Thoracic Surgery Residency
The goal of the residency in Thoracic Surgery is to produce residents who are versed in all contemporary aspects of both cardiac and thoracic surgery.
Residency GoalIt is our goal to produce residents who are versed in all the contemporary aspects of both cardiac and thoracic surgery at the time of completion of the residency. We also intend to be certain that they are equipped by training and experience to commence practice in either or both fields at a sophisticated level.
Residency ExposureResidents are exposed to all areas of cardiac surgery including minimally invasive procedures, off-pump CABG, aortic surgery, arrhythmia surgery, and transplantation. In the Division of Thoracic Surgery, residents experience the full gamut from transplantation, minimally invasive surgery, airway reconstruction and complex esophageal procedures.
Cardiac and Thoracic as Separate Teaching UnitsOne of the unusual aspects of the Massachusetts General Hospital residency program is the separation of cardiac and thoracic surgery as teaching units and in the resident’s periods of assignment to these areas of dual specialty.
There are currently separate nursing units, intensive care units, operating rooms, faculty, and conferences. This structure permits the resident to be entirely devoted to an area of specialty, taught by individuals completely dedicated to the field, during the resident’s assignment to one of the units.
Residency LengthThe residency program is two and a half years long. The second part of the program is divided evenly between six months as chief resident on thoracic surgery and six months as chief resident on cardiac surgery. Each year, one of the three residents will spend six months as chief resident in cardiovascular surgery at Children's Hospital.
Sample Residency ScheduleA schedule emphasizing cardiac surgical training may include first year rotations in cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, Children's Hospital followed by successive six-month rotations as chief in cardiac and thoracic surgery at The Massachusetts General Hospital and then at Children's Hospital.
If thoracic surgery were to be the main emphasis, the schedule may substitute additional time on the thoracic service in the first year and a half at The Massachusetts General Hospital, or possibly another institution, and conclude with six months as cardiac chief resident and six months as thoracic chief resident.
Two one-month blocks of vacation are permitted to each resident during training.
The clinical load is intense, so laboratory investigative work by residents is not possible during the cardio-thoracic residency. However, members of the resident staff frequently carry on limited projects in clinical investigation, usually in conjunction with members of the visiting staff. No specific time is either set aside or available out of the residency to do research alone.
Basic science instruction is primarily derived while in the course of the surgical house officers' regular duties. Pathologic material is routinely reviewed at cardiac and thoracic surgical morbidity and mortality rounds. Numerous special conferences are also designed primarily for the instruction of cardiac and thoracic house officers. In addition, conferences in cardiology, pulmonary medicine, and anesthesia are open to cardiac and thoracic surgical residents.
Massachusetts General Hospital has committed all of its cardiothoracic residency positions for 2015 and therefore will not be participating in next year's match. We fully anticipate participating in the following year.
If you would like further information about our program, please contact:
Douglas J. Mathisen, MD
Chief, General Thoracic Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital
32 Fruit Street, Blake 1570
Boston, MA 02114