Director's Welcome

Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Integrated Residency and Fellowship Programs at Cleveland Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular & Institute has one of the largest, most experienced cardiothoracic surgery teams in the world. As the #1 heart center in the country over the last 26 years, our department is comprised of renown leaders in every facet of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. We believe we are uniquely poised to integrate our surgical expertise, case volume, and research opportunities into a top-tier training program. Our goal is to provide an innovative training experience rooted in operative practice, teambuilding, leadership, and the academic development of our residents and fellows.

Thank you for your interest in our program and we welcome you to learn more about us.

Leadership Team

Douglas Johnston, MD
Douglas Johnston, MD
Program Director, Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency

Marc Gillinoc | Cleveland Clinic
Marc Gillinov, MD
Chairman, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum

The integrated cardiothoracic surgery residency program is a comprehensive six-year program designed to train future leaders in both the clinical practice and academics of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.

The first three years provide a foundation in surgery and the management of cardiovascular disease by integrating rotations in surgery, cardiology, and endovascular intervention. Pre-requisite surgical rotations are drawn from the Cleveland Clinic’s flagship hospital, as well as its large network of affiliated hospitals, in order to optimize our residents’ operative experience.

The last three years are focused on adult cardiac, end stage heart/lung failure, congenital cardiac, and general thoracic surgery. Senior residents are expected to meet technical cardiothoracic milestones and assume fellowship-level responsibility in ICU management and patient care.

The final year of the curriculum allows for concentration in a specific field of cardiothoracic surgery, with emphasis on independent operating and full intraoperative responsibilities.

Our residency program is firmly grounded in academics. Weekly small-group didactic sessions focus on clinical decision-making and practical skills. Our surgeons frequently organize “wet labs” to instruct trainees in surgical technique. Monthly journal clubs emphasize immerging research and implications to clinical practice.

Integrated Thoracic Surgery Residency Program Resident Rotation Schedule

Integrated Thoracic Surgery Residency Program Resident Rotation Schedule

Thoracic Surgery Fellow Rotation Schedule

Thoracic Surgery Fellowship Program - Fellow Rotation Schedule | Cleveland Clinic
Meet Our Residents

Meet Our Residents

Integrated Cardiothoracic Residents

CTS-1

Brad Rosinski | Cleveland Clinic

Bradley Rosinski, MD
M.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Hometown: Cedar, MI
Interests: Adult cardiac, aortic valve surgery, open and endovascular aortic surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
The best part about training at the Cleveland Clinic is the awesome group residents and the excellent staff.

Shawn Shah | Cleveland Clinic

Shawn Shah, MD MBA
M.D., University of Virginia School of Medicine
M.B.A., University of Virginia, Darden Graduate School of Business
Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Interests: Cardiac transplantation, valvular disease, congenital cardiac surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
Operative excellence is at the core of our curriculum, and this pursuit of perfection uniquely spans across multiple disciplines that reach far outside clinical medicine. Few other programs attack the goal of perfecting cardiac surgery with such a holistic approach.

CTS-2

Nicholas Oh | Cleveland Clinic

Nicholas A. Oh, MD
M.D., George Washington University School of Medicine
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Interests: Congenital cardiac surgery, mitral valve surgery, cardiac imaging
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
What I enjoy most about my training is the exposure to a wide breadth of cardiovascular pathology that is unparalleled in the country and the operative experience that comes with managing such complex patients. The large surgical volume at CCF allows us to operate daily and hone our skills for future clinical practice.

Juan Pizano | Cleveland Clinic

Juan B. Umana-Pizano, MD
M.D., Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia)
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia
Interests: Aortic valve surgery, mitral valve surgery, adult congenital surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
The complexity of the cases that we manage at CCF allows for the best possible training.

James Witten | Cleveland Clinic

James Witten, MD
M.D., Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Hometown: Duxbury, MA
Interests: Valvular disease, endocarditis, aortic surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
I appreciate the close-knit nature of our program, and the opportunity to spend time with and learn from my coresidents. Cleveland Clinic is a giant enterprise, and the HVTI is at the center of it. The scale, resources, and experience afforded by the institute and staff are awesome, and I enjoy being a part of it. 

CTS-3

Karolis Bauza | Cleveland Clinic

Karolis Bauza, BMBCh DPhil
B.M.B.Ch, University of Oxford (Oxford, England)
DPhil, University of Oxford (Oxford, Engand)
Hometown: Kretinga, Lithuania
Interests: Cardiothoracic transplantation, heart failure
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
The diversity and complexity of the cardiac and thoracic surgical cases that are undertaken at Cleveland Clinic on daily basis is truly breathtaking, thus as a cardiac surgery resident I am not only exposed to the minutiae, but also to the bread-and-butter cases of cardiac surgery. This coupled with an early operative autonomy ensures that I become the safe and skillful surgeon that my future patients deserve.

Frank Cikach | Cleveland Clinic

Frank Cikach Jr., MD
M.D., Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Interests: Aortic surgery, Minimally invasive surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
The camaraderie among the residents is one of the best things about our program. We all share our knowledge together and are invested in improving the quality of the care we provide. Also, the breadth of cases is incredible. You will see and operate on cases from the most simple to incredibly complex, and you'll see this breadth regularly.

Michael Javorski | Cleveland Clinic

Michael Javorski, MD MS
M.D., Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
M.S., Boston University
Hometown: La Grange, IL
Interests: Cardiac transplantation, Mechanical Circulatory Support devices
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
Aside from operating, I enjoy the culture at Cleveland Clinic the most. Every member of the team is dedicated to improving their self and their craft so that they can together be the best team.

CTS-4

Viral Patel | Cleveland Clinic

Viral C. Patel, MD MHS
M.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
M.H.S., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Hometown: Twinsburg, OH
Interests: Adult cardiac surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
I've enjoyed the abundance and variety of clinical exposure and experience provided at CCF. This experience is enhanced by a culture of camaraderie around growth and development.

Anthony Zaki | Cleveland Clinic

Anthony L. Zaki, MD
M.D., Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine
Hometown: Troy, MI
Interests: Aortic surgery, heart failure, adult congenital cardiac surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
CCF offers the full breadth of cardiac and thoracic surgery at high volume, learning from leaders in the field. By the time we graduate, we have established a comfort-level with the whole gamut of CT surgery, which places us in prime position to succeed as attending providers. Apart from this, CCF has an amazing culture of collaboration and innovation, which makes it an exciting and inspiring place to be.

CTS-5

Andrew Everett | Cleveland Clinic

Andrew Everett, MD
M.D., Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Interests: Minimally invasive cardiac surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
There is a great balance of main campus and regional rotations to have a well-rounded experience.

Bogdan Kindzelski | Cleveland Clinic

Bogdan Kindzelski, MD MS
M.D., Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
M.S., Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Hometown: Grosse Pointe Park, MI
Interests: Adult cardiac surgery, aortic surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, outcomes-based research
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
The daily diversity of complex cardiothoracic cases, approachability of the faculty, and camaraderie among the trainees in taking care of some of most critically ill patients in the world. The 12-month flexibility of the final year in the integrated program to focus rotations on career goals and interests is a huge plus as well.

CTS-6

Kevin Hodges | Cleveland Clinic

Kevin Hodges, MD
M.D., University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Hometown: Naperville, IL
Interests: Mitral valve surgery, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, minimally invasive cardiac surgery
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
Cleveland Clinic offers unrivalled surgical volume and complexity with world-renowned faculty who are dedicated surgical educators and mentors. The integrated training program here provides the opportunity to pursue sub-specialization in all areas of adult cardiac surgery without additional fellowship training.

Kyle Miletic | Cleveland Clinic

Kyle Miletic, MD
M.D., Wayne State University School of Medicine
Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, MI
Interests: Open and endovascular aortic surgery, mechanical circulatory support
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
The people! From top to bottom, this is a welcoming, exciting place. The staff are all excellent teachers and approachable, we have a great group of residents who work together well and look out for each other.

Thoracic Fellows

PGY-6

Ramiro Fernandez | Cleveland Clinic

Ramiro Fernandez, MD
M.D., Baylor College of Medicine
General Surgery: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Hometown: Houston, TX
Interests: General thoracic surgery, Lung transplant
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
The culture is very much geared towards trainee education and not just clinical productivity. The staff take the time to teach and truly care about trainee professional and academic development.

PGY-7

Andrew Feczko | Cleveland Clinic

Andrew Feczko, MD
M.D., Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
M.A., Case Western Reserve University
General Surgery: Swedish Medical Center - First Hill
Hometown: Murrysville, PA
Interests: Benign and malignant lung and esophageal surgery, Lung transplant
What do you enjoy most about training at CCF?
I enjoy the busy thoracic surgery program with world-class surgeons and the opportunity to explore many elements of thoracic surgery.

Research

Research

A major emphasis of our program is to train future leaders in all disciplines of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. Our department is fully committed to the academic development of our residents, and strongly encourages involvement in research during clinical training. Residents will have opportunities to utilize the vast resources at Cleveland Clinic, including one of the largest cardiovascular information registries, spearheaded by Dr. Eugene Blackstone. Current residents collaborate among themselves and with staff, promoting research spanning the entire spectrum of cardiothoracic surgery. Further enrichment opportunities are available in basic and translational research laboratories at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Each resident is required to conduct a research study that is formally presented at the Annual Research Day. Residents are encouraged to present and attend national/international meetings.

For residents interested in dedicated academic enrichment, an optional 1-2 years can be scheduled to pursue advanced degrees (i.e. MS, MPH, MBA, PhD) or other academic pursuits.

We take pride in the achievements of our past and present CTS residents and fellows. The following is a select list of publications/awards from our trainees:

  • Atcheson E, Bauza K, Reyes-Sandoval A. A probabilistic model of pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccine combination in mice. PLoS One. 2019 Jan 9;14(1):e0209028. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209028. eCollection 2019.
  • Bauza K, Atcheson E, Malinauskas T, Blagborough AM, Yvonne Jones E, Hill AV, Reyes-Sandoval A. Tailoring a combination pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccine. Infect Immun. 2016 Mar; 84(3): 622–634.
  • Cikach FS, Desai M, Roselli EE, Kalahasti V. “Thoracic aortic aneurysm: How to counsel, when to refer.” Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 2018. PMID: 29883307
  • Cikach FS, Koch CD, Mead TJ, Galatioto J, Willard BB, Emerton KB, Eagleton MJ, Blackstone EH, Ramirez F, Roselli EE, Apte SS. “Massive aggrecan and versican accumulation in thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection.” JCI Insight, 2018. PMID: 29515038
  • Hodges K, Rivas CG, Aguilera J, Borden R, Alashi A, Blackstone EH, Desai MY, Smedira NG. Surgical management of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction in a specialized hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy center. The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. 2019-06; 157 (6) : 2289-2299.
  • Hodges K, Zou Y, Everett A, Murthy S, Ahmad U. Pleural myopericytoma: A rare neoplasm in a difficult location. The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. 2018-08; 156 (2) : e129-e131.
  • Kindzelski BA, Corcoran P, Siegenthaler MP, Horvath KA. Postoperative acute kidney injury following intraoperative blood product transfusions during cardiac surgery. Perfusion. 2018;33:62-70
  • Laczynski DJ, Dieter RS, Javorski MJ. Applications of 3D Printing for Aortic Disease. In: Dieter RS, Dieter Jr. RA, Dieter III RA, eds. Diseases of the Aorta. Springer International Publishing; 2019:467-469.
  • Miletic KG, Kindzelski BA, Hodges KE, Beach J, Tong MZ, Bakaeen FG, Johnston DR, Desai M, Lyden S, Roselli EE. Impact of endovascular false lumen embolization on thoracic aortic remodeling in chronic dissection. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2020 (In-press)
  • Oh, N., & Mayer, J.E. A Case of Decreased Exercise Tolerance and Increased Pulmonary Vascularity, JAMA. 2020;10.1001/jama.2020.8415.
  • Oh, N., Kampaktsis, P., Gallo, M., Guariento, A., Weixler, V., Staffa, S., Avgerinos, D., Doulamis, I. An Updated Meta-Analysis of MitraClip vs Surgery for Mitral Regurgitation, Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 2020 (In Press)
  • Patel V, Unai S, Gaudino M, Bakaeen F. Current Readings on Outcomes After Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019;31(4):726-733. doi:10.1053/j.semtcvs.2019.05.012
  • Rosinski BF, Idrees JJ, Roselli EE, et al. Cannulation strategies in acute type A dissection repair: A systematic axillary artery approach. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019;158(3):647-659.e5. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.11.137
  • Shah SM, Asante-Korang A, Ghazarian SR, Stapleton G, Herbert C, Decker J, Almodovar MC, Karl TR, Do NL, Quintessenza JA, Mavroudis C, Vricella LA, Van Gelder HM, Kartha V, Alexander P, Carapellucci J, Krasnopero D, Hanson J, Amankwah E, Roth J, Jacobs ML, Jacobs JP, “Risk Factors for Survival after Heart Transplantation in Children and Young Adults: A 22 Year Study of 179 Transplants,” World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, 2018 Aug; 9(5):557-564, https://doi.org/10.1177/2150135118782190.
  • Shah SM, Teman NR, Dearth E, Yarboro LT, Kern JA, “Construction of an Apical Plug for Explantation of HeartWare HVAD Left Ventricular Assist Device,” The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 2018 Jul; 106(1):e15-e17, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.02.014.
  • Umana-Pizano JB, Nguyen TC, Miller CC, Safi HJ, Loghin A, Eisenberg SB, Sandhu HK, Estrera AL. Acute Type A Dissection Repair: The Role of Individual Surgeon Experience versus High Volume Center. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Nov;108(5):1330-1336.
  • Umana-Pizano JB, Nissen AP, Nguyen S, Hoffmann C, Guercio A, De La Guardia G, Estrera AL, Nguyen TC. Phase of Care Mortality Analysis According to Individual Patient Risk Profile. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Aug;108(2):531-535.
  • Witten JC, Durbak E, Houghtaling P, et al. Performance and Durability of Cryopreserved Allograft Aortic Valve Replacements. Ann Thoracic Surg. 2020.
  • Witten JC, Hussain ST, Shrestha NK, et al. Surgical treatment of right-sided infective endocarditis. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019;157(4):1418-1427.e14. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.07.112
  • Zaki A, Soltesz EG, Bakaeen FG. Is Communication the Cure for Human Error? CABG as a Testing Ground. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019;31(3):392-393. doi:10.1053/j.semtcvs.2019.01.009
Alumni

Alumni

Our mission is to provide top-notch surgical training to produce world-class cardiothoracic surgeons and leaders in our field. As the #1 heart center in the country, performing over 4000 on-pump cases a year, we pride ourselves in the breadth of cardiovascular pathology and volume that our residents and fellows experience. We have over three hundred sixty-five graduates of the Department of Thoracic & 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.

Recent Integrated Cardiothoracic Residency Alumni

2020

Saad Hasan, MD, Staff, Christ Hospital Health Network
Dean Schraufnagel, MD, Staff, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

2019

Haytham Elgharably, MD, Staff, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Patrick Vargo, MD, Staff, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

2018

Robert Steffen, MD, Staff, Minneapolis Heart Institute
Tamer Attia, MD, Staff, Emory University School of Medicine

Application Process

Application Process

The program accepts three residents per year. We participate in the NRMP match. All applicants must apply through the ERAS website. All applicants must have completed a medical school degree.

Contact

For additional information, please contact:

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

Darlene Straub
Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Coordinator
Email: straubd@ccf.org
Phone: 216.445.6816

OR

Douglas Johnston, MD
Program Director, Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency
Phone: 216.444.5613