Comprehensive training program in cardiac and thoracic surgery, intended for those who have graduated from an accredited general surgery program. Foreign medical graduates who do not plan to practice in the United States are also eligible. The program is not intended as an alternative path to ABTS credentialing, but rather as an enhancement for specialized training in cardiac and thoracic surgery.

Washington University views the training of cardiothoracic surgery residents as central to our mission. We are deeply committed to the clinical, academic, and personal development of our trainees. Working with a multidisciplinary team of specialists, cardiac and thoracic surgeons offer the latest advances in technology and innovative therapies. 

The one-year fellowship will provide broad, extensive experience in all aspects of cardiac surgery as well as exposure to general thoracic surgery. The operative experience will include both minimally invasive and open techniques. Cardiac surgery training focus will be on complex valve surgery, surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation, surgery for advanced mechanical circulatory support & cardiac transplantation.  In addition, the fellow will gain experience in techniques of general thoracic surgery including advanced endoscopic and bronchoscopy techniques.  The fellow will participate in outpatient clinic and as well as all aspects of inpatient care. 

The fellow will work with residents enrolled in the accredited Thoracic Surgery and General Surgery programs at Washington University School of Medicine, as well as with multidisciplinary providers in both the inpatient and outpatient setting at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

At the successful completion of the fellowship program, residents will have a broad exposure to all aspects of cardiothoracic surgery.

Length of Program

The fellowship is for a one-year period for individuals who have completed the ABS requirements or their equivalent. The applicant must hold citizenship or appropriate visa status. This position does not provide an alternative pathway to board certification.

Program Details

The overall goal of the non-accredited Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship is to provide proficiency in providing safe, cost effective, timely, patient centered, high quality care in the following areas: Pre-operative, operative, post-operative including critical care of the patients. This includes surgical care of diseases of heart (coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease) and great vessels, lungs, airways, esophagus, chest wall, mediastinum, diaphragm and chest injuries. There will also be an opportunity to participate in congenital cardiac surgery, cardiothoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support.

The fellow selected into the program will have completed an accredited General Surgery Residency Program. This individual will have the necessary skills and knowledge in surgical principles, techniques, and management of disease processes. The focus of our program is to build on these strengths and accomplishments. The fellow will be given graduated responsibilities with supervision to diagnose and treat thoracic illnesses, both surgically and non-surgically as indicated, in a patient centered environment. The clinical learning environment is conducive to delivering safe, effective, cost efficient, timely, compassionate care.

Individual experience can be tailored towards a specialization in aortic surgery, arrhythmia surgery, or percutaneous valve therapies.

Educational Goals
  • Training in the basic pathophysiology to understand and manage thoracic diseases.
  • Gain competence in in the following: diagnosis, comprehensive treatment plan, counselling the patient/family regarding the disease, treatment options, prognosis with and without the proposed treatment, risks, benefits and alternatives to the planned therapy and details of the procedure being proposed.
  • Utilize resources and tailor the best treatment for the patient in the current and evolving health care environment
  • Understand their own abilities, limitations, and seek help in the best interest of the patient and refer the patient to a physician/place of excellence when appropriate.
  • Function effectively and collegially in the health care environment
  • Maintain a culture of life long education and scholarly activities
  • Incorporate practice-based learning and continuously improve patient care
  • Learn the methods and participate in quality improvement to implement appropriate changes in patient care throughout their career.
  • Learn to be compassionate towards the patients and families, respectful of other professionals and colleagues, respect privacy, and maintain integrity and accountability.
Case Requirements

Case log requirements are a total of 275 cases in the following areas:

  • Chest Wall
  • Lung and Pleura
  • Mediastinum
  • Diaphragm
  • Esophagus
  • Open Congential
  • Valvular Heart Disease
  • Cardiac
  • Thoracic Vascular
  • Transplantation
  • Endovascular
  • Critical Care
  • Consultation Experience
  • Simulation
  • Multidisciplinary Management
Eligibility
  • Citizenship and Visa Requirements:
  • US Citizens
  • US Permanent Residents (Green Card)
  • US citizenship is not required, but foreign medical graduates must have passed all certification requirements
Requirements
  • MD Degree
  • Applicants must have passed the USMLE/COMPLEX Step 1. 2, & 3
  • License to practice medicine in Missouri (or eligibility for it)
  • Completion of an accredited General Surgery Program or Canadian equivalent.
  • ABS or Canadian Board Eligible or Certified
  • Applicants who hold a General Surgery specialty certificate from a Board or College outside of U.S. or Canada at the beginning of the fellowship
Licensure Requirements

Applicants from outside of the United States are eligible if the applicant completes the necessary steps to be able to achieve medical licensure from the state of Missouri.

The candidate should request ECFMG certification of their medical training.  Information on this process is available here:  http://www.ecfmg.org/certification/index.html. In order to qualify for ECFMG certification and medical licensing, applicants must pass USMLE Steps 1, 2, & 3 within three attempts per Step.

Application Requirements

We require the following supporting documents to be submitted for your complete application packet.

  • Current CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation

Please submit all application materials to the Education Program Coordinator, Janel Johnson.

Contact Us

Varun Puri, MD, MSCI

Professor of Surgery
Section of Thoracic Surgery
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Program Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program