To promote the development of each resident as an academic surgeon, there is programmatic emphasis on clinical excellence, in addition to ample opportunities for clinical research.  A robust clinical experience, featuring all facets of open and minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgery, is provided.  In addition to the clinical experience, a comprehensive didactic teaching schedule is emphasized, based on a three-year defined curriculum including topics in medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning, systems-based practice, communication, and professionalism. 

Throughout the training program, residents have the opportunity to engage in and complete clinical research projects, with publications in major peer-reviewed journals. In addition to several Divisional databases (ECMO, benign esophageal disease, lung cancer screening, etc.), trainees may also access data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ national Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic and Congenital databases.

Some residents choose to participate in clinical research through the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), which houses one of the largest cardiovascular data banks in the world as well as an array of professionals with expertise in clinical research, information technology, epidemiology, and biostatistics.

The faculty and residents participate in a comprehensive conference schedule, designed to optimize clinical experience, didactic teaching, and interactive learning.

Academic and Professional Development

Upon matriciulating in the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program, residents are assigned an advisor or mentor who becomes integral to the clinical and academic development of each resident.

The academic development of each of the residents in the training program is the responsibility of the mentor and the program director.

Enhanced Education and National Exposure

In order to enhance education and improve national exposure, each resident has the opportunity to attend two national meetings annually, at the expense of the division. Each resident attends one of the major academic meetings, such as the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

In addition, each resident has the opportunity to attend an additional meeting, such as a technical course or review course. These opportunities are in addition to any meeting in which the resident is participating as a presenter.

Clinical Programs

Clinical rotations will provide residents with experience in the following clinical programs and procedures in cardiothoracic surgery offered at Duke.

Adult Cardiac Surgery

  • Minimally invasive cardiac surgery
  • Myocardial revascularization
  • Surgery for atrial fibrillation
  • Valve repair and replacement

Aortic Surgery

  • Stent grafting
  • Surgery for aneurysms and dissections
  • Surgery for cardio-pulmonary failure
  • ECMO
  • Heart transplantation
  • Pulmonary transplantation
  • Ventricular assist 

General Thoracic Surgery

  • Benign esophageal disease
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung volume reduction surgery
  • Mesothelioma
  • Minimally invasive thoracic surgery
  • Robotics 

Congenital Cardiac Surgery

  • Adult congenital
  • Pediatric congenital