The thoracic track rotations are tailored for those interested in a career in general thoracic surgery. It has been easy to transition to a dedicated general thoracic track because we have always offered a sound thoracic experience in our well-established cardiothoracic training program.
One of the aims of the Section of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery is to train modern thoracic surgeons in a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. These new techniques are essential for the next generation of thoracic surgeons who will be future leaders in providing cutting edge therapy and advancing the field of general thoracic surgery. The resident will master these techniques by the end of training in preparation of a productive career in whatever practice setting the resident desires.
The first year of training in the thoracic track is essentially the same as the first year in the cardiothoracic track. Each resident spends 6 months on the UMMC Thoracic and Foregut Service and 6 months on the VA Cardiothoracic Surgery Service. During the 6 months at the VA, the resident participates in a mix of adult cardiovascular surgery (2/3) and general thoracic surgery (1/3). Increased responsibility will be offered to those demonstrating excellent judgmental and technical abilities regardless of their track. Adult cardiac surgical requirements for revascularization and valve replacement/repair will be completed during this rotation.
In combination with the first year experience in adult cardiac surgery at the VA, all cardiac surgery requirements for the General Thoracic Track are completed within the first 4 months of the second year. Two months are spent on the UMMC Heart Failure/Heart Transplant service and 2 months on the Congenital Surgery Service. The remaining education is focused on a premier thoracic surgical experience beginning with 4 months in a general thoracic rotation at Fairview-Southdale Hospital and 4 months in an Advanced Thoracic Elective (with the potential for an away rotation).
The chief year includes 6 months at the VA dedicated to general thoracic surgery with advanced clinical and technical freedom and responsibility. During this time, the resident will also have an endovascular experience. This will afford the opportunity for an experience with pulmonary medicine, medical oncology, and radiation oncology. The final 6 months will be spent as a chief in advanced thoracic surgery at UMMC. This includes heavy exposure to minimally invasive thoracic and foregut surgery.
The resident is integrated into the organ procurement experience during the second and third year of training. Our program is structured to give the resident adequate UNOS transplant numbers for certification.