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Thoracic Surgery Residency (Minnesota)


Joseph A. Dearani, M.D., a cardiovascular surgeon and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, discusses a case with team members

Joseph A. Dearani, M.D., a cardiovascular surgeon and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, discusses a case with team members

A significant portion of the Thoracic Surgery Residency is devoted to the medical diagnosis of general thoracic and cardiovascular diseases, endoscopy, and the study of respiratory and cardiovascular physiology.

Surgical treatment of general thoracic and cardiovascular diseases is emphasized throughout the program.

Clinical training

The two tracks in the Thoracic Surgery Residency are:

  • General thoracic
  • Cardiovascular

The first two years of both tracks are similar. The final year provides greater emphasis in the track you choose.

During the residency, you have an opportunity to operate on elective and emergency cases under the supervision of a staff surgeon. You serve as a chief resident in the final year of your training.

Rotation schedule

The following is a typical rotation schedule:

Years 1 and 2

Acquired cardiac surgery 9 months
Congenital cardiac surgery 3-6 months
General thoracic surgery 6-9 months
Pacemaker, bronchoscopy, GI endoscopy 3 months

Year 3 (rotation length varies by track)

Cardiac surgery 3-9 months
General thoracic surgery 3-9 months

Call frequency

Your call schedule is different for each rotation. Mayo Clinic follows the recommendations of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Research training

You may conduct, and are encouraged to participate in, clinical research. Mayo Clinic provides exceptional clinical research resources. Your research experience gives you the opportunity to present at national meetings and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

Although laboratory investigation is not a requirement of the training program, opportunities are available in selected circumstances, but may require an extension of the program.

Didactic training

Conferences on thoracic and cardiovascular surgical cases are scheduled on a daily basis. You also can attend seminars and lectures in general surgery and related medical specialties. Outstanding surgeons from other institutions participate in an active visiting faculty program.

Teaching opportunities

Opportunities are available for you to teach rotating residents and medical students.


To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop the appropriate technical skills to meet program expectations, your performance is monitored carefully during the Thoracic Surgery Residency. You are formally evaluated by supervising faculty members on a regular basis and meet with the program director to review these evaluations. In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty to confirm that your educational needs are being met.