Critical Care Medicine

The Department of Critical Care was organized in 1997 to develop a unified, multidisciplinary approach to critical care in our 52-bed, state-of-the-art, Intensive Care Unit. Critically ill medical and surgical patients are managed by a multidisciplinary team of board certified intensivists trained in the fields of Anesthesiology, Pulmonary Medicine and Surgery, critical care fellows, Anesthesiology housestaff, mid level providers, critical care nurses, respiratory care practitioners, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists, ethicists, social workers and members of the clergy. Our team works side by side with the primary oncology teams to treat the life threatening complications that sometimes arise during a cancer patient’s treatment.


The Department of Critical Care’s research mission is to facilitate oncology studies at MD Anderson. Research in the department typically involves identifying problems from clinical observational studies and quality improvement initiatives, and then testing potential solutions in both animal models and clinical trials. These efforts include

  • Describing patterns of medical and surgical critical illness specific to the cancer population and predicting outcome in the ICU.
  • Finding new ways to predict those patients at greatest risk of treatment toxicity.
  • Developing techniques for organ function preservation to allow patients to tolerate increasingly toxic cancer treatments.
  • Providing expert physiological measurements to collaborators as they measure the efficacy of their own novel treatments.

Please see the Critical Care research page for more information.

Fellowship Program

The Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program is one of the largest in the United States. The critical care team consists of physicians, ethicists, pharmacists, dieticians, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, social workers, chaplains, patient advocates, advanced nurse practitioners, physician assistants and quality improvement analysts. Critical care practitioners are engaged in nationwide initiatives, such as the Institutes for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Quality Improvement (QI), and Clinical Ethics, with one common mission: care for patients who experience life-threatening complications, which can result from surgical and medical interventions.

Read more about our Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program.

Related Care Center

Observership Opportunities

We offer observer program curricula in our three core services: critical care medicine, pain medicine and anesthesiology.