named one of the top 50 best places to live in the USA by the US News and World Report in 2019. A great sports city, home to the University of Tennessee "Vols" with great football, basketball, and baseball in town. In addition, we have The Great Smoky Mountains National Park for folks who love hiking, kayaking, or camping, less than an hour away from Knoxville.
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. Nishant Sharma, Shawnt Tosonian, and Elman Urbina Meneses
Chief Fellows