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About the Program

Dr. Hicks and OthersDrs. Amber Edwards and Bart Simon (in the middle) after winning the Cardiothoracic Surgery Jeopardy World Championship at the STS 55th Annual Meeting in 2019. They won the North American championship at the STSA meeting the previous fall before going to San Diego to take on the European champs.

Our Program Focus

Chief resident, Clauden Louis, and a medical student during a coronary cardiac simulation lab
Chief resident, Clauden Louis, and a medical student during a coronary cardiac simulation lab

  • Residents receive training of the highest caliber by dedicated Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery faculty from the University of Rochester that are strongly committed to preparing trainees for clinical practice as well as developing skills in teaching, research and leadership for their future careers. 
  • Training takes place at the University of Rochester Medical Center, a quaternary, academic hospital servicing all of upstate New York. As the premiere medical center in the region, we are fortunate to have robust clinical volumes in all aspects of cardiothoracic surgery and have developed rich programs in valvular heart disease, heart failure and mechanical circulatory support, congenital heart disease, thoracic surgical oncology and benign esophageal disease.
  • The faculty are focused on minimally invasive approaches to all aspect of adult cardiac and thoracic surgery including endovascular and mini-transthoracic approaches to valvular heart disease, non-sternotomy approaches to ventricular assist device insertion, endoscopic approaches to benign and malignant esophageal disease and utilization of robotic, VATS or laparoscopic techniques in nearly every major thoracic case.
  • Progressive responsibility at all levels, with emphasis placed on academic knowledge and technical advancement for the development of expertise in patient care.

Program Highlights

Our Training Model

We are dedicated to the integrated six year (I6) training paradigm, and are one of the few programs in the country to have graduated five classes of residents. We are thrilled to be early adopters of this cutting edge, model of training the next generation of Cardiothoracic Surgeons.

Our program is uniquely equipped to offer robust opportunities in every area of Cardiothoracic Surgery; including Adult Cardiac, Congenital, Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support, Transplantation, General Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery.

Chief of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, Dr. Jones, with PGY1 Ariana Goodman and PGY2 Nick Searcy during a Lobectomy simulation lab
Chief of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, Dr. Jones, with PGY1 Ariana Goodman and PGY2 Nick Searcy during a Lobectomy simulation lab

Technology

Residents at University of Rochester are exposed to, and trained in the use of the latest cutting edge technology. We have a robust minimally invasive structural heart practice spearheaded that includes minimally invasive and endovascular valve replacements. The Mechanical Circulatory Support program at URMC is a national leader in left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), minimally invasive LVADs, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Residents will learn novel approaches to aortic surgery (TEVAR, EVAR), off pump coronary surgery, minimally invasive procedures and innovative techniques in the treatment of congenital heart disease in neonates and adults.

Esophageal Diagnostic Laboratory

Unique to the University of Rochester, the Esophageal Diagnostic and Endoscopic Laboratory is a state of the art facility for the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal disorders run by the Thoracic surgical faculty. Diagnostic techniques such as upper endoscopy, high resolution manometry, and pH monitoring can be performed right in the clinic. We also perform advanced endoscopic techniques including esophageal dilation and stenting, endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and radiofrequency ablation and per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM). We have an outstanding research program investigating advanced diagnostics, treatment strategies, and outcomes research of esophageal disease. Time in the lab is incorporated when rotating on the thoracic surgery service. For those residents who wish to focus on thoracic surgery, there is a dedicated rotation during the third year.

Cardiology Collaboration

Residents on the Cardiac focused track will rotate in the Cardiac Catheterization and Echocardiography laboratories during their third year of training. The Cardiac Catheterization lab rotation is designed to provide experience in diagnostic coronary angiography and gain familiarity with catheter based approaches to coronary disease, congenital lesions, heart biopsies, invasive hemodynamics, and arrhythmias. Senior residents spend time in the cath lab performing transcatheter valves and other endovascular interventions. The echocardiography rotation exposes the resident to acute and chronic cardiovascular problems both through direct patient imaging and through many formal and informal didactic teaching sessions. Residents build a foundational experience in both transthoracic and transesophageal imaging techniques and interpretation essential to the practice of Cardiac Surgery.

Research

Bart Simon SpeakingResidents are encouraged to participate in research and publish an article every year. Opportunities are available in outcomes research, animal models of cardiac disease, innovative new devices, FDA drug investigations, or new techniques in the surgical treatment of thoracic and cardiac disease. Additionally, our program is flexible such that interested residents may take an optional additional year to dedicate to research during his or her training. Our program boasts the winners of the 2018 STS Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident Jeopardy - International Competition. Residents have won awards including the 2019 TSDA Benson R. Wilcox Resident Award, 2019 AATS Congenital Cardiac Surgery Paper, 2019 LTTF/WTS Scholarship, and the 2018 CHEST Alfred Soffer Research Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

October 15.

No just ERAS requirements. We accept a minimum of three letters of recommendation, but we will accept additional letters if sent.

One position per year.

We receive approximately 75 applications a year.

While we accept applications from foreign medical graduates, the University Policy only sponsors J-1 Visas.

Selected applicants will be notified by email at the beginning of November.

Yes, we were one of the first programs to go through the 10 year ACGME accreditation cycle.

Submitting at least one scholarly article to a peer-reviewed journal annually during your residency is expected. A research year after PGY2 is encouraged but not mandatory.

This varies by attending, and if there are multiple residents on the case. Overall, if you are the most senior resident, you are expected to be able to perform the operation with assistance of the attending. The goal of the program is to produce autonomous, competent cardiothoracic surgeons who will be the teachers and leaders for the future.

Moonlighting is not allowed when on service.