Program Overview

Program Overview

Hands-on training and experience is available for surgeons interested in learning the multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer patients and the advanced surgical techniques in breast surgery in this program offered by Cleveland Clinic’s Department of General Surgery, Division of Breast Surgery, under the preceptorship of Stephanie Valente, DO.


  • Trainees will learn the importance of the multidisciplinary, evidence based approaches to pre-operative assessment and treatment planning of breast cancer patients.
  • Opportunity to attend multidisciplinary tumor board to understand eligibility and enrollment in national clinical trials.
  • Understand which patients are oncologic and anatomic candidates for various advanced breast surgeries during clinical evaluation.  
  • Hands-on learning of advanced breast surgery techniques including nipple sparing mastectomies, hidden scars, oncoplastic breast surgery, seed localization techniques, intraoperative radiation, ICG mapping, and axillary reverse mapping with axillary lymph node dissection for lymphovenous bypass surgery and other innovative surgical techniques.


The curriculum will be formed from a combination of didactic, hands-on training, and clinical settings:

  • Pre-program Self Education: Trainee will be provided a reading list for self-education on recent literature prior to arriving for training covering “Breast Basics.”
  • Didactic: Introductory lectures covering “How-I-Do It” techniques for advanced procedures as discussed with staff either focusing on certain techniques or broad coverage of all types of surgical cases.
  • Hands-on training: Trainees will begin by assisting staff in OR cases; after 2-3 cases of each procedure type, trainees will function as 1stoperator with CCF staff oversight.

Please note: Case volume is estimated and may vary depending on scheduling and staff availability.

Weekly curriculum

The weekly curriculums consists of:

  • Education lectures.
  • Weekly multidisciplinary tumor board.
  • Two days of clinic (multidisciplinary team approach including visits with radiology, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and genetics).
  • Three days of operative experience with surgery team performing a variety of surgeries.

Additional weeks would be a similar setup.

Sample training schedule

  • 1-week curriculum:
    • 3-4 days of operative experience with surgery team and 1-2 days of clinic (see above).


Applicants must:

  • Be board certified in general surgery.
  • Have a valid U.S. medical license.
  • Be licensed in the state of Ohio or eligible to apply for a Special Activities Permit for the Ohio State Medical Board.
  • Have practicing privileges in their parent institution.
  • Provide a statement of goals and expectations, along with the application.

International applicants:

  • To participate, non-citizen physicians can participate without clinic visa sponsorship if they have unrestricted U.S. employment authorization, e.g. lawful permanent resident (green card); Temporary Protected Status; Temporary Resident Status, Refugee or Asylee status, or any other status which authorizes the non-citizen physician to work without employer sponsorship.
  • If you do have current U.S. employment authorization, as an international physician, you must also be ECFMG certified, having taken USMLE steps 1-3, in order to participate.
  • If you have only ECFMG, then you will need to have actively practiced medicine in the U.S. for the last two years, or have been in an ACGME training program within the last two years.
  • If you have not done either of those items, then you must complete all parts of the USMLE to be eligible for Special Activities License.
  • If you meet these qualifications, then we can proceed with your application for the CAST program.
  • If not, you will be directed to the International Observership program and they will be able to explain the opportunities available to you there.
Duration and Tuition

Duration and Tuition

Trainees can schedule to attend from 1 to 8 weeks.

  • Hands-on Training: $6,000/week.
  • Preceptorship Training: $3,500/week.
  • Hybrid Training: $6,000/week.

Please note: You will have the option to split up your training weeks throughout the year, if necessary.

In the event that you need to cancel after payment has been received, application has been approved, and onboarding has begun, you will incur a cancellation fee of 30% of your tuition. The remaining balance (70%) will be reimbursed back to you.

How to Apply

How to Apply

The first step is to complete and submit the pre-application form.

Our office will contact you shortly thereafter.