Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgical Fellowship

Surgeon operating on a patientThe education and training of today’s cardiothoracic surgeon begins with medical school, is nurtured in a general surgery residency, and is formally addressed in a 2-3 year residency program dedicated entirely to cardiothoracic issues-it goes without saying that the continuation of this process is lifelong learning. The University of Florida has had an approved residency in Thoracic Surgery for over thirty years. Ours is a 3-year program, primarily based in our university hospital, Shands at UF, with rotations at an affiliated Veterans Administration Medical Center. Currently we accept one resident into the program each year.

The residents are closely involved in the pre-operative assessment, operation, and post-operative care of all patients on their services. Their operative experience is commensurate with their increasing skills, judgment and surgical maturity-most residents submit an operative experience of about six hundred cases for their Board Applications. All areas of cardiothoracic experience are available at the University of Florida, including congenital and acquired cardiac problems, aortic pathologies, pulmonary malformations and neoplasms, esophageal procedures, chest wall abnormalities and post-operative critical care. Newer modalities of cardiac and pulmonary transplantation, minimally invasive pulmonary and cardiac procedures, and electrophysiologic procedures are fully integrated into the training program.

Finishing residents have been eligible for UNOS certification in Cardiac  Transplantation since l984 and Pulmonary Transplantation since 1994. The depth and breadth of the complex aortic surgery performed has been a boon to graduating residents as a distinction in the competitive job market.
Currently six faculty members, with varied interests in individual areas of expertise, lead the residents thru their training. The high volumes and tertiary complexities of the cases lead to a very close and highly educational relationship between resident and faculty. A large number of physician extenders and general surgery residents allow for focus on the major problems arising in the care of complex patients. Didactic and planning/review conferences are held on three of the five weekday mornings. Our residency is in full agreement and compliance with the RRC Guidelines for resident work hours.

Cardiothoracic Surgery is a new and rapidly advancing area of specialization that is quite attractive to the highly motivated, compulsive young surgeons of today. It is the primary reason that each of our faculty has pursued a career in academic surgery-to associate with and guide such young people. The pleasure has been and will continue to be all ours.


Program Mission:

–Through commitment to education, scholarship, diversity and high quality patient care, the University of Florida Integrated Six Year Thoracic Surgery Fellowship training program will prepare well-rounded, clinically excellent and technically skilled cardiac and thoracic surgeons, prepared to practice in any cardiothoracic clinical setting, to meet the needs of the aging United States of America population.


Program Aims:

-–Prepare residents for ABTS Certification in Thoracic Surgery, achieving and maintaining a first time pass rate of 90% or better over a 5 year average.

-–Graduate residents who are safe and technically competent clinical surgeons and who are capable of broad practice in cardiothoracic surgery, as evidenced by all graduates achieving level 4 or higher on the milestones prior to graduation.

-–Provide fellows with the skill set for success in an academic surgical career with at least 40% of graduates pursuing academic appointments.

-–Alleviate the need for highly qualified cardiothoracic surgeons in the state of Florida by training, recruiting, and assisting with placement of 1/3 of graduates to hospitals in the state of Florida.