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Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency and Fellowship Programs

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery provides an immersive training experience in adult cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, general thoracic and foregut surgery, cardiothoracic transplant, ventricular assist devices, and mechanical circulatory support. The overarching educational mission of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery is to produce the next generation of academic cardiothoracic surgeons—with an emphasis on excellent clinical outcomes, patient safety and quality, scientific inquiry, and a scholarly approach to learning. This mission is accomplished through the ACGME-accredited Thoracic Surgery Integrated Residency Program, the ACGME-accredited Thoracic Surgery Independent Fellowship Program, and advanced fellowships in Adult Cardiac Surgery, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, and Cardiopulmonary Transplant. Research focused training opportunities are also available in the form of post-doctoral fellowships. All training programs are noteworthy for attracting top-tier talent to the University of Pittsburgh; the academic productivity of trainees during their time at the institution; and the proud tradition exemplified by Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery alumni in leadership positions throughout the country.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Cardiothoracic surgery maintains some of the most active and multifaceted residency and fellowship programs in the country.

Independent Fellowship and Integrated Residency Programs 

Independent Fellowship Program

  • The Thoracic Surgery Independent Fellowship Program—A two-year training experience for graduates of ACGME-accredited General Surgery Programs. The Training Program is currently approved by the ACGME to accept a complement of four fellows each year.

    The Program is under the leadership of Program Director Dr. Matthew J. Schuchert, as well as Associate Program Director Pablo G. Sanchez, MD, PhD. Track directors also serve as additional mentors for fellows, with David J. Kaczorowski, MD for cardiac track fellows, and Neil A. Christie, MD for thoracic track fellows.

    The two-year fellowship is designed to prepare these trainees for autonomous practice in academic medical centers, private practice, and community hospitals. Therefore, clinical proficiency is the focus of this program. Fellows chose between Cardiac and Thoracic tracks, and their clinical rotations slightly vary to assure ACGME case log requirements are met in their designated tracks. Despite this slight variation in clinical rotation assignments, all fellows are exposed to all subspecialties of cardiothoracic surgery training during their two years in the Program.
  • Advanced Adult Cardiac Surgery Fellowship—Provides an advanced non-ACGME accredited training experience focusing on complex Type A and Type B Aortic Dissections and Aortic Valve Repair/Replacement. Trainees also gain exposure to Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) surgery, a cutting-edge technology on the forefront of heart surgery. Trainees are further exposed to the full breadth of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, mitral valve repair and replacement.

Advanced Fellowship Programs

  • Cardiothoracic Transplant Fellowship—Includes extensive, hands-on exposure in the disciplines of lung transplantation, heart transplantation, and mechanical, circulatory support, and ventricular assist devices.
  • Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship—A non-ACGME accredited training program on the world-recognized pediatric cardiothoracic surgery service, where trainees are exposed to pediatric cardiothoracic transplant, cannulation for circulatory support in infants and children, the Cone Procedure for Ebstein’s Anomaly (for which Dr. Jose Da Silva is recognized as the world expert), the Nikadoh Procedure (for which Dr. Morell is recognized as the world expert), and the Norwood procedure.
  • Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Fellowship—Provides an advanced non-ACGME accredited training program exposing trainees to one of the most prolific thoracic surgery Divisions in North America. Focused training experiences are provided in minimally invasive esophagectomy, robotic-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy, per-oral endoscopic myotomy, giant paraesophageal hernia, video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy, robotic first rib section, and more.

Who to Contact

Check back soon for updated content about this educational opportunity. Please direct questions to:

Patti Fluhrer
Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency and Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: 412-647-4403
fluhrerp@upmc.edu