Critical Care Medicine Department

NIH ICU Medical Student Elective

CCMD fellows with Dr. Fauci


Successful completion of third-year medical school clerkships.

Course Director

Burton W. Lee, MD

Course Description

The Critical Care Medicine Department invites PGY-2 or PGY-3 internal medicine residents to a 4-week clinical rotation in the intensive care unit at the NIH Clinical Center. The CC is the site of intramural clinical research for the NIH. People from all over the world participate in approximately 1,500 research protocols conducted by the various institutes and centers. Each year, about 6,000 patients are admitted to the CC.

The CCMD provides medical and surgical ICU services for critically ill adult and pediatric patients enrolled in intramural NIH research protocols. The ICU is equipped with state-of-the-art cardiovascular and respiratory support services and staffed by senior physicians and fellows with expertise in critical care medicine, pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, and anesthesiology.

The student is expected to be an integral part of the ICU team. Workday starts at 6:30 am and rounds start at 8 am. There are daily afternoon sign-out rounds occurs at 6 pm.

Educational Conferences

There are daily conferences for fellows which students and residents are also expected to join.

Recurring Fellows Conferences

Sample Schedule Day Time
Simulation Session Monday 11:30 am
DC5 Common Core Critical Care Conference Tuesday 1:00 pm
Departmental Conference Wednesday 11:30 am
Departmental Conference Thursday 11:30 am
Bedside Teaching Friday 11:30 am

There are also seminars specifically for students and residents. These are highly interactive sessions, following an organized curriculum with reading assignments and clearly defined educational goals for each topic.

Student-Resident Seminars

Sample Schedule Day Time
Orientation to the ICU Monday - Week 1 1:00 pm
Mechanical Ventilation I - VALI Tuesday - Week 1 10:00 am
Mechanical Ventilation II - Ventilation Wednesday - Week 1 10:00 am
Mechanical Ventilation III - Oxygenation Thursday - Week 1 10:00 am
ICU Radiology I - Chest Film Friday - Week 1 10:00 am
Physiology - Carbon Dioxide Monday - Week 2 10:00 am
Hypotension & Shock Tuesday - Week 2 10:00 am
Sepsis Wednesday - Week 2 10:00 am
Mechanical Ventilation IV – Modes & Breath Type Thursday - Week 2 1:00 pm
Physiology - Oxygen Friday - Week 2; 10:00 am
Sodium Monday - Week 3 10:00 am
ICU Radiology II - Ultrasound Tuesday - Week 3 10:00 am
Physiology - Acid Base Wednesday - Week 3 10:00 am
Physiology – Metabolic Acidosis Thursday - Week 3 10:00 am
Debrief Friday - Week 4 3:00 pm


Course Objectives

  • Gain clinical experience in providing thoughtful and expedient care for critically ill patients.
  • Understand the basic pathophysiology and scientific literature relevant for caring of critically ill patients.
  • Develop procedural and decision-making skills required for caring of critically ill patients.
  • Develop skills to effectively communicate medical information to patients and their families, ancillary medical staff, and fellow physicians.

Available Dates for the Rotation

NIH ICU rotation is available September to May each academic year for residents. Generally, we accept one student per month for a 4-week rotation.

Selection of Applicants

The program can accommodate one student per month.

Application Procedure

If you are interested in the NIH ICU rotation:

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This page last updated on 04/06/2022

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