Letter from Program Director

Dear Interested Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Vascular Surgery Training program here at Stanford. We sponsor a fully-accredited 0+5 integrated residency and a two-year traditional fellowship with the mission of training the future academic leaders of American vascular surgery. As an alumnus of this training program, I am particularly proud of the tradition of rigorous clinical training, research mentorship, professionalism, and leadership opportunity provided and nurtured by the faculty and staff at Stanford. Our current philosophy revolves around the concept of individualized professional development, focusing on personalized mentorship provided by faculty with a wide variety of clinical and research interests. We promote excellence in all our trainees, staff, and faculty, and celebrate the diversity of our vascular team. We believe this educational framework and approach maximizes the future career potential of each of our trainees. Program graduates in the past have established successful academic careers at our own institution as well as other major vascular programs across the U.S., including Columbia/Cornell, UC Davis, University of Florida, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School,  UCLA, University of Colorado, Washington University in St. Louis, and University of Chicago. Consistent with the theme of personalized development for each trainee, graduates that have chosen non-academic careers are engaged in leadership roles at clinical programs affiliated with significant resident teaching.

The Stanford 0+5 integrated residency began in 2008, and has received full accreditation each review. As the fifth program of its kind approved by the Residency Review Committee, we have consistently been leaders in program development, curriculum improvement, and training innovation. Integration of a skills curriculum and efforts related to surgical simulation have resulted in an unparalleled focus on trainee education. The first two years of the residency are based around the core surgical principles with modifications for the contemporary vascular specialist. Rotations during the internship include surgical oncology, trauma surgery, colorectal surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, cardiovascular imaging, and vascular lab training. The second year includes immersion into multiple ICUs, including the coronary care unit, cardiovascular/vascular surgery ICU, surgery/trauma ICU, and medical ICU. The third clinical year is the formative vascular surgery operative year, with rotations at Stanford Hospital, the nearby Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, a county hospital in Santa Clara, and community hospital in Marin.

Since 2012 we have included a two-year laboratory requirement to our residency program. This effectively makes our integrated program a 7-year training program; vital to what we feel best prepares trainees for the rigors of an academic surgical career. The opportunities for research training are plentiful at Stanford University, and include involvement of our own T32 Vascular Biology program with over 100 independent investigators that can serve as mentors.  Stanford’s world-class Biodesign program also offers opportunities in entrepreneurship and the Department’s focus on education provides pathways for education and simulation research. We will fully support the trainee to achieve the goal of research training in preparation for their future academic career.

The final two-years of residency training mirror our approach in the two-year fellowship, namely team leadership, complex open and endovascular training, and exposure to the latest technology available in clinical trials for our patients. We have the only international rotation approved by the American Board of Surgery to count towards case volume requirements, realizing that operative experience during the 7 years of training can be broadened by spending core time outside of the United States. An intensive cardiac surgery rotation allows trainees significant exposure to thoracoabdominal pathology, complex aortic dissection, and percutaneous valve therapies. Finally, the chief resident year is an intense finishing school that should fully prepare the graduate for independent operative practice. The full range of complex aortic interventions, including access to fenestrated and branched endografts, and participation in numerous clinical trials provides experience with the future of endovascular techniques. Significant collaboration with our surgical oncology colleagues, spine surgeons, and sports medicine program provides excellent open abdominal operative exposure as well as niche training in thoracic outlet syndrome and vascular sports disorders. Our wound care center provides patients with end-stage limb salvage problems requiring open and endovascular reconstruction strategies. All of our prior trainees have finished their training in the 90th percentile for most of the defined categories, and have attained extremely successful clinical careers.

In summary, we believe that the training provided by Stanford Vascular Surgery is thoughtful, rigorous, and complete in terms of our goal of training future academic leaders in our specialty. The collaboration we have with our colleagues allows for world-class treatment of patients, and this high expectation towards patient care and innovation underscores the strong tradition of vascular surgery training at Stanford.


Jason T. Lee, M.D.
Professor of Surgery
Director of Endovascular Surgery
Program Director, Vascular Surgery Residency/Fellowship