The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, has had a long tradition of excellence in patient care, research and teaching. The chest service was initially established by Evarts Graham, MD, in 1920.

As a pioneer in developing treatments for heart and lung disease in adults and children, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery continues to pursue its mission:

  • Deliver the highest quality care to patients with heart and lung disease
  • Train the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons
  • Advance the science of cardiothoracic surgery with a program of innovative clinical and basic research
  • Support the effort to make academic medical centers the showcase for medical care
  • Function as a national referral center for complex problems affecting the lungs, esophagus, trachea, heart and other thoracic organs

In patient care, the division provides comprehensive surgical treatment of heart and lung disease. Washington University cardiothoracic surgeons pioneered lung volume reduction surgery for patients with emphysema; were among the first in America to perform open-heart surgery, and invented the Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation. The heart and lung programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The division’s basic science researchers are principal investigators in numerous National Institutes of Health grants and receive over $4 million annually in research awards. Clinical research is also emphasized, with more than 80 active clinical trials.

The fellowship program was established in 1929 and is the second-oldest post-graduate cardiothoracic surgery training program in the country. Its goal is to train the future leaders of cardiac and thoracic surgery specialties with a faculty dedicated to providing a nurturing and stimulating educational experience for our fellows.