Request an Appointment



Contact us with Questions

Expand Content

Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery

The Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery places keen emphasis on the education and training of our residents. Our goal is to provide the caliber of training that is required to graduate qualified, competent and knowledgeable cardiothoracic surgeons. These efforts and a reputation as a leading cardiac surgery center have promoted our training program, attracting high level candidates.

Two qualified candidates who have completed five years of approved training in general surgery are accepted into the department each year. Our program includes three years of training in all aspects of cardiac and thoracic surgery and is approved by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Individuals in training perform major general thoracic and cardiac operations beginning in the first year. Residents area assigned to a specific surgeon for three months and rotate through the department so that they are exposed to the full range of cardiac and thoracic operations. Under staff supervision, residents accumulate a large experience as principal surgeon. Responsibilities also include preoperative and postoperative care of cardiothoracic surgical patients.

Graduate Level I
  • Six months General Thoracic Surgery
  • Six months adult Acquired Cardiac Surgery
Graduate Level II
  • Three months Congenital Heart Surgery
  • Three months General Thoracic Surgery
  • Six months Adult Acquired Cardiac Surgery
Graduate Level III
  • Individualized, advanced experience in Acquired Cardiac and Congenital Disease and
    General Thoracic Surgery

The third year of cardiothoracic training is the chief residency year, designed to allow residents to modify rotations in order to focus on an area of particular interest. Because residents are able to hone their skills in a particular subspecialty area, this style of curriculum is advantageous for career placement after graduation.

Surgery for acquired cardiac disease is divided into five teams, each with a Board Resident, Fellow, or Clinical Associate as a team leader responsible for directing the activities of the first and second-year residents and their service.

Resident Call Schedule

The Chief Administrative Resident creates the call schedules, and the director of the residency program formats the quarterly rotation schedule and monthly conference schedule.

Graduate Levels I and III
  • Every fourth or fifth night
Graduate Level III
  • Call from home

Under American Board of Thoracic Surgery guidelines, a mandatory didactic conference schedule covers a broad spectrum of topics in cardiothoracic surgery. Intramural and Extramural speakers are often invited to address resident conferences that are held twice each week. Quality assurance conferences to address mortality and morbidity are held bimonthly. The monthly journal club not only teaches, but also encourages residents to critically evaluate the cardiothoracic surgical literature. Saturday morning conferences provide case management reviews.

Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute Grand Rounds incorporates speakers from the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

Each resident selects a research project and is required to conduct a research study that is formally presented at the Annual Research Day in June. Laboratory investigation is also available.

To monitor the effectiveness of the residency program, residents are asked to complete anonymous evaluations on all staff surgeons. Staff is also asked to evaluate their respective rotating residents every three months and these reviews are discussed with the residents twice yearly. Resident performance on in-service examinations is important; any areas of deficit are addressed directly with the resident.

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Fellowships are offered for those who have completed a training program in cardiac surgery.

Surgery icon

Three hundred sixty-five graduates of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery practice in 40 states and 28 countries across the world.

Each year, alumni are invited to our June graduation weekend, a well-attended event that begins on a Thursday evening with a Visiting Professor lecture, followed by a reception. On Friday, our current residents present their year-long research projects to staff, the visiting professor, alumni and guests. A formal graduation ceremony and dinner is held Friday evening.

We strive to keep in touch with our alumni and value this continuing relationship. Throughout the year, alumni receive a number of mailings from the department, including an updated alumni directory, residents' abstract book from the June graduation event, periodic news of the department, and an annual calendar. The department calendar continues to be very popular among the alumni and highly requested by physicians outside of Cleveland Clinic.

For additional information, please contact:

Darlene Straub
Cleveland Clinic
Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
9500 Euclid Ave., Desk J4-1
Cleveland, OH 44195

Reviewed: 04/15

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

Schedule an Appointment

Toll-free 800.659.7822

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2015 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

HealthHub from Cleveland Clinic

Read the Latest from Our Experts About » cctopics » Heart & Vascular Health
Born with a Heart Defect? Your Life Span Can Be Normal
5/26/15 8:44 a.m.
Babies born today with heart defects are more likely than ever to live into adulthood. According to recent studies in Finland and Norway, more children treated for simple d...
by Heart & Vascular Team
How Walking During Long Runs Can Improve Your Fitness
5/22/15 11:30 a.m.
A recent study found that periodically walking during long runs doesn’t cost you any benefits to your heart hea...
How Nurses Keep You Safe During Your Hospital Stay
5/20/15 8:33 a.m.
During your hospitalization, your nurse is the primary member of your caregiver team who will monitor your safe...
Are You Eating Good Fats or Bad Fats? (Infographic)
5/19/15 8:00 a.m.
For years, we’ve heard that saturated fat is bad for our hearts and that unsaturated fat is good. But exp...
Can You Prevent Narrowing of Your Aortic Valve? (Video)
5/18/15 8:20 a.m.
We’ve suspected for some time that high cholesterol is one of the risk factors for developing aortic sten...