7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2002
Status (Visible)
hey i was wondering how many years does it take to become a cardiothoracic surgeon???? is it five years of general and then a two year fellowship??? how is the job market looking for CV surgeons???? any experiences and opinions of CV surgery and the lifestyle they lead would be appreciated???


Hi there,
It takes five to seven years of General Surgery residency plus 2 years of fellowship to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. The extra two years are research years as most of the fellowships want to see some meaningful research. Also, be ready to try to match into primarily university based programs or very, very strong community programs because cardiothoracic fellowships are fairily competitive.

The job market is pretty dismal right now but lots of things change in seven to nine years. You can't try to go into a speciality based on what you think the projected job outlook will be. There are always jobs for outstanding performers.

As far as lifestyle, the CT guys around here LOVE what they do and they do plenty of work as UVA is a CT-heavy center (our chairman is a CT surgeon). Sometimes (rarely) they are operating late into the night (on a transplant) but most of the time, they will do a couple of cases each day. There are two guys who do primarily thoracic and about five guys that do cardio. They all seem to be pretty busy.

Good luck!


Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2001
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Good Cardiothoracic fellowships are pretty competitive but overall not as many people are going in to CT. The job market is way down right now and overall pay has been going down for CT surgeons. That, coupled with interventional cardiology have made jobs a little more difficult to find.

Many of the fellowships are now 3 years although there are still many good programs with 2 year fellowships.

I personally think CT is the most interesting field of surgery but I have to say I do try to project what the market will be in 10 years. It's truly difficult to extend your training another 2-3 years if you're not positive you'll be able to get a good job. I KNOW I can definitely get a pretty good job as a general surgeon in a few years but I'm not sure that's what I really want.
About the Ads
This thread is more than 17 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.