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Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency

Michael Jaklitsch, MD, is the program director for the Brigham and Women's Hospital/Boston Children's Hospital two-year thoracic surgery residency and the six-year thoracic surgery integrated residency programs. Both ACGME-accredited programs prepare physicians for certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS). In addition to the accredited residency programs, we also have several positions for clinical and research fellows.

The residents' experience in this program includes preoperative, operative and postoperative care of all patients assigned to them. Caseloads for residents applying for ABTS certification have averaged greater than 90% above minimal requirements for all case designations.

Academic guidance in the operating rooms, ambulatory area, teaching conferences and research facilities is provided by attending surgeons, all of whom hold full-time teaching appointments at Harvard Medical School.

Michael Jaklitsch, MD

Michael Jaklitsch, MD

Program Director

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Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD

Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD

Associate Program Director

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Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Topics

Program Objectives

The educational mission of the Brigham and Women's Hospital/Boston Children's Hospital cardiothoracic surgery residency program is to train surgeons to function as qualified practitioners of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the highest level of performance expected of a certified specialist. This includes providing an optimum number of diverse adult cardiac, congenital cardiac and general thoracic operative experiences under supervision to gain surgical skills leading to eligibility for American Board of Thoracic Surgery certification. In addition, we desire to train cardiothoracic residents for academic and leadership positions in cardiothoracic surgery. Each of the three services in this training program (cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery and pediatric cardiac surgery) have dedicated facilities for clinical and laboratory research.

Teaching Facilities and Faculty

The Brigham and Women's Hospital is a 750-bed general hospital. The pediatric cardiac component of the program takes place at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH), which is located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, immediately adjacent to the Brigham. Currently, there are four operating rooms for cardiac surgery and four for thoracic surgery at the Brigham and three operating rooms at BCH. Each service has separate dedicated intensive and immediate care units.

At the Brigham, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery are separate clinical divisions and teaching services within the Department of Surgery, allowing the resident to focus entirely on that specific component of the training program when assigned to these services.

Residency Tracks

Thoracic Surgery Residency, Traditional Two-Year Program

Of the four residency positions offered for each year of the two-year training program, two positions are designated as being "cardiac track," and two positions are designated "thoracic track."

For residents in the cardiac track of this program, the first year is divided into two six-month rotations between Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the Brigham. The second year is comprised of a three-month rotation at Boston Children’s Hospital on the congenital cardiac service, and the remaining nine months are spent on Cardiac Surgery at the Brigham.

For residents in the thoracic track, the first year is divided into two six-month rotations between Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the Brigham. The second year is comprised of six months as a chief resident in Thoracic Surgery and two months each at Boston Children's Hospital Cardiac Surgery and Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the Brigham.

Thoracic Surgery Integrated Residency, Six-Year Program

The Brigham offers two residency positions for each year of the six-year clinical program. One position is designated as being on the cardiac track and the other on the thoracic track. Residents will match directly out of medical school and spend the first two years rotating through the various major components of general surgery. Residents will then transition into the cardiothoracic surgery portion of their training for the remaining four years.

Applications

Positions for the cardiothoracic surgery residency program are filled via the Thoracic Surgery Match program of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). The NRMP code numbers for the thoracic surgery residency program are as follows: 1265460F0 for the two cardiac track positions and 1265460F1 for the two thoracic track positions. The NRMP code numbers for the thoracic surgery integrated residency program are as follows: 1265461C1 for the cardiac track position and 1265461C0 for the thoracic track position. Please refer to NRMP for information on registration procedures and deadlines. All resident applicants must register with the NRMP in addition to submitting an application to our program.

The thoracic surgery residency begins the recruitment season each December, concluding with the match in May. The residency matches positions to begin the next calendar year on July 1. We will only accept applications from resident physicians who will have completed an ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency program.

The thoracic surgery integrated residency begins the recruitment season each September for residency positions to begin the following mid-June. At minimum, we will accept applications from medical students who will have completed a medical school program resulting in a medical degree.

All resident applicants must register with the NRMP in addition to submitting an application through the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Programs participating in ERAS may only accept those application materials sent electronically through ERAS. We will not accept any additional supporting documents by mail or email.

Requirements and Deadline

Thoracic Surgery Residency, Traditional Two-Year Program

Application requirements include:

  • ABS in-training exam scores
  • Three letters of recommendation from physicians who have worked closely with you during your general surgery residency or in your laboratory research (The inside salutation in your letters of recommendation may be addressed to the residency program director.)
  • Medical school transcript
  • Dean's letter

Our deadline for receipt of your residency application and all supporting documents is February 1. Each application is reviewed in its entirety with a focus toward a combination of overall academic excellence, leadership ability, career development potential and personal character.

We interview approximately 40 candidates for the residency each year. Although we receive applications from many well-qualified candidates, it is not possible to interview all who apply. Those who are invited will be notified approximately one month prior to the date of the scheduled interview.

We will have only one interview date and will not be able to schedule any individual interview dates outside of this session. Interviews will be held separately for each individual track, and you must choose either a thoracic surgery or cardiac surgery track upon interview invitation.

Any candidate who is invited to interview must contact the program manager to confirm their acceptance of the interview offer. If we do not receive a confirmation email or letter from you by the given RSVP date, we will not be able to schedule your interview.

Thoracic Surgery Integrated Residency, Six-Year Program

Application requirements include:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Medical school transcript
  • Personal statement
  • MSPE
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • USMLE transcript

We do not require a chairman’s letter and do not review any applications until they are complete. Our deadline for receipt of your residency application and all supporting documents is October 1.

We will have one interview date and will not be able to schedule any individual interview dates outside of this session. Interviews will be held separately for each individual track, and you must choose either a thoracic surgery or cardiac surgery track upon interview invitation.

Any candidate who is invited to interview must contact the program manager to confirm their acceptance of the interview offer. If we do not receive a confirmation email or letter from you by the given RSVP date, we will not be able to schedule your interview.

Interview Format

Thoracic Surgery Residency, Traditional Two-Year Program

The interview session begins with a welcome reception on Friday evening, followed by the interview day on Saturday. The interview day begins with a breakfast during the early morning check-in time, followed by an orientation session with the division chiefs and program directors. Following the orientation session, each candidate will meet with four groups consisting of three or four key faculty members in each room. Cardiothoracic surgery residents and fellows will be on hand throughout the morning to visit informally with the candidates between interviews and to conduct hospital tours. The interview sessions conclude with a buffet luncheon attended by all candidates, faculty, and cardiothoracic surgery residents and fellows. For travel arrangements, applicants should anticipate completing all interview and tour activities by 5 pm.

Thoracic Surgery Integrated Residency, Six-Year Program

The interview session begins with a welcome reception on Friday evening, followed by the interview day on Saturday. The interview day begins with a breakfast during the early morning check-in time, followed by an orientation session with the division chiefs and program directors. Following the orientation session, each candidate will meet with four groups consisting of three or four key faculty members in each room. Cardiothoracic surgery residents and fellows will be on hand throughout the morning to visit informally with the candidates between interviews and to conduct hospital tours. The interview sessions conclude with a buffet luncheon attended by all candidates, faculty, and cardiothoracic surgery residents and fellows. For travel arrangements, applicants should anticipate completing all interview and tour activities by 5 pm.

Travel and Hotel Accommodations

Please see our hotel accommodations page for more information.

Research Opportunities

Non-ACGME Fellowships and Research Opportunities

To inquire about a research fellowship or non-ACGME cardiac clinical fellowship, please send a letter of inquiry and a copy of your curriculum vitae to James Rawn, MD, in care of Sasha Smith, the cardiothoracic surgery coordinator, at 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115. Your letter of inquiry should summarize your previous clinical and research training and indicate your specific areas of interest within the field of cardiothoracic surgery. Please specify in your letter that you are applying for a non-ACGME position.

To inquire about a research fellowship or non-ACGME thoracic clinical fellowship, please send a letter of inquiry and a copy of your curriculum vitae to Jon Wee, MD, in care of Sasha Smith, the cardiothoracic surgery coordinator, at 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115. Your letter of inquiry should summarize your previous clinical and research training and indicate your specific areas of interest within the field of cardiothoracic surgery. Please specify in your letter that you are applying for a non-ACGME position.

Please visit the Department of Surgery Research page for more information about our research or the T32 research training grant in cardiovascular surgery.

Program Contact

For any questions regarding our programs please contact:

Sasha Smith
Education Programs Manager
sasmith2@bwh.harvard.edu
617-525-9385

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