Cardiothoracic Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Fellowship

The Cardiothoracic Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Fellowship offers hands-on training in heart transplants and mechanical support procedures in diverse clinical settings, catering to a varied patient population in Dallas, Texas

Baylor University Medical Center accepts one candidate per year for the Cardiothoracic Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Fellowship. During this time, the fellow obtains a significant amount of experience and competence in donor operations, heart transplants and mechanical circulatory support. Upon completion of their fellowship, the fellow will be trained in the areas of preoperative evaluation of transplant recipients, surgical techniques for heart transplantation, post-operative management in the intensive care unit, acute care management, post-transplant complications treatment, as well as proficient in research in the field of transplantation.

Baylor University Medical Center has a high volume mechanical circulatory support program. In addition, since the heart transplant program’s inception at Baylor Dallas, there have been more than 1,150 heart transplants and more than 680 lung transplants since inception.


The fellow will be learning the clinical and medical management of heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support patients. The care will be both in the intensive care unit, the hospital setting, and in the outpatient clinic. The attending will make decisions with the fellow regarding medical management with the fellow gradually assuming more decision-making responsibility. By year's end, the fellow will have all the necessary attributes it takes to be an attending transplant surgeon and mechanical circulatory support implanting surgeon.

During the one-year fellowship, the fellow will perform 20 heart transplants and 20 mechanical circulatory support implants. They will focus on learning clinical and medical management for these patients, gradually taking on more decision-making responsibilities.

Heart Transplant

The Pre-heart transplant patients undergo evaluation by the Cardiothoracic Transplant team, followed by presentation at a weekly cardiothoracic transplant selection committee meeting for approval. The committee includes transplant surgeons, cardiologists, pulmonologists, social workers, transplant coordinators, and other consultants. After transplantation, the patient's care is primarily managed by the transplant cardiologist, encompassing all aspects of their medical needs.

The management principles that the fellow will participate in:

  • Intensive care unit management
  • Fluid management
  • Basic medical management
  • Surgical management
  • Immunosuppression management
  • IV access management
  • Diagnosis and management of surgical complications
  • Evaluation and admission of the pre cardiothoracic transplant recipients
  • Evaluation of post cardiothoracic transplant patients with potential surgical complications
  • Taking call for the post cardiothoracic transplant in-patients in ICU

For complex medical issues, specialist consultation will be sought, with the fellow and attending surgeons maintaining close communication with consultants. This collaborative approach ensures optimal medical care for cardiothoracic transplant recipients.

Surgical responsibilities of the fellows with regards to cardiothoracic transplantation:

  • Completing heart transplant as primary surgeon
  • Participating in or performing deceased cardiac harvest
  • Becoming familiar with the use of heart perfusion pumps
  • Operative management and workup of post heart transplant complications
  • Surgical management of non-transplant surgical issues in post heart transplant recipients

Mechanical Circulatory support

The End-stage heart recipient candidates undergo evaluation by the cardiology/VAD service, and fellows participate in pre-transplant assessments alongside attending surgeons. Once evaluated, patients are discussed at weekly transplant selection committee meetings. The transplant fellow is responsible for admitting and preparing patients for implantation, providing both medical and surgical care throughout the process. They participate in various levels of implantation under attending surgeon supervision and are actively involved in ICU management, including fluid and device management, ventilator care, and medical interventions. Floor management includes tasks such as fluid and diuretic management, device care, and management of antibiotics. Fellows are involved in floor management until patient discharge, under the supervision of attending surgeons.

Surgical Responsibilities:

  • Completion of LVAD, RVAD, TAH, PVAD & ECMO
  • Post-transplant ICU medical and surgical management
  • Diagnosis and management of surgical complications after implantation
  • Diagnosis and management of surgical complications (non-transplant related) after implantation

Organ and tissue procurement and preservation

All deceased donor harvests are completed by fellows and a staff transplant surgeon. The fellow is expected to start as an assistant and become the primary surgeon on the harvest. All donor harvests are staffed by attending surgeons to ensure the quality of harvested organs.

The fellow will achieve the mastery of:

  • Deceased donor heart harvests
  • The knowledge of preservation solution types
  • Management of the unstable donor

The transplant fellows will be expected to attend the following academic activities and conferences:

  • Heart transplant ICU rounds (daily)
  • Heart Failure Journal Club (Tuesday am)
  • Heart Failure Grand Rounds (Thursdays at 12 noon)
  • Cardiology Grand Rounds (Tuesdays at 12 noon)
  • Cardiothoracic surgery mortality and morbidity (one Wednesday/month)
  • Heart transplant mortality and morbidity (one Tuesday/month)
  • Heart transplant/DT LVAD selection committee (every Tuesday)
  • Heart transplant selection committee (every Thursday am)
  • High-risk cardiac surgery meeting (every Friday am)

Clinical research is available to interested fellows and is supported by the heart transplant research team. Fellows can request data reviews to generate presentations and publications. Each fellow is encouraged to produce presentations which culminate into publications (should be presented prior to the completion of their fellowship). He/she will be expected to present at any meeting that their research has been accepted.

  • Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Baylor University Medical Center, Graduate Medical Education (GME) is committed to advancing and passionately promoting a training environment where all feel welcomed and valued.
    A culture of inclusion encourages innovation, and is a catalyst for building dynamic teams that serve our communities.

How to Apply

Application Requirements

Applicants must have completed a five year general surgery residency program.

In order to be considered for the program, applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Personal statement
  • CV
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation

Submit applications to taylor.martinez@bswhealth.org

Deadline for applications is August 31st.

Visa sponsorship is not available for this program.

Working at Baylor Scott & White Health

Compensation and Benefits

In addition to competitive stipends, we offer our fellows a full menu of employee benefits. We help offset the cost of many of these benefits; others are options you can choose to pay for yourself.

Life in Dallas

Dallas provides access to metropolitan entertainment and culture while maintaining the lowest cost of living among the top 10 largest U.S. cities.

Why Baylor Scott & White

As the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas and one of the largest in the United States, Baylor Scott & White Health includes 48 hospitals, more than 900 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians and more than 40,000 employees.

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