The Thoracic Surgery Program is dedicated to providing excellence and commitment in patient care, cultivating future generations of surgical leaders, and promoting diversity and inclusion, while simultaneously providing innovative research and education within our community, nationally, and globally. The Washington University Thoracic Surgery Residency Program consists of two training pathways:

  1. Traditional 2 year residency following completion of an ACGME-accredited General Surgery residency
  2. Joint Thoracic/General Surgery (fast-track 4/3 pathway)

Both pathways provide medical experience and expertise with comprehensive experiences. Upon completion of training, the resident will be able to practice independently in their core specialty.

Traditional Pathway


5 years General Surgery

2 years Cardiothoracic Surgery

Program Length

2 years


General Surgery residents in their fourth year of General Surgery residency training.

Application Process

Medical students apply and complete a general surgery residency program of 5 years.  Residents can apply traditional thoracic surgery residency programs in their fourth general surgery clinical training year. 

Please be advised that our program no longer is accepting paper applications and that all applicants are required to apply through ERAS (Electronic Resident Application Service) to be considered. All paper applications will be returned without review.

If you are unfamiliar with the ERAS system, their website can be found at It gives general information on how to request certain items that are required for the completion of the ERAS application. It includes information on required fees, how to request a token that is needed to access an ERAS application, and contact information for ERAS, which is operated by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Any questions can be e-mailed to, or you may also contact the Help Desk at 202-828-0413.

This website also includes information on letters of recommendation, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) reports, United States Medical Licensing Examination™ (USMLE™), and personal goals and statements. After reviewing and understanding the process of submitting an ERAS application, one can access the application and guidelines at, which will provide you with a step-by-step process to assist you in a successful submission of your application.

The application requires the following information:

  • Official medical school transcripts
  • Official test transcripts for all applicable examinations (USMLE, LMCC, COMLEX, NBOME, FMGEMS, FLEX or NBME)
  • A letter from your Program Director and at least two (2) other letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Valid ECFMG certificate (if you graduated from medical school outside of the United States)

Through the ERAS process, you can start applying to our program on November 20; however, we will not be downloading applications for review until December 1. Please have your complete application submitted by January 10, 2020.

Preemployment Drug Screening

Interview Process

Applications are available on ERAS beginning November 20th. Application review begins the beginning of December. Please have your completed applications submitted no later than January 10.

Interviews will be held each spring in the second week of February.


Following successful completion of training, residents are able to apply for certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) website provides a listing of traditional thoracic surgery residency programs.

Visit for more information.

Joint Thoracic/General Surgery Track


4 years General Surgery

3 years Cardiothoracic Surgery

Program Length

3 Years Cardiothoracic Surgery.  4/3 program requires 6 months of Cardiothoracic Surgery as a PGY 4 and PGY 5.  The remaining two years are completed as PGY 6 and PGY 7.


General Surgery residents in the same institution.

Application Process

General surgery residents of the same institution generally apply after their second year of General Surgery Residency. The application process begins with an intent from the General Surgery resident and a discussion with the General Surgery Program Director.

Following the initial discussion, the General Surgery Program Director will discuss the resident’s intent to join the fast-track pathway. A formal interview is conducted with the General Surgery Resident with the Program Director, Chief of the Division, Chief of the Cardiac Section, and Chief of the Thoracic Section in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Completed Application Requirements:

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

General Surgery Program Director Letter of Recommendation


Residents who complete this track are eligible for board certification by both the American Board of Surgery (after General Surgery Training) and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Residents continue having exposure to the different fields of surgery before deciding on cardiothoracic surgery (conversely, programs can assess residents’ performance in general surgery) and residents maintain the experience of the general surgery chief resident year. 

Listings of 4/3 programs can be found here. For additional listings. Contact the ACGME at (312) 755-5784. 

Contact Information

For further information, please contact our program coordinator:

Katie Fuhs

Katie Fuhs

Program Coordinator