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Cardiothoracic surgery

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Falco2525

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So I was wondering how you get into this...I am guessing after medical school you go into general surgery residency...then you apply for a CT fellowship position then? Is there any way to get into CT surgery straight out of medical school?
 

Biscuit799

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So I was wondering how you get into this...I am guessing after medical school you go into general surgery residency...then you apply for a CT fellowship position then? Is there any way to get into CT surgery straight out of medical school?

correct... and no
 

Keg

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correct... and no

Not quite true - several 3+3 residencies are in the pipeline (I think 2 are taking applicants this year). 2 problems - they're not yet accredited, and you don't get certified as a general surgeon (which means that if CT Surgery tanks as a profession, you're screwed and have to do another residency to do anything else).
 

Taurus

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Maybe you should read this article first. As I keep stressing, it always comes back to econ 101.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2007-02-13-cardiac-jobs-usat_x.htm

Fewer cardiac surgeon jobs available

By Julie Appleby, USA TODAY

It was almost a given: Go to medical school, spend an additional 10 years to become a heart surgeon, then you've got it made.

But new ways of treating heart disease have changed that outlook: Cardiac surgeons are having a tougher time finding work.

The use of artery-opening stents has helped lead to a sharp drop in the number of patients having cardiac bypass surgery and contributed to a tight job market for cardiac surgeons and falling interest in the specialty by medical school graduates.

"If you look at the market right now, it's like everyone is at a big fancy ball, but the cardiac surgeons are the ones not getting asked to dance," says Kurt Mosley, a vice president at Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a health care staffing firm. "Ten years ago, they were right up there."

Such surgeries "used to be the bread and butter" for cardiothoracic surgeons, who operate on hearts and lungs, says Robert Higgins, chairman of cardiovascular surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Cardiac surgeons may find they're not doing bypasses every day and may instead build a practice involving heart valve operations or lung surgery, Higgins says.

A survey of 88 cardiothoracic residents finishing their training found that 12% received no job offers in 2004, according to a 2006 article in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. At the same time, the number of applicants choosing to pursue one of the 140 training spots each year has also declined. In 2005, there were only 104 applicants filling 100 of the 139 available spots, according to the article.

"In general, graduating residents were extremely disappointed with job opportunities," says co-author Richard Lee, assistant director of residency programs at St. Louis University.

Cardiac surgery residents spend an average 10 years after medical school pursuing training for the specialized field, whose practitioners earn a median income of $419,980, Salary.com says.

The graduating residents, whose average age in the survey was nearly 36, spent five to seven years in general surgery residency and two to three to become cardiothoracic surgeons.

Lee and Higgins are cautiously optimistic on the longer term outlook: Many older surgeons will soon retire, even as baby boomers enter their prime heart disease years, they say.

But things could remain tight for now. And when there is an opening, competition can be fierce

Mike Lindenberger, of recruitment firm Sunbelt Management in Harrisburg, N.C., posted a cardiothoracic surgeon job for a hospital in Florida on Thursday. Four responses came in on Friday and 15 more over the weekend, he says.

"That says a lot of people are looking to move," Lindenberger says.
 

Biscuit799

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Not quite true - several 3+3 residencies are in the pipeline (I think 2 are taking applicants this year). 2 problems - they're not yet accredited, and you don't get certified as a general surgeon (which means that if CT Surgery tanks as a profession, you're screwed and have to do another residency to do anything else).

If they're not accredited, then I'd imagine they don't do much good...
 

OHMAN0125

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If they're not accredited, then I'd imagine they don't do much good...

I think they are IN the process. So you're taking a risk basically if they don't get accredited. Why anyone would do that to save a bit of time? I dont know.
 

Biscuit799

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I think they are IN the process. So you're taking a risk basically if they don't get accredited. Why anyone would do that to save a bit of time? I dont know.

Fair enough...I know my school wasn't fully accredited when I was interviewing. Usually it's simply a matter of a program being new and needing to iron out kinks.
 

Doko

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This is SUCH an amazing field... it's just too bad that Interventional Cardiologists are taking all the good shtuff.
 

Sunbelt Recruit

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Based on my expereince as a physician recruiter working with doctors who are interested in CTS they typically do a general surgery residency first. They then apply for a CTS residency.

Mike Lindenberger
 

johnny_blaze

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This is SUCH an amazing field... it's just too bad that Interventional Cardiologists are taking all the good shtuff.

Depends on what you consider “good stuff”. A CT surgeon can still get the odd aortic, adult congenital, and pulmonary case… which cardiology can’t touch.
 

Playmakur42

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Is there enough work available for CT surgeons to do mainly thoracic cases?

I'm guessing they would compete w/ surgical oncologists for the lung cancer cases, lobectomies, etc.
 

Winged Scapula

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Is there enough work available for CT surgeons to do mainly thoracic cases?

I'm guessing they would compete w/ surgical oncologists for the lung cancer cases, lobectomies, etc.

With the exception of esophagus cases, surgical oncologists I know stay out of the chest, leaving thoracic cases to those who are thoracic trained.

I'd be interested in hear if there are regional differences, but the above has been my experience at several hospitals in several different states.
 

maxheadroom

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KC's BACK!!

I've never heard of a non-thoracic surgeon doing a lung resection. At my place it's unusual for the Surg Onc guys to do an esophagus, but I've seen it done.
 
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