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Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program

The goal of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program is to verse residents in all the contemporary aspects of both cardiac and thoracic surgery. Our graduates are equipped with training and experience to commence practice in either or both fields.

Explore This Residency

Overview

The goal of the Cardiothoracic Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is to prepare our trainees for independent practice in cardiothoracic surgery at the completion of the program, without the need for them to acquire postgraduate fellowship training. Separate cardiac and thoracic tracks have been established within the program to allow for subspecialty emphasis in contemporary aspects of the field. Both conventional and 4+3 pathways are available.

Mass General has a long tradition of excellence in cardiothoracic surgery. Some highlights include:

  • 11 graduates have served as presidents of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) and seven have been presidents of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)
  • Edward D. Churchill and W. Gerald Austen led the Department of Surgery for 60 years
  • 109 cardiothoracic surgeons have graduated from the program to date
  • 22 surgeons have become either chiefs of their divisions or chiefs of surgery
  • Two graduates have become CEOs of health care organizations
  • One graduate has become a majority leader in the United States Senate

Cardiac and Thoracic as Separate Teaching Units

One of the strengths of our program is the caliber of training offered in both general thoracic surgery and cardiac surgery. From the inception of sub-specialization within the Mass General Department of Surgery into divisions, cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery have stood as units with distinct faculty and development opportunities, and are both among the top units in their respective subspecialty.

While residents enter the training program defined by their track, all receive adequate exposure to the sister specialty and benefit from the caliber of those units. Each division is supported by separate nursing units and occupies separate operating room space. At any given time, residents are assigned to one or the other service rather than both, affording them the ability to focus their attention in that area of specialty during the rotation. However, didactic conferences are held jointly, supporting the sense of a unified residency program.

Thoralf Sundt, III, MD, is the chief of Division of Cardiac Surgery and the director of the Cardiothoracic Residency Program.

Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD is the chief of Division of Thoracic Surgery.

Residency Exposure

In cardiac surgery, residents become experienced in several areas, including:

  • Aortic surgery—complex aortic root surgery, such as valve sparing root, and hybrid approaches to complex disease, in collaboration with vascular surgery
  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Arrhythmia surgery
  • Complex valve surgery—minimally invasive approaches, valve repair and associated arrhythmia surgery
  • Contemporary approaches to the treatment of coronary artery disease occluding complex arterial grafting
  • Heart and lung transplantation
  • Minimally invasive procedures
  • Off-pump coronary artery bypass (CABG)
  • Surgical treatment of end-stage disease—mechanical circulatory support, heart transplantation and lung transplantation

In thoracic surgery, residents experience the full gamut, including:

  • Complex airway reconstruction
  • Complex esophageal procedures
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Pulmonary surgery

Curriculum

A schedule emphasizing cardiac surgical training may include first-year rotations in cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery and at Boston Children's Hospital, followed by successive six-month rotations as chief in cardiac and thoracic surgery at Mass General and then at Boston Children's Hospital.

In a schedule where thoracic surgery is the main emphasis, the resident may substitute additional time on the thoracic service during the first year and a half at Mass General (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.

Diversity of Clinical Experience

Thoracic Surgery Case Mix

The following chart shows the Thoracic Surgery Case Mix for residents in the program. 5% of time will be dedicated to Open Esophagectomy. 41% of time will be dedicated to Lobectomy. 4% of time will be dedicated to Primary Thymectomy. 4% of time will be dedicated to MIE. 28% of time will be dedicated to Wedge. 3% of time will be dedicated to Primary Tracheal Resection. 7% of time will be dedicated to Primary Fundoplication.

Cardiac Surgery Case Mix

The following chart shows the Cardiac Surgery Case Mix for residents in the program. 5% of time will be dedicated to Open Esophagectomy. 34% of time will be dedicated to Isolated CABG. 7% of time will be dedicated to CABG and other. 6% of time will be dedicated to AVR + CABG. 10% of time will be dedicated to Isolated AVR. 8% of time will be dedicated to MV Repair. 1% of time will be dedicated to MV Repair and CAB. 2% of time will be dedicated to Isolated MVR. 2% of time will be dedicated to MVR + CAB. 2% of time will be dedicated to AVR + MVR. 5% of time will be dedicated to Other Valve. 1% of time will be dedicated to VSARR. 4% of time will be dedicated to Non Valve Sparing ARR. 7% of time will be dedicated to Other Aortic Procedure. 1% of time will be dedicated to Aortic Dissection Repair. 1% of time will be dedicated to Adult Congenital. 3% of time will be dedicated to Heart Transplant. 10% of time will be dedicated to Other CBP Cases. 1% of time will be dedicated to Other Non CBP Cases.

Data source: Cardiac/Thoracic Surgery STS Data Nurses

Cardiothoracic Education Schedule

Conference Day Time Place Audience
Multidisciplinary Care of the
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Patient
Ami Bhatt, MD
Duke Cameron, MD
Every Monday 12:00-1:00 pm Yawkey 4-810
conference room
CT attendings and residents
Valve Meeting
Jonathan Passeri, MD
Every Monday 7:30-8:30 am Zoom Heart Center and CT residents
Joint Cath/Cardiac Surgery Conference First Tuesday
of the month
7:30-8:30 am Haber conference room Open to all
Cardiology Grand Rounds Every Wednesday 12:30-1:30 pm O'Keefe Auditorium Open to all
ECMO M&M Third Wednesday
of the month
7:00-8:00 am Buckley conference room ECMO team
TAC Rounds
Arminder Jassar, MBBS
Duke Cameron, MD
First Thursday
of the month
7:45-8:30 am Bigelow Amphitheater Open to all
Cardiac M&M
George Tolis, MD
Fourth Tuesday
of the month
8:30-9:30 am Buckley conference room Cardiac surgical services
Thoracic M&M
Sheila Knoll, RN
Third Thursday
of the month
8:30-9:30 am Founders 7
conference room
Thoracic surgical services
Surgical Grand Rounds Every Thursday 8:30-9:30 am Bigelow Amphitheater Open to all
Thoracic Surgery Didactic Every Thursday 7:00-7:45 am Buckley conference room CT residents and thoracic faculty
Cardiac Surgery Didactic Every Thursday 7:45-8:30 am Buckley conference room CT residents and cardiac faculty
MTOC Conference Every Friday 7:00-8:00 am Yawkey 2-210 Open to all

Thoracic Track

Thoracic residents receive a rich clinical experience at Mass General. With an extraordinarily busy clinical service, the thoracic team provides a high volume of pulmonary, esophageal (both benign and malignant), mediastinal and tracheal procedures. The clinical and operative experience offers a referral base for complex procedures.

Residents are exposed to an array of clinical experience, and case-based learning is emphasized. We believe this is truly the best way for residents to learn. Didactic conferences are held weekly for residents to gain more exposure to thoracic surgery.

The Mass General Division of Thoracic Surgery includes:

  • 14 attending surgeons
  • Two general surgery residents
  • Four nurse practitioners
  • Three physician assistants
  • Two thoracic residents
  • Data managers
  • Program coordinator
  • Research nurses

The goal of the program is to train thoracic residents in the full breadth of thoracic surgery including endoscopy, open and minimally invasive surgery and airway surgery.

On the thoracic track, there is a robust practice in the complete spectrum of conditions such that trainees receive a solid foundation in all conditions they are likely to see in their careers, such as:

Rotation Schedule

The general thoracic track residents typically spend 16 months on general thoracic surgery rotations. Residents are encouraged to spend time at other thoracic programs, such as Mayo Clinic or Memorial Sloan Kettering, and this includes two three-month away rotations.

Year One

Rotation

  • General Thoracic Surgery at Mass General—six months
  • Cardiac Surgery at Mass General—four months
  • Congenital Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital—one month
Year Two

Rotation

  • Elective Away Rotations—General Thoracic Surgery (choose from 2 institutions):—six months per institution
    • Mayo Clinic
    • Memorial Sloan Kettering
    • University of Pittsburgh
    • Toronto General Hospital
  • Cardiac Surgery at Mass General—six months
Year Three

Rotation

  • General Thoracic Surgery at Mass General—six months

Cardiac Track

The Mass General cardiac surgery team performs a large number of cardiac surgical procedures. Residents within the cardiac track receive a rich clinical experience at Mass General and they will easily attain their required categorical cases. Additionally, they will gain broad exposure to the entire spectrum of complex cardiac surgery.

The Mass General Division of Cardiac Surgery includes:

  • Eight attending surgeons
  • Five-seven cardiac residents
  • Two general surgery residents
  • 12-15 physician assistants
  • Five nurse practitioners
  • Data managers
  • Program coordinator
  • Research nurses

From an operational standpoint, the cardiac surgery program at Mass General is based on the philosophy of a unified team, bolstered by a longstanding collaborative relationship with the Mass General Division of Cardiology.

The goal of the cardiac track residency program is to offer training on the full breadth of cardiac surgery. Trainees on the cardiac track spend sufficient time on the general thoracic service. By getting experience in both clinical areas, trainees can exceed their case requirements in all areas.

On the cardiac service, there is a robust practice in the complete spectrum of conditions such that trainees receive a solid foundation in all conditions they are likely to see in their careers, such as:

Rotation Schedule

In addition, residents rotate in the cardiac catheterization laboratory and receive training in echocardiography and catheter-based interventions for structural heart disease. They also receive exposure to the Heart Center Intensive Care Unit (ICU), caring for both medical and surgical cardiac patients and staffed by a multidisciplinary group of boarded intensivists. This rotation complements the residents’ work in Mass General’s 18-bed cardiac surgical unit.

Year One

Rotation

  • Cardiac Surgery at Mass General—six months
  • General Thoracic Surgery at Mass General—five months
Year Two

Rotation

  • Congenital Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital—three or six months
  • Cardiac Surgery at Mass General—three months
  • General Thoracic Surgery at Mass General—two months
Year Three

Rotation

  • Cardiac Surgery at Mass General—six months

Research

Faculty in cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery are active participants in research and publications, helping to advance science and health care.

Cardiac Surgery Research

All surgeons in the cardiac surgery at Mass General participate in clinical research. We are leading in research in cardiac surgery, including:

Thoracic Surgery Research

Similarly, all surgeons within the thoracic surgery division at Mass General participate in active clinical research, typically within their field of interest. Research papers are presented at national meetings by residents and fellows. Mass General is an active participant and a leader in the development of the General Thoracic Database in the STS under the leadership of Cameron Wright, MD.

We are leading in research and have the current research labs:

Learn more

Our Publications

The cardiothoracic surgery group is leading health care with innovative research. Below are some recent publications from our residents:

  • Axtell AL, Bhambhani V, Moonsamy P, et al. Surgery Does Not Improve Survival in Patients With Isolated Severe Tricuspid Regurgitation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019;74(6):715-725. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2019.04.028
  • Bloom JP, Moonsamy P, Mainthia RG, O’Malley C, Cameron DE, Jassar AS, Melnitchouk SI, Tolis G, Villavicencio MA, Vlahakes GJ, Burkhardt C, Dunn P, Sundt TM, D’Alessandro DA. Impact of Staff Turnover during Cardiac Surgical Procedures. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Nov 30
  • Costantino CL, Geller AD, Visenio MR, Morse CR, Rattner DW. Outcomes of Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy for Achalasia: 22-Year Experience. J Gastrointest Surg. 2020 Apr 16. doi: 10.1007/s11605-020-04586-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID:32300963.
  • Moonsamy P, Axtell AL, Ibrahim N, Funamoto M, Tolis G, Lewis GD, D’Alessandro DA, Villavicencio MA. Post-Transplant Survival in Heart Transplant Patients Bridged with Temporary Circulatory Support Devices. J Am Coll Cardiol. In press.
  • Osho AA, Bishawi MM, Heng EE, Orubu E, Amardey-Wellington A, Villavicencio MA, Funamoto M. Failure to rescue in the era of the lung allocation score: The impact of center volume. Am J Surg. 2020 Jan 18;. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.01.020. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31982094.
  • Predina JD, Newton AD, Corbett C, Shin M, Sulfyok LF, Okusanya OT, Delikatny EJ, Nie S, Gaughan C, Jarrar D, Pechet T, Kucharczuk JC, Singhal S. Near-infrared intraoperative imaging for minimally invasive pulmonary metastasectomy for sarcomas. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 May;157(5):2061-2069
  • Tapias LF, Wright CD, Lanuti M, Muniappan A, Deschler D, Mathisen DJ. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the prevention and management of tracheal and oesophageal anastomotic complications. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2020 (In Press).
  • Trahanas, J. M., Kwolek, C. J., & Tolis, G. (2019). Open Tacking of a Migrated Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Graft. Annals of vascular surgery.

How to Apply

We will accept applications from resident physicians who have/will have successfully completed a five-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited general surgery residency program in the United States or Canada. We do not directly accept or process applications for this residency. You must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Our deadline for July 1, 2021 residency start date is February 1, 2020. Please note we are only accepting cardiac track applicants. The date for our spring 2020 interview season is Saturday, March 28, 2020.

Step 1

To apply to the program, visit the ERAS website.

All applications for our cardiothoracic surgery residency program must be submitted through ERAS. Programs participating in ERAS may only accept those application materials sent electronically through ERAS. We will not accept any additional supporting documents by mail.

Step 2

Applicants must register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). To register, visit the NRMP website. Please refer to NRMP for information on registration procedures and deadlines.

Step 3

If you are considered for a position, you will be asked to visit Mass General for an interview with the program director and cardiothoracic faculty.

Program Faculty

Each unit, thoracic and cardiac, is taught by individuals completely dedicated to the field.

Thor M. Sundt, MD

Thor Sundt, MD

Program Director
Chief, Division of Cardiac Surgery

Christopher Morse, MD

Christopher Morse, MD

Associate Program Director
Division of Thoracic Surgery

Jennifer Manu

Cardiothoracic Residency Program Coordinator






Residents and Faculty


2019 Graduation/Grand Rounds


Our Residents

PGY8

Andrew Baldwin, MD

Andrew Baldwin, MD

Track: Cardiac

John Trahanas, MD

John Trahanas, MD

Track: Cardiac

Luis Tapias, MD

Luis Tapias, MD

Track: Thoracic

PGY7

Jordan Bloom, MD

Jordan Bloom, MD

Track: Cardiac

Asishana Osho, MD

Asishana Osho, MD

Track: Cardiac

Michael Onwugbufor, MD

Michael Onwugbufor, MD

Track: Thoracic

PGY6

Paul Furlow, MD

Paul Furlow, MD

Track: Thoracic

Jarrod Predina, MD

Jarrod Predina, MD

Track: Thoracic

Ali Rabi, MD

Ali Rabi, MD

Track: Cardiac

Brittany Potz, MD

Brittany Potz, MD

Track: Cardiac

4/3—PGY5

Andrea Axtell, MD

Andrea Axtell, MD

Track: Thoracic

Antonia Kreso, MD

Antonia Kreso, MD

Track: Thoracic

4/3—PGY4

Travis Hull, MD

Travis Hull, MD

Track: Cardiac

Philicia Moonsamy, MD

Philicia Moonsamy, MD

Track: Thoracic

Christina Costantino, MD

Christina Costantino, MD

Track: Thoracic

Meet our Alumni

Click to view our list of alumni

2019

  • Lucia Madariaga
    University of Chicago
    General Thoracic
  • Uma Sachdeva
    Mass General
    General Thoracic
  • PJ Spencer
    Westchester Medical Center
    Cardiac

2018

  • Amy Fiedler
    University of Wisconsin
    Cardiac
  • Leo Tapias
    Baylor/Dallas
    General Thoracic
  • Brett Broussard
    Banner Health/AZ
    General Thoracic

2017

  • Hugh Auchincloss
    Mass General
    General Thoracic
  • Michael Kwon
    Children’s Hospital
    Congenital Fellowship
  • Eric Fein
    Children’s Hospital
    Congenital Fellowship

2016

  • David Greenhouse
    Emory, Children’s Healthcare
    Congenital Fellowship
  • Natalie Lui
    Stanford University
    General Thoracic
  • Smita Sihag
    Memorial Sloan Kettering
    General Thoracic

2016

  • David Greenhouse
    Emory, Children’s Healthcare
    Congenital Fellowship
  • Natalie Lui
    Stanford University
    General Thoracic
  • Smita Sihag
    Memorial Sloan Kettering
    General Thoracic

2015

  • Joshua Goldberg
    Westchester Medical Center
    Cardiac
  • Paresh Mane
    St. Peters Health Partners
    General Thoracic
  • Matthew Fox
    University of Louisville
    General Thoracic

2014

  • Tae Song
    University of Chicago
    Cardiac
  • Cameron Stock
    UMass Memorial Hospital
    General Thoracic
  • Tim Millington
    Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical
    General Thoracic

2013

  • Justin Blasberg
    Yale New Haven Hospital
    General Thoracic
  • Karl Limmer
    Sharp Memorial Hospital
    Private Practice
  • Harald Ott
    Mass General
    General Thoracic

2012

  • Christopher Mutrie
    Baptist Memorial Group
    Private Practice
  • Eitan Podgaetz
    University of Minnesota
    General Thoracic
  • Salil Shah
    Thomas Jefferson University
    Cardiac

2011

  • John Craig
    Baptist Memorial Group
    Private Practice
  • Daniel Raz
    City of Hope Medical Center
    General Thoracic
  • Samuel Kim
    University of Arizona
    General Thoracic

2010

  • Pierre De Delva
    University of Mississippi
    General Thoracic
    Chief
  • Vincent Daniel
    Ohio State University
    General Thoracic
  • Allen Cheng
    University of Rochester
    Fellowship

2009

  • Joshua Baker
    Missouri Baptist Medical Center
    Cardiac
    Private Practice
  • Ashok Muniappan
    Mass General
    General Thoracic
  • Nathaniel Evans
    Thomas Jefferson University
    General Thoracic

2008

  • Michael Coello
    Beaumont Hospital
    General Thoracic
    Private Practice
  • Moishe Liberman, chief
    University of Montreal
    General Thoracic
  • Ajit Kurien Tharakan, chief
    University of Missouri
    Cardiac

2007

  • Nathan R. Bates
    Orange Park Medical Center
    Private Practice
  • Douglas J. Minnich
    University of Alabama
    General Thoracic
  • Robert E. Merritt, chief
    Ohio State
    General Thoracic

2006

  • Scott Cowan
    Thomas Jefferson University
    General Thoracic
  • Steven Fiser
    Richmond, Virginia
    Cardiac
    Private Practice
  • Christopher Morse
    Mass General
    General Thoracic

2005

  • Modassir Choudhry
    Passport Capital
    Venture Capitalist
  • Glenn Egrie
    University of California, San Francisco
    Cardiac
  • Todd Weiser
    White Plains, NY
    Thoracic
    Private Practice

2004

  • Frederick Chen, chief
    Tufts Medical Center
    Cardiac
  • Francis Fynn-Thompson
    Boston Children's Hospital
    Congenital Cardiac
  • Robert Shen
    Mayo Clinic
    General Thoracic

2003

  • James Caccitolo
    University of Texas
    Cardiothoracic
  • David Helma (retired) 
    Cardiac
  • Michael Lanuti
    Mass General
    General Thoracic

2002

  • Zane Hammoud, chief
    Henry Ford Hospital
    General Thoracic
  • Edwin McGee
    Loyola Medicine
    Cardiac
  • Bassem Mora
    University of Chicago
    Congenital Cardiac

2001

  • Simon Ashiku
    Kaiser Permanente
    Private Practice
  • Mark Blucher
    St. John’s Mercy Medical Center
    Private Practice
  • Michael Reed
    Penn State University
    General Thoracic

2000

  • Jennifer Walker, chief
    University of Massachusetts, Worcester
    Cardiac

1999

  • Ralph de la Torre, chief and CEO
    Steward Healthcare
  • Arvind Agnihotri, chief
    St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
    Cardiac

1998

  • James Allan
    Mass General
    General Thoracic
  • Emile Bacha, chief
    Columbia University
    Congenital Cardiac
  • Frank Fazzalari
    University of Michigan
    Cardiac

1997

  • Raymond Lee
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Private Practice
  • Thomas MacGillivray, chief
    Baylor Methodist
    Cardiac
  • Joseph Shrager, chief
    Stanford University
    General Thoracic

1996

  • Dean Donahue
    Mass General
    General Thoracic
  • Chiwon Hahn
    Richmond, Virginia
    Private Practice
  • John Mitchell, chief
    University of Colorado
    General Thoracic

1995

  • Ralph Bueno, chief
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    General Thoracic
  • Brian Duncan
    Cleveland Clinic
    Congenital

1994

  • Gregory Hirsch, chief
    University of Halifax
    Cardiac
  • Mark Mostovych
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Private Practice

1993

  • Derek Muehrcke
    St. Augustine, Florida
    Private Practice

1992

  • Joren Madsen
    Mass General
    Cardiac Research
  • Robin Pierson
    University of Maryland
    Cardiac

1991

  • Joseph Newton
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Private Practice
  • Douglas Wood, chief and Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) president
    University of Washington
    General Thoracic

1990

  • Robert Zurcher
    Columbia, South Carolina
    Private Practice
  • Mark Allen, chief and STS president
    Mayo Clinic
    General Thoracic

1989

  • David Torchiana
    Mass General
  • Ralph Warren (In Memoriam)

1988

  • John Wain, chief
    St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
    General Thoracic
  • Cameron Wright
    Mass General
    General Thoracic

1987

  • Richard Heitmiller, chief
    Union Hospital
    General Thoracic
  • Leland Siwek
    Spokane, Washington
    Private Practice

1985

  • Gus Vlahakes
    Mass General
    Cardiac
  • William Frist, senator
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Cardiac

1983

  • Marshall Jacobs (retired)
    Congenital Cardiac
  • Mark Katlic, chief
    Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
    General Thoracic

1982

  • Eric Hanson
    Sterling Heights, Michigan
    Private Practice
  • Douglas Mathisen (retired)
    Mass General
    General Thoracic

1981

  • Wayne Derkac (retired)
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Private Practice
  • Steven Guyton
    Oregon Health & Science University
    Cardiac

1980

  • Mark Hochberg
    New York University
    Vice Chairman of Surgery for Education
  • William Coleman (retired)
    Spokane, WA
    Private Practice

1979

  • Robert Guyton, chief and STS president
    Emory University
    Cardiac
  • Robert Thurer
    Haemonetics Corporation
    Medical Director, Blood Management Solution

1978

  • James Kirklin, chief
    University Alabama
    Cardiac
  • Robert Lowe
    Hartford, Connecticut
    Private Practice

1977

  • Bruce Lytle (retired chief)
    Cleveland Clinic
    Cardiac
  • Samuel Selinger (retired)

1976

  • Frederick Levine (In Memoriam)
    Cardiac
    Private Practice
  • Alan Higenberg (In Memoriam)

1975

  • Cary Akins (retired)
    Mass General
    Cardiac

1974

  • Ronald Abel (In Memoriam)
    Cardiac

1973

  • Willis Williams (retired)
    Emory University
    Congenital Cardiac

1972

  • M. Terry McEnany
    Snowmass Village, Wisconsin
    Private Practice

1971

  • Douglas Behrendt (retired chief)
    University of Iowa
    Cardiac

Contact Us

If you would like to apply or request additional information, please use the following contact information.