Acute Care Surgery

The Division of Acute Care Surgery at Michigan Medicine provides care for the most critically ill and injured patients, backed by the resources of a Level 1 Trauma Center and a Verified Burn Center, as well as several specialty ICUs.

Clinical Specialties

Acute Care Surgery at Michigan provides care for patients with serious trauma and burn injuries, and delivers surgical services for emergencies and for critical care medicine. Our clinical specialties include:

  • Trauma Surgery: Trauma surgeons treat more than 1,500 people a year as part of a multidisciplinary team of care providers — an approach that’s been shown to improve outcomes for patients recovering from a serious injury. Few institutions have achieved Level 1 Trauma Center verification for both adults and children, a fact that demonstrates our longstanding commitment to providing the best and most responsive resources for the treatment of trauma.
  • Burn Surgery: Michigan Medicine is home to the state’s only adult and pediatric Verified Burn Center, making our team of surgeons and scientists recognized leaders in not just burn injury treatment, but also burn prevention, education, and research. We treat more than 250 patients a year, serving as a referral center that can offer treatments not found elsewhere, including fractional CO2 laser treatment of burn scars. Expanding our services regionally, we also coordinate the health care response for burn mass casualties through our Burn Center and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, improving the entire state’s readiness for emergency response.
  • Surgical Critical Care: Surgical Critical Care surgeons care for patients in a surgical and a trauma burn ICU, serving as a tertiary and quaternary care center for patients around the region. Our areas of strength include acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), complex ventilator management, hospital-acquired infections, and treatment of major trauma and burns, including wound and skin disorders such as necrotizing soft tissue infection. Our ICUs are award-winning, recognized for their excellence in family-centered critical care.
  • Emergency General Surgery: Through this service, we provide timely surgical assessment and operative management for general surgery patients with acute conditions. By concentrating the care of a patient in the hands of a single team, we can improve health outcomes through better coordination and better management of each case.

By coupling patient care and research, we seek to improve health care outcomes and prevent injuries, improving the quality of life for patients here and everywhere. Through our comprehensive fellowship training program, we pass on this knowledge to the next leaders in surgical critical care.


The Division of Acute Care Surgery provides instruction in critical care for trainees across all levels and specialties, including residents and fellows in surgery, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, and pulmonary medicine. We believe strongly in the value of creating acute care surgeons who can navigate the multiple disciplines of trauma, burn, surgical critical care, and emergency surgery, becoming expert in the entire spectrum of critical care management.

Our division provides extensive trauma education opportunities, including an ATLS® student course, an ATLS® student refresher course, and an ATLS® instructor course. We offer a Surgical Critical Care (SCC) Fellowship, a 1-year ACGME-certified training program designed to prepare graduates for the certifying exam in surgical critical care. This program, recognized as one of the country’s best, offers special strengths in ICU management and ECMO training, a technology developed at U-M. The Section of Pediatric Surgery at U-M also offers a Pediatric Surgery Critical Care Fellowship Program.


Our research activities span clinical, translational, education, and quality improvement efforts. Current projects include:

  • The International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM) fosters collaboration between medical disciplines and automotive engineering to prevent injuries and improve care.
  • The Michigan Center for Global Surgery's mission is to create a sustainable pathway for residents and faculty members to shape the the future and strengthen surgical systems around the globe.
  • A collaborative quality initiative, the Michigan Trauma Quality Improvement Program (MTQIP), provides a statewide quality improvement infrastructure for trauma centers to improve health care quality and reduce cost. In addition, the Michigan Acute Care Surgery collaborative is focused on quaility improvement in the area of emergency general surgery.
  • The University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center is one of nine CDC-funded Injury Control Research Centers nationally. It focuses on violence, older adult falls, concussion, opioid and overdose, suicide and many other injury prevention research areas.
  • The Extracorporeal Lifesupport (ECLS) Lab was founded by Professor Emeritus Robert H. Bartlett, M.D. Dr. Bartlett continues to direct the ECLS laboratory as it investigates new patient populations and clinical applications. Work on ECLS has been funded by the National Institutes of Health continuously since 1971.
  • The Center for Surgical Training and Educational Research (CSTAR) is a unique cross-disciplinary program that bridges the gap between surgical education research and health services research. CSTAR applies improvement science methodologies to develop new national evidence-based standards for surgical training and offers a 1-2 year surgical education fellowship.
  • Analytic Morphomics is the measurment of specific bio-markers about a patient’s body collected from medical imaging. These measurements provide quantifiable data about the patients current state by measuring and analyzing what’s on the inside.