The first year resident begins by spending six months at the VA medical center rotation participating in adult cardiovascular surgery (2/3) and general thoracic surgery (1/3). The second six-month block is in general thoracic surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. This year is designed to provide the basics for patient evaluation, operative intervention/surgical technique, and postoperative management. Residents will perform the vast majority of the operative cases under staff supervision. Increased responsibility will be offered to those demonstrating excellent judgmental and technical abilities regardless of their track. This will provide a strong foundation for the remaining two years.
The second year consists of four three-month rotations. There are two required rotations, one in congenital heart surgery and one in endovascular surgery for the cardiothoracic track residents. Since the vast majority of our residents want to obtain UNOS certification in lung transplantation, two of the three-month blocks have lung transplant responsibilities associated with them. The remaining two blocks are customized rotations that are specifically designed to meet the career needs of the individual resident. Elective rotations include adult cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Abbott Northwestern and Fairview Southdale Hospital.
The chief year consists of two six-month blocks. The VA rotation includes advanced adult cardiovascular surgical techniques and graded increases in responsibility. The University Hospital Cardiac/Heart Failure and Heart Transplant rotation provides the resident with a saturated experience in the medical and surgical therapies for heart failure as well as cardiac transplantation. Both of these rotations are predominantly adult cardiovascular rotations and provide a high measure of independence and well-rounded operative experience. Care is taken that all residents achieve sufficient experience and case numbers required for board examinations, as well as achieving UNOS numbers for heart and lung transplantation.