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Program Highlights

Our Training Model

Dr. Hicks Teaching

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

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


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 valve practice spearheaded by Dr. Peter Knight that includes minimally invasive AVRs, MVRs, and transcatheter aortic valve replacements. The Artificial Heart 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. 

While on the Thoracic Surgery service, residents will gain experience with robotic technology in the treatment of Thoracic & Foregut diseases.  The esophageal laboratory is a world leader in the multimodal diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant esophageal disease. In addition, residents will become skilled in advanced bronchoscopy techniques, EBUS, navigational bronchoscopy and VATS lung surgery.

Esophageal Diagnostic Laboratory

Unique to the University of Rochester, the Esophageal Diagnostic Laboratory is state of the art in the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal disorders. Diagnostic techniques such as upper endoscopy, high resolution manometry, and pH monitoring can be performed right in the clinic. We have an outstanding research program investigating advanced diagnostics, treatment strategies, and outcomes research of esophageal disease. Research of esophageal disease occurs in collaboration with Thoracic & Foregut research fellows who come from around the world.  Work in the lab is incorporated into the third year for residents with a Thoracic emphasis.

Cardiology Collaboration

Residents who declare a Cardiac emphasis 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. 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.


Residents are encouraged to participate in research and publish an article in a reputable journal 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.​