Education

Overview

The goal of the two-year residency program in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital is to train surgical specialists who will be qualified to practice this specialty and, particularly, who will have the opportunity and ability to become academicians. We expect all trainees to finish the residency with a broad basic understanding of cardiovascular and thoracic physiology and disease, and with technical expertise in this specialty. To give the widest possible experience to residents, the Cardiothoracic Surgical Service at the West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Thoracic Surgical Service at the Hospital of St. Raphael are incorporated with the Surgical Services at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Rotations

One first year cardiothoracic resident spends six months the first year on the Thoracic Surgical Service, participating in the operations performed on the service and carrying out operative procedures commensurate with training. The other cardiothoracic first year resident rotates for six months at the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital. Five Physician’s Assistants and two Nurse Practitioners add greatly to the quality of care on the wards, CTICU, and in the operating room.

The second year experience is organized into one six-month rotation at the Yale-New Haven Hospital on adult cardiac surgery; one four-month rotation on pediatric cardiac surgery; and a two-month rotation during that block for either thoracic and/or adult cardiac surgery. This two-month rotation will allow the Chief Resident to get additional exposure to the pathway of their choice. Senior residents are appointed as Instructors on the faculty and play a vital role with the faculty in the instruction of Yale medical students and surgical residents on the patient care divisions of the teaching hospitals. They also enjoy certain faculty privileges accompanying this rank. A broad and balanced experience in cardiac and general thoracic surgery is assured.

Research

Members of the Section conduct an active research program involving basic science and clinical problems in cardiothoracic surgery. The research activities cover a broad array of cardiac and thoracic physiology and pathology. Well-equipped laboratories are available. These activities provide opportunities for animal operations and work in biochemistry and electronics. The laboratories are staffed by several full-time basic scientists and surgical research fellows, and by other appropriate technical personnel. Although the two year program provides little time for active research other than on clinical problems, research fellowships are also available and development of an academic career in cardiothoracic surgery is supported and encouraged.

Conferences

Conferences include a weekly tumor board conference, a combined adult cardiology, radiology and cardiothoracic surgery conference, a work conference for review of the patients studied in the cardiac catheterization laboratory the previous week, a combined pediatric cardiology, radiology and cardiothoracic surgery conference reviewing all children studied during the previous week, a cardiac transplant conference, a cardiac and thoracic surgery mortality and morbidity review conference, a bi-weekly lecture/seminar in cardiac and thoracic surgery and related basic science aspects, and the Department of Surgery Grand Rounds.

Applications

To qualify for admission to the program the applicant must have completed a full residency in General Surgery accredited by either the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. All applications are to be submitted through ERAS, and we participate in the Thoracic Surgery National Resident Matching Program. It is expected also that the applicant will have had some experience on a cardiothoracic service during that period. Research experience and long-term commitment to investigative work are sought in residency applicants. Email may be sent to Suzanne.Giannotti@yale.edu.