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Integrated 4+3 Cardiothoracic Residency

?CT Surgery?

New Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2005
    Ok so there has been a lot of talk over the past couple years that cardiothoracic surgery is a dead/dying field....decreasing reimbursements, open slots in fellowship programs, a market flooded with out of work surgeons.

    I have spoken to some cardiothoracic surgeons at my home medical school and residency program who seem to think the time has come for a new breed of cardiothoracic surgeon. This new cardiothoracic surgeon would not be entirely dependent upon the ole' bread and butter procedure (CABG); but rather would look something like this:

    *Trained in traditional adult cardiac revascularization procedures for those times when the interventionalists can't unclog the coronaries

    *Trained in general thoracic procedures (Nissen fundoplication, pneumonectomy, lobectomy, Ivor-Lewis, Trans-Hiatal esophagectomy, lung transplant, lung volume reduction surgery

    *Trained in peripheral vascular surgery with a focus on endovascular techniques

    *Trained in the latest cardiac procedures that involves valve repair/replacement; cardiac transplantation; heart failure assist devices

    If a training program (integrated 4+3) board eligable in both general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery were created that could offer to train the above described "new breed" of cardiac surgeon....do you think a graduate of that program would be desirable in the current/future marketplace?

    I would appreciate anyone's input into whether they think pursuing such an integrated program would be worthwhile at this present point in time.

    Or is it better to just practice general surgery and wait to see what happens with cardiothoracic surgery in the next few years and train in a traditional 2 or 3 year fellowship?

    Pilot Doc

    SDN Angel
    Moderator Emeritus
    Verified Expert
    15+ Year Member
    Mar 7, 2002
    1. Resident [Any Field]
      Apart from your suggestion that CT start a turf war with vascular, I don't see anything in your proposal that's substantially different from current CT training at a good fellowship.


      Full Member
      Moderator Emeritus
      Verified Expert
      15+ Year Member
      May 2, 2001
      1. Attending Physician
        I agree. Not much new there in your list of posposals from what many places do already, except for the peripheral vascular emphasis. The only thing that could REALLY jump-start the field would be to make serious overtures into percutaneous coronary procedures. The political & practical problems with that however, have been discussed ad nauseum.
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