Sample Cardiothoracic Track

Year 1

The first year fellow will spend six months at the VA Medical Center participating in adult cardiovascular surgery and general thoracic surgery. The other 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. Fellows 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.

Year 2

The second year consists of flexible 3-4 month rotations, based upon educational interest, hospital coverage, and existing trainee complement. Primary hospital sites include community type cardiac practice at St Johns and Southdale hospitals, as well as congenital experience at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s hospital. Other opportunities have included rotations at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, the Adult Cardiac Service at UMMC, or endovascular/structural heart electives. This year also includes more frequent involvement with donor organ procurement, in anticipation of independent procurement responsibilities by the start of the 3rd year.

Year 3

The chief year consists of two six-month blocks. The VA rotation includes advanced adult cardiovascular surgical techniques and graded increases in responsibility. The VA chief is also the primary fellow for independent donor organ procurement. The University of Minnesota Medical Center Cardiac Failure / Transplants rotation provides the fellow with a saturated experience in the medical and surgical therapies for heart and lung failure as well as thoracic 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 fellows achieve sufficient experience and case numbers required for board eligibility, as well as achieving UNOS numbers for certification in heart and lung transplantation.