Program Overview

The Administrative Fellowship in the Section of Surgical Sciences/Surgery Patient Care Center is a one-year program focused on the strategic and operational aspects of the surgical care continuum at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Throughout the year, the fellow will gain broad exposure by participating in and leading a variety of hands-on projects and initiatives tailored to his or her interests. Bess Wildman, the Chief Business Officer for the Section of Surgical Sciences and Associate Operating Officer of the Surgery Patient Care Center serves as the preceptor and has mentored many successful fellows throughout her career.

While this fellowship incorporates several rotations throughout the Vanderbilt enterprise, the focus on surgical specialties allows for a unique experience working closely with Physician Faculty Members. The fellow will learn academic department and service line management through projects such as:

  1. Developing and/or improving clinical pathways in partnership with clinical leaders
  2. Optimizing block schedules
  3. Participating in department and clinic budget processes
  4. Assisting with coordination of faculty recruitment and other faculty affairs activities
  5. Leading quarterly Lunch & Learns that discuss healthcare industry current hot topics with administrative leaders and management
  6. Owning the following regular projects:
    1. Multi-Disciplinary Perioperative Morbidity & Mortality Improvement Conference
    2. Annual compensation & productivity benchmark faculty report
    3. Administrative Fellowship recruitment process

Ideal candidates will be team oriented, flexible, intuitive, inventive, self-motivated, professional, and understanding of the business forces within the healthcare industry.


This fellowship blends early rotational experiences with immediate project work to facilitate a learning by doing model. The fellow will participate in 5-6 rotations throughout The Vanderbilt University Medical Center Clinical Enterprise along with the other VUMC Hospital & Clinics administrative fellows. An additional 8-10 surgical-specific rotations will serve as a platform for the fellow to develop key experience in aspects of Academic Surgery Administration.

Many leaders across the organization and within the Section of Surgical Sciences and Surgery Patient Care Center will meet with the fellow to facilitate learning, exposure, and project selection. Further unique opportunities including Lean Healthcare Certificate Training, LifeFlight Ride-Along, and Leadership Orientation are incorporated into this program.