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Departments / Surgery / Fellowships / Abdominal Transplant Surgery

Transplant Surgery

Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship

The abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at the University of Cincinnati is currently accredited to train three fellows in liver and kidney transplantation by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS).  The program alternates matching one and two fellows every other year.   There are currently two positions open for the 2023 match.  The program had its first fellow in 1969 and has graduated 42 fellows.  Our graduates have consistently obtained transplant faculty positions across the country and abroad.

The fellowship consists of two clinical years of training in liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation including broad exposure to both multi-organ deceased donor procurements and live donor operations (laparoscopic nephrectomy and hepatectomy).  Fellows also receive extensive training in hepatobiliary and complex vascular access surgery.  Finally, we are thrilled to be partnering with Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center to provide our transplant fellows with a pediatric transplant experience starting in the 2021-2022 academic year.

The philosophy of the transplant faculty is to treat the transplant fellow like a junior partner.  This starts with ensuring fellows get the appropriate amount of time off each month, with our program strictly adhering to the ASTS Managed Time Policy.   Next, fellows are given graded responsibility not only in the operating room, but also in the clinical management of the routine and complex transplant, hepatobiliary and vascular access patients.

Most fellows are independent in the multi-organ procurement operation within the first few months of fellowship training and virtually all fellows perform the entirety of the liver and kidney transplantation operation within their first six months of their fellowship.  The transplant surgery fellow leads the inpatient care of all transplant patients at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. All recipients within their first year of transplant are cared for by the Transplant Surgery service, which consists primarily of attending surgeons, surgery fellows, mid-level providers, surgical residents and medical students. Structured multidisciplinary rounds are made by the Transplant Surgery service daily.  These rounds are led by the transplant surgery fellows with guidance and support provided by transplant surgery faculty.  Leadership skills are quickly developed as the fellows coordinate the multi-disciplinary team and oversee the daily management of our transplant patients.  Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in outpatient clinics, which include the pre-transplant evaluation of liver, kidney and pancreas transplant recipients and are able to participate in the routine post-operative care of these patients.  Fellows may also attend hepatobiliary and vascular access clinics from which elective cases are scheduled. This allows them the opportunity to participate in preoperative planning and continued outpatient management of these patients.

This experience is supported by an ever-growing volume of transplants performed by our center.  The following graph depicts the volume of liver, kidney (living and deceased donor) and pancreas transplants performed over the past five years.  While the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted all of our lives, we have safely been able to continue transplanting here at the University of Cincinnati and even grew our liver transplant volume in spite of the pandemic.  We did see a slight drop in kidney transplant volume during the past year which was largely attributed to decreased living donor kidney transplants performed given the uncertainty at the start of the pandemic.

Number of transplants

Growing transplant center volume results in a robust operative experience of the fellows.  The follow graph depicts the average operative volume for liver and kidney transplants, laparoscopic donor nephrectomies (LDN), hepatobiliary (HB) and multiorgan deceased donor procurements of our graduating fellows over the past 4 years.

Organ procurement

The goal of the first year of fellowship is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the medical management and operative principles pertinent to the care of our patients. While the second year is designed to be finishing school for our fellows and prepare them for independent practice upon graduation.  Fellows work with faculty to develop surgical plans for both live donor nephrectomies and live donor hepatectomies.  Fellows in their second year are also offered the opportunity to participate in primary organ offer call, where all information about the organ offer is passed through the attending physician in real time to help develop a comprehensive understanding of deceased donor organ evaluation and how to select a recipient and set up a transplant operation.

Finally, there are ample educational opportunities available to transplant surgery fellows with a robust structured curriculum in place. Fellows participate in weekly multidisciplinary conferences for liver and Transplant Lecture Series kidney transplantation as well as hepatobiliary and vascular access surgery.  A year-long Transplant Lecture Series occurs every Friday where a variety of topics spanning all aspects of transplantation are reviewed.  Finally, a weekly fellows’ pre-operative conference is held and attended by all faculty, where the elective cases to be performed in the upcoming week are reviewed.

As I hope you can appreciate – we place great pride on the training and education of our fellows.  We hope will you will consider our program for your fellowship and become a part of our transplant family.

How to Apply

You can apply for our ASTS (American Society of Transplant Surgeons) accredited fellowship in abdominal transplant surgery at the SF Match residency and fellowship matching service website,, program ID 5478. Two positions are currently available for the 2023 match cycle.

The completed application must be received no later than February 9, 2022. All applications are reviewed by the program director, and select applicants are invited to for a personal, virtual, interview in April/May.

Important Match Dates:

February 9, 2022 – deadline for applications to be submitted.

TBD – Interviews will be held.

June 8, 2022 – Rank lists due.

June 15, 2022 – Match day.

July 2023 – Start date.


For more information about the University of Cincinnati Abdominal Transplant fellowship, contact Tara Ahmed at, Phone 513-558-3993.

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Program Administration:
R. Cutler Quillin, III, MD, Program Director

For questions, contact:
Tara Ahmed
Department of Surgery Division of Transplantation
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way (ML0519)
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0519


R. Cutler Quillin, III, MD
Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship Director

Tara Ahmed
Program Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-3993

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231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Phone: 513-558-4748