Each year of training is divided into three month quarters and the residents alternate between the Cardiac surgery and Thoracic surgery services. The Thoracic Residents are the senior level fellows on each service and are responsible for running the service with a team of General Surgery residents and mid-level providers. The entire experience occurs at our hospital on the main campus. Their academic experience is augmented with the pursuit of clinical projects and it is expected that each resident will have the opportunity to present their work at local and national meetings as well as publish in peer-reviewed journals.
There is protected conference time for teaching and evaluation of the residents and the residency program. There is a mandatory teaching conference every week which includes the review of web based learning modules provided by the TSDA. There is also a required monthly patient safety conference in which the outcomes, performance and case volumes are reviewed with the attendance and participation of all faculty and residents. Other conferences are elective and rotation specific. These include a combined monthly cardiology/cardiac surgery, a bi-weekly Upper GI, weekly heart and lung selection, thoracic oncology, and adult and pediatric cath conferences, and a thoracic surgery case conference. There is a quarterly Journal club attended by the staff from around the region.
The web based curriculum provided by the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association is provided to structure the didactic portion of the training program. There is a weekly didactic conference that is mandatory to review the module for that week. Each module provides an outline and selected publications covering each topic. During the course of the academic year the topics of thoracic surgery are covered. There are also simulation training programs provided during the training program. These include simulation training in the form of suturing and anastomosis kits, thorascopic and robotic instruments, wet labs and animal labs for specific procedures, and the opportunity to attend the Thoracic surgery Boot Camp.