Cardiovascular surgeons Alberto Pochettino, M.D. (right), and Richard C. Daly, M.D.

Graduate medical education in surgery specialities at Mayo Clinic

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Overview

The Thoracic Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is a three year ACGME-accredited program that prepares trainees for American Board of Thoracic Surgery certification. The goal of the program is to prepare our trainees for independent practice in cardiac surgery and general thoracic surgery. Separate cardiac and general thoracic surgery tracks have been established within the program to allow trainees with specific interests to focus their training on their subspecialty of choice. Both the Traditional Pathway (five years of General Surgery Residency and three years of Thoracic Surgery Residency) and Internal 4+3 Pathway (four years of General Surgery Residency and three years of Thoracic Surgery Residency) are available.

Mayo Clinic's cardiac and general thoracic surgery practice is the largest in the Midwest and is among the largest in the United States. Mayo surgeons perform high volumes of complex chest surgery procedures using the latest technology and procedure innovations. We provide care to patients from all 50 states and from many countries around the world. 

Unique program highlights include:

  • Comprehensive clinical training and exposure to a large volume of pathology and surgical cases in general thoracic surgery, surgery for adult-acquired cardiac disease, and congenital cardiac disease.
  • Preoperative consultations and evaluation of all disease entities.
  • Training in an academic environment with exceptional research resources and the opportunity to publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at national specialty meetings.
  • Extensive and comprehensive didactic and problem-solving conference schedules covering each of the three disciplines of the Thoracic Surgery Residency; Adult Cardiac Surgery, Congenital Heart Surgery, and General Thoracic Surgery. In addition, the conference schedules provide excellent preparation for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery examination.
  • A professional and collegial atmosphere between medical and surgical specialties in all areas of medicine.
  • Comprehensive department resources, including: 11 cardiac surgery and four general thoracic surgery operating rooms, 45 cardiac surgery ICU beds, and a large group of mid-level providers with Physician Assistants/Nurse Practitioners who provide pre-and post-operative care to cardiac and general thoracic surgery patients.
  • A strong residency program with a long history (over 70 years) of experience training leaders in the field of thoracic surgery
Video: A Guided Tour for Thoracic Surgery Applicants

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Video: A Guided Tour for Thoracic Surgery Applicants

Thoracic Surgery resident speaks with a patient at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Your training experience

As a resident at Mayo Clinic, you'll have access to robust clinical, educational, and research resources. You'll find support both inside and outside of the campus to promote physical and mental wellness and ensure your work/life balance.

K. Robert Shen, M.D.

Director's welcome

Our goal is to provide trainees with exposure to the full breadth of contemporary cardiac and general thoracic surgery, so they can enter independent practice without the need for further postgraduate fellowship training. 

Accreditation

The program fulfills the training requirements as defined by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Certification

After successfully completing the program, you are eligible to take the certification examination offered by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Program history

The Thoracic Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, began in 1951. Many surgical innovations still employed throughout the world were developed by general thoracic surgeons at Mayo Clinic.

  • The first practical clinical application of cardiopulmonary by-pass to enable cardiac surgical operations was performed at Mayo Clinic in 1955.
  • Thoracic Surgery Residency training began at Mayo in 1951 and over 150 surgeons have graduated from the program since then.
  • Seven Mayo surgeons have served as President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery; four Mayo surgeons have served as President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

We anticipate that three trainees will complete this program annually.

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