Pulmonary & Critical Care Services - VA Caribbean Healthcare System
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VA Caribbean Healthcare System


Pulmonary & Critical Care Services


The Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Core Curriculum of the Training Program in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine of the Veterans Caribbean Healthcare System is a thorough document which encompasses the knowledge and skills desired at the completion of subspecialty fellowship training in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine and the specific training process to achieve these goals.

The curriculum is based on the requirements for knowledge in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine outlined by the Accreditation Council in Graduate Medical Education, the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Thoracic Society and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. According to such outlines, the areas, which are to be covered, are:

  • Pulmonary malignancy-primary and metastatic
  • Obstructive lung diseases: asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary infections, including tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacteria, fungal, and those in
    the immunocompromised host
  • Diffuse interstitial lung disease: pathologic and imaging patterns
  • Pulmonary vascular disease: including pulmonary embolism, primary and secondary
    pulmonaryhypertension and the vasculitis and pulmonary hemorrhage syndromes
  • Occupational and environmental lung diseases
  • Iatrogenic respiratory diseases, including drug-induced disease
  • Acute lung injury, including radiation, inhalation, and trauma
  • Pulmonary manifestations of systemic diseases, including collagen vascular diseases that are primary
    in other organs
  • Respiratory failure: including the adult respiratory distress syndrome, acute and chronic respiratory 
    failure in obstructive lung diseases, and neuromuscular respiratory drive disorders
  • Disorders of the pleura and mediastinum
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Pediatric Pulmonary Disease/Genetic and developmental disorders of the respiratory system
  • Chest imaging and Point of Care Ultrasonography and Ultrasound Guided Procedures
  • Pulmonary Pathology
  • Pulmonary Bronchoscopy and Non-Bronchoscopy Procedures
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Research


The Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine (Pulm/CCM) Training Program of the Veterans Administration Caribbean Healthcare system is a three-year clinical and research program. The Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to train up to three subspecialty trainees per year of training, for a total ceiling of nine fellows.


To train Internal Medicine physicians who want to pursue subspecialty training in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, providing them with the tools they will need to become excellent Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine subspecialists in the future.


To provide a complete, modern perspective of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine giving excellent education, providing ample experience by treating patients with a wide variety of pulmonary and critical care medicine pathology, and sponsoring and promoting research experiences. Our trainees will excel in the future practice of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, either at the private setting or at an academic institution.


To provide trainees an ample, complete training that will allow them to succeed in today’s competitive environment and be able to obtain dual certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine in the subspecialties of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine. Our training program should provide evolving state of the art medical knowledge to trainees known for their excellency not only in clinical endeavors but also for their professionalism and ethical values.

Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Faculty:

  • William Rodríguez-Cintrón, MD, MACP, FCCP, FCCM, DABSM; Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Chief Section; Training Program Director, Professor of Medicine, UPR School of Medicine
  • Jesús Casal-Hidalgo, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief, MICU; Staff Physician; Associate Professor UPR School of Medicine
  • Edwin Alicea-Colón, MD, FACP; Supervisor Home Pulmonary Program; Staff Physician; Associate Professor UPR School of Medicine
  • Alfonso Torres-Palacios, MD, FCCP; Staff Physician; Associate Professor UPR School of Medicine
  • José Torres-Palacios, MD; Staff Physician
  • Onix J Cantres-Fonseca, MD; Staff Physician
  • Mark Anthony Vergara, MD; Staff Physician
  • Edgardo Adorno-Fontanez, MD; Staff Physician
  • Francisco Del Olmo, MD; Staff physician

Program Requirements for Applicants

All applicants must have completed formal training in Internal Medicine in a fully accredited Residency Program and be eligible for the Internal Medicine Specialty Examination. Applicant must be fluent in both English and Spanish and possess licensure to practice medicine in Puerto Rico. Applicants have to be free of other obligations that may interfere with their education while on the Training program. The applicants must live within 15 minutes driving distance to the VACHS.

Filled application forms should be submitted to the Training Program Director before December 1st of the academic year preceding the requesting Subspecialty Training entrance date. Applications are to be accompanied by:

  • Three letters of recommendation and letter from the Internal Medicine Program Director
  • USMLE part I, II and III exams documentation including grades and/or USMLE certificates (if applicable)
  • Official Academic transcript from Graduate, Premedical School and Medical School attended
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement stating interest in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
  • License & registry or provisional license.
  • Photo 2x2
  • ECFMG (if applicable)
  • NPI
  • VA mandatory Training for trainees and Hipaa
  • Chief resident certificate (if applicable)
  • Internship Certificate
  • Residency Certificate
  • VA application form 10-2850D

After an evaluation of the applications the Evaluation Committee establishes which candidates will proceed to an interview. After all candidates are interviewed, the committee and Training Program Director select the candidates according to VACHS and Federal Government policies and procedures.

Acceptance to the Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Training Program is notified in writing within 30 days of the committee’s decision.