Explore This Program


Most medical students have limited awareness of the specialty of Thoracic Surgery by the time they are deciding on their residency. The Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Thoracic Surgery Service Summer Scholars Program is a long-running program designed to provide significant exposure to this specialty. Medical students (second-year and beyond) can participate in this eight-week clinical and research program that allows them to:

  • Attend prestigious conferences
  • Complete and present a research project that is generally a case series of thoracic surgical patients
  • Experience patient rounds
  • Scrub in on thoracic operations

Occasionally, students also have the opportunity to publish their research. Mass General will provide a stipend to participants in this program; however, students are encouraged to apply for additional funding from organizations such as the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS).

Application Requirements

In order to be considered as an applicant, you must be:
  • Entering your second year of medical school (i.e. students who have completed their first year of medical school and are heading into their second year)
  • A United States resident

Additional Information

  • The program duration is six-eight weeks during the summer
  • Housing is not provided

How to Apply

Please send letter of interest and curriculum vitae via email to:

Morrill Whittemore
Thoracic Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital

The deadline for application is January 19, 2020.

Former Scholars

Jessica Eaton, MD

Jessica (Nelson) Eaton, MD
Neurosurgery Resident, University of Washington

"My summer as a Thoracic Surgery Summer Scholar at Mass General was my first exposure to the operating room. I learned to tie knots, to hold the scope and to see anatomy translated from textbook to patient. The team embodied several important principles that I've adopted: an expectation of excellence, a dedication to career and a passion for what we do."

Elbert Y. Kuo, MD, MPH, MMS, FACS

Elbert Y. Kuo, MD, MPH, MMS, FACS
Section Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Texas

"My experience started with an interview in a clinic room with Douglas Mathisen, MD. Little did I know at that time, but spending the next few summers at Mass General would change my life. I can honestly say that this program is the reason I am a thoracic surgeon."

John W. MacArthur, MD

John W. MacArthur, MD
Surgical Director, Lung Transplantation, Stanford Hospital

"The Thoracic Summer Scholars program was my introduction to chest surgery as a young medical student and played a major influence on the path I have chosen for my career. Working with and learning from the late Hermes Grillo, MD, Dr. Mathisen and the entire Division of Thoracic Surgery was an incredible educational experience."

Jackie Olive, MD

Jackie Olive
Medical Student at Baylor College of Medicine

"I gained firsthand exposure to the field of thoracic surgery under the guidance of extraordinary mentors. I learned how to be an effective team member on a surgical service and about a wide breadth of thoracic surgical pathology as well as the rich history of surgical innovation at Mass General."

Thomas Rogan, MD

Thomas Rogan, MD
Medical Student at St. George's University

"Dr. Mathisen gave me the opportunity to be immersed in the field of thoracic surgery, which shaped my education and future goals. This early exposure and my conversations with the entire division have inspired me to become a surgeon and taught me the degree of dedication and passion needed to pursue this career."

Liqi Shu, MD

Liqi Shu, MD
Neurology Resident, Brown University

"I had opportunities to work with almost all the attendings in the division in different settings. I scrubbed in for cases, watched eye-opening tracheal resection and reconstruction procedures, learned clinical research skills and visited the whole organ regeneration lab. Even as a medicine preliminary, the skills I learned then are still very relevant to my patient care today."

Victor Zaydfudim, MD, MPH

Victor M. Zaydfudim, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Virginia

"Dr. Mathisen gave me the opportunity of a lifetime when he and his partners started me on a career in surgery. I have many fond memories, some of which continue to influence my day-to-day practice. I am and will be forever grateful."