Cardiothoracic Surgical Residency

The evolving complexity of cardiothoracic surgery requires more technical experience and a broader understanding of parallel advances in cardiology, vascular surgery, pulmonology and imaging than can be accomplished in a two year fellowship. At the University of Maryland, we instituted a 6-8 year integrated cardiothoracic residency leading to certification in cardiothoracic surgery without certification in general surgery in 2009. We are very proud that our first graduate, Dr. Zach Kon, is now a staff cardiac surgeon on our faculty.

The overarching objective of this training pathway is to provide the interested candidate a comprehensive, total immersion into the diagnosis and management of all aspects of cardiovascular and thoracic diseases through multi-disciplinary training that better prepares the candidate to meet the future challenges of our specialty. Despite the fact that 8 years of post-graduate residency specialty training still represents a major time investment, having the entire training program dedicated to what the residents will be doing for the rest of their careers will produce uniquely trained cardiothoracic surgeons able to take full advantage of new opportunities.

During the first two years of training, residents complete prerequisite clinical training in general and vascular surgery, critical care and cardiovascular medicine. In addition, during this time, residents begin their in-depth exposure to cardiothoracic surgery with rotations in echocardiography, interventional pulmonology, interventional cardiology, and cardiac anesthesia/perfusion, as well as junior resident experiences on the thoracic and cardiac surgical services. In the third year, residents take on the role of chief resident on the thoracic service and begin mentored, senior-level rotations in cardiac surgery.

At the conclusion of the third year, each resident has the opportunity to spend two years doing basic or translational research studying unsolved problems in cardiothoracic surgery. Pursuit of a graduate degree in a related or ancillary field (e.g., MPH, MBA, MS, or PhD) is strongly supported. Although we encourage this experience to enhance each trainee’s academic development, this experience is by not required.

The final three years of the residency program comprise the requisite training in cardiothoracic surgery. Each year, the resident will spend a minimum of three months as the chief resident on the thoracic surgical service, allowing a comprehensive exposure to both minimally invasive and open approaches to thoracic malignancies, as well as focused experiences in the surgical treatment of benign esophageal diseases, pleural malignancies, and airway disorders. Additional rotations in thoracic surgery, interventional pulmonology, and endoscopy can be added depending on the individual trainee’s career goals. On the cardiac service, residents will be assigned to individual cardiac faculty members for 2-3 month rotations offering highly focused experiences in each faculty member’s area of expertise including coronary revascularization, valve surgery, congenital surgery, transplantation and assist devices. It is during this period of training that residents will gain an in-depth experience in the unique aspects of training at the University of Maryland, such as our lung healing center built around our comprehensive ECMO and transplant programs and our cutting edge TAVR program. During the final year of training, residents will be allowed the flexibility to focus on their particular clinical area of interest in either adult cardiac, general thoracic, or congenital surgery along with the opportunity to pursue an away rotation to further develop their interest.

We are extremely confident that this unique curriculum will provide our residents with the background and experience to build successful careers as future cardiothoracic surgeons. Please navigate through the additional tabs to learn more about our program. Contact us with any questions regarding setting up an away rotation or applying to the residency program.

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