Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Section of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery provides comprehensive, personalized training in cardiothoracic surgery through an ACGME-accredited Thoracic Surgery Fellowship Program. The program offers a unique fellowship experience with exposure in the full spectrum of cardiothoracic surgery services, including coronary artery and valve surgery, treatment of heart and lung failure, thoracic oncology, aortic surgery and benign thoracic diseases. With a renowned faculty and state of the art technology, the cardiothoracic fellowship training program places a strong emphasis on minimally invasive surgical approaches, including Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) and robotic cardiac surgery. Residents are exposed to both community hospital and academic medical center settings with progressively increasing responsibility for the course of the three-year fellowship program.

While the program exposes all fellows to a wide variety of cardiothoracic surgery experiences, each fellow may elect to pursue either the thoracic or cardiac track to provide additional exposure depending on their interests. This unique approach to learning focuses on the development of technical and knowledge-based competencies in addition to providing access to outstanding simulation facilities that will enhance the training experience without detracting from the clinical opportunities.

Rotations are three months long throughout the three-year program and can be tailored to meet the individual trainees’ goals while providing a comprehensive cardiothoracic surgery training experience. The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC), located in the Hyde Park neighborhood just south of downtown Chicago and consistently rated as one of the top teaching hospitals in the nation, is the main site for the program. Rotations at UChicago Medicine include adult cardiac surgery and general thoracic surgery. NorthShore University Health System, located just north of downtown Chicago in Evanston, includes rotations in both adult cardiac surgery and general thoracic surgery as well. Lastly, rotations at Lurie Children’s Hospital, located in downtown Chicago and one of the top pediatric cardiac surgery centers in the nation, provides exposure to pediatric cardiac surgery. Elective rotations are allotted to provide additional clinical exposure on the treatment of heart and lung failure and transplantation, robotic cardiac surgery, and more. See the table below for a sample clinical rotation schedule for cardiac track and thoracic track residents. The academic year begins August 1st.

CT Rotations FINAL.PNG

Scholarship and academics play an integral role in the cardiothoracic surgery training program, and residents are encouraged to attend national meetings and conferences, obtain off-site training, and participate in scholarly research. Fellows typically graduate with three to five peer-reviewed publications authored during their training. 

Learn more about the Section of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Chicago.