Burn Fellowship

A one-year non ACGME-accredited clinical burn fellowship program is offered in the UF Health Shands Burn Center. The core of the Burn Center is its dedicated 27-bed inpatient unit which offers progressive care (ICU to floor) during a patient’s entire hospital stay. A dedicated burn operating room and outpatient burn clinic are co-located with the inpatient unit. The aim of the burn fellowship is to graduate well-trained and qualified surgeons who will practice in and lead multidisciplinary specialized burn programs.


Clinical Experience

Trainees will be exposed to acute resuscitation of burn injuries and related disorders, critical care management, acute burn excision and reconstruction, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of delayed burn sequelae. Specialized therapies available for trainee education include:

  • Excision of acute burns and assessment of appropriate wound closure technique
  • Skin grafting
  • Autologous skin cell suspension
  • Cultured epidermal autografts
  • Burn scar contracture management to include flap reconstruction of soft tissue defects
  • Laser burn scar therapy
  • Allogenic, xenogeneic, and artificial skin substitutes
  • Advanced invasive and non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring
  • Advanced mechanical ventilation and therapeutic strategies for inhalation injury
  • Continuous renal replacement therapy
  • Burn physical and occupational therapy and splinting
  • Scar management
  • Speech therapy

Curriculum

This non-ACGME accredited program provides one year of dedicated burn surgery training leading to a certificate of completion of a burn fellowship. As the fellow gains experience, they will be entrusted with the management of the burn team under direct faculty supervision.

Fellows will have 12 months of clinical education:

  • The bulk of instruction occurs in the fundamental surgical care of adult acute burn patients, including pre- and post-operative evaluation and care.
  • Pediatric-specific burn surgical care
  • Surgical critical care
  • Reconstructive surgical techniques specific to burns and complex wounds:
    • Contracture release
    • Local flap creation
    • Laser scar therapy
  • Outpatient (burn clinic) management of burn injuries and their sequelae will occur at regular intervals during the academic year.
  • Acute care surgery and related electives as determined by the fellow’s interests

The didactic curriculum is extensive at the divisional and department levels. Fellows will participate in the Burn Center’s quality improvement (QI) program and gain experience in the organization and use of a burn registry. Attendance at regional and national burn professional society meetings will be subsidized, with the expectation that the fellow engages in burn-related scholarly activity. The fellow will gain Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS) certification. Our curriculum provides extensive focus on burn-specific training. The graduate of the burn fellowship will in most cases pursue an additional one-year surgical critical care (SCC) fellowship prior to or after burn training, including in the UF SCC fellowship program. Those graduates who do not seek additional SCC fellowship training may still serve or direct an academic burn service in those institutions where critical care management is a hybrid model with dedicated medical intensivists.


Research

Fellows will participate in the UF Health Shands Burn Center’s robust research program. By applying and studying protocols and therapies, we seek to improve outcomes after burn injury, including increased survival, decreased hospital stays, shortened healing time, improved physical and psychological re-integration, and better cosmesis.

Current research efforts examine:

  • Burn hypermetabolism and nutrition
  • Enzymatic debridement of acute thermal burns
  • Novel skin substitutes to limit the need for donor sites for skin grafting or to improve the function and appearance of reconstructed burn injuries
  • Fluid resuscitation strategies
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Clinical outcomes after burn injury
  • Desquamative disorders
  • Burn-related transfusion medicine
  • Burn sepsis recognition

The Burn Center holds several active clinical and translational grants and is a participating site in several multi-institution clinical trials. The fellow’s work will culminate in the presentation and/or publication of original research.


Fellowship Requirements

One position is available each academic year (August 1 – July 31). The preferred applicant will be board-eligible in general surgery or plastic surgery and have completed the core training requirements of an RRC-approved residency in general surgery or plastic surgery prior to fellowship admission. Individuals who have satisfactorily completed at least three years of training in an accredited general surgery or plastic surgery residency will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  

We will evaluate applicants based on their medical school and residency experience and performance, performance on standardized exams including the USMLE and ABSITE, previous engagement with burn surgery, academic productivity, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. Applicants must be eligible for licensure in the state of Florida.

To Apply:

Applicants should submit a copy of their CV, personal statement of interest in burn surgery, three letters of reference, ABSITE scores, USMLE scores, and medical school transcript to the Burn Fellowship Program Coordinator, Cameron Ghalayini (cameron.ghalayini@surgery.ufl.edu).

UF’s Burn Surgery Fellowship is currently accepting applications. Applications for the 2025 – 2026 academic year will be accepted June 1, 2024 – August 31, 2024.


Program Faculty

Burn Surgery

Ian R. Driscoll, MD, FACS
Associate Professor, Surgery & Anesthesiology
Director, UF Health Shands Burn Center
Program Director, Burn Surgery Fellowship

Andrea M. Munden, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgery

Amalia L. Cochran, MD
Clinical Professor, Surgery
Interim Chief of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Acute Care Surgery & Critical Care Medicine

Brenda G. Fahy, MD, MCCM
Professor, Anesthesiology
Associate Chair, Faculty Affairs & Professional Development

Philip A. Efron, MD, FACS, FCCM
Professor, Surgery
Director, Sepsis & Critical Illness Research Center (SCIRC)

Alicia Mohr, MD, FACS, FCCM
Edward R. Woodward Professor, Surgery
Division Chief, Acute Care Surgery
Program Director, Acute Care Surgery Fellowship
Associate Program Director, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship

Jessica E. Taylor, MD, MBA, FACS
Assistant Professor, Surgery
Program Director, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship

 

Program Coordinator

Cameron M. Ghalayini
Program Coordinator, Burn Surgery Fellowship


Our Fellows

Year Name current or last known position
2024 – 2025 Maria Gabriela Herrera Rodriguez, DO Florida Atlantic University, General Surgery Residency
2023 – 2024 John “Clay” Rodriguez, MD University of Florida, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship