Thank you for your interest in the Cleveland Clinic fellowship program in pulmonary and critical care medicine! As program director, I am immensely proud of our fellows and what we have to offer in terms of a training environment and curriculum as they undertake their journey to becoming specialists in the field. Our program mission statement captures the vision of our program, what we aim to accomplish, and how .
I feel we have a unique setting for learning all aspects of pulmonary and critical care medicine, and I hope you will spend some time on this website or contact us to learn more about how we train our fellows.
We are committed to training physicians with a passion for clinical care, education, and research to become tomorrow's leaders in pulmonary and critical care medicine through excellence in patient care, scholarship, innovation and leadership.
We will accomplish this by:
- Providing world-class patient care and unparalleled clinical training
- Recruiting proactive visionary candidates with a diversity of career goals
- Promoting individualized mentorship
- Supporting, protecting, and guiding meaningful educational and research opportunities
- Innovating in education
- Teaching and role modeling character traits of effective healers and scholars, including communication, integrity, compassion, and teamwork
- Embracing quality and safety as a culture
The Cleveland Clinic is nationally known as a center of innovation, and we love to innovate new ways to enhance the training in our program. We have protected “education days” each month for our fellows, new simulation-based curricula introduced every year for the past several years, and a comprehensive orientation in July including hands-on training in bronchoscopy, ultrasound and bedside ICU procedures.
One of the hallmarks of our program is the flexibility to develop an individualized pathway through training, under the direction of involved and capable mentors. After completing their core requirements for board eligibility, our fellows enjoy the freedom to design a track suited to their career goals and interests, including additional clinical training, research, administrative experience and education. Our institute has ample resources to support virtually any kind of track a fellow might choose, with close to $9 million in research funding and many researchers involved at every level of investigation, including basic sciences, translational, clinical, quality and educational research projects.
Again, we thank you for your interest in our training program and invite you to discover more about it. If you are considering training as a fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine, we encourage you to apply to our program through ERAS. We would love to show you in person what we are doing here in fellowship education, and how we can help you achieve your professional goals.
Ren Ashton, MD, FACP, FCCP
Facts & Figures
The Respiratory Institute encompasses the Departments of Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, and Infectious Disease. The Institute has realized enormous growth in the past several years, increasing the size of its faculty to over 150 physicians and expanding beyond the main campus to eight regional hospitals and 10 free-standing outpatient facilities.
Our physicians possess wide-ranging clinical expertise and oversee a number of nationally renowned referral programs serving both common (sarcoidosis, pulmonary vascular disease, lung cancer, interstitial lung disease, asthma, neuromuscular disease) and uncommon (lymphangioleiomyomatosis, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia) disease populations. Outpatient visits approach 55,000 annually.
Our lung transplant program performed 129 transplants in 2017, second in the nation in annual volume of procedures performed. The program commonly transplants patients turned down by other centers.
Members of our Interventional Pulmonology section perform over 4,000 bronchoscopies annually and offer state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients.
As a testament to our clinical strengths, Cleveland Clinic is ranked as one of the nation's top hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
Coupled with our clinical initiatives is a thriving research enterprise that encompasses virtually all areas of pulmonary and critical care medicine. Several faculty hold joint appointments in the Lerner Research Institute where they run NIH-funded basic science labs investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms relevant to pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and asthma. Numerous other members of the Respiratory Institute have participated in major NIH-sponsored collaborative clinical trials networks including ARDSNet, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Clinical Research Network, Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL), Long Term Oxygen Treatment Trial (LOTT) for COPD and the Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation.
Rendell W. Ashton, MD, has been a pulmonary and critical care medicine physician in the Respiratory Institute at Cleveland Clinic since July of 2008. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and completed residency and chief residency in internal medicine and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. He came to Cleveland after three years in the division of pulmonary and critical care at SUNY Update in Syracuse, NY.
He has directed the pulmonary/critical care medicine fellowship at Cleveland Clinic since 2010 and helped launch the critical care medicine fellowship in 2010, which he directed until July 2013. He was the president of the Association of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Program Directors in 2017-18. His clinical and scholarly interests include many areas of critical care and pulmonary medicine, but particularly respiratory failure, mechanical ventilation and sepsis. His is also interested in educational scholarship, including medical simulation as a learning tool.
Dr. Highland is fellowship trained in both pulmonary/critical care and rheumatology and has a dual appointment in the Respiratory Institute and the Orthopedics and Rheumatology Institute. Prior to coming to the Cleveland Clinic, she was an Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina where she was director of the pulmonary hypertension program, interim director of the sarcoidosis center, and ran a very busy rheumatic lung disease clinic. Her clinical practice continues to be composed of complex patients with interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis and the pulmonary complications of the rheumatic diseases (scleroderma, polymyositis/dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis). Her combined training has given her a unique perspective and expertise in caring for the patient with rheumatic lung disease and sarcoidosis. Dr. Highland is the associate program director for research and scholarship.
Dr. Highland also has a Masters of Science in Clinical Research. Her research interests have been concentrated in interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension with an emphasis on scleroderma.
After graduating medical school at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Mani Latifi, MD, joined Cleveland Clinic for a residency in Internal Medicine followed by an additional year where he served as Chief Resident. Subsequently, he remained at Cleveland Clinic for additional training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine where he served as Chief Fellow in his final year of training.
Dr. Latifi joined the faculty in 2017 with a joint appointment in the Departments of Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care. His specialty interests include airways diseases/asthma and related health disparities which is the focus of his outpatient practice. His areas of interest in critical care medicine include bedside procedures and point of care ultrasound for which he is also a participating staff on the procedure services as well as advanced extra-corporeal life support for which he is a part of the medical ECMO team. In addition, his focus also includes medical education where he is an active participant in medical education for both Internal Medicine Residency and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine fellowship programs. He was appointed as Associate Program Director for the Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Fellowship in 2018.
In his spare time, he is active with mostly outdoor activities that include hiking/backpacking and is an avid fly fisherman.
Cleveland is a vibrant city situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie, with a population of 400,000 within the city proper and over 2 million in the Cleveland metropolitan area.