Cardiac Surgery Fellowship Program Information

The adult advanced cardiac surgery fellowship program centers on instruction and training in the necessary specialized surgical skills required for treating patients with cardiovascular system diseases.

The program accepts one to three fellows each year.

Prior to fellowship, candidates must have completed a two-year cardiothoracic surgery residency accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or comparable training and experience in a non-accredited program.

In-depth Cardiovascular Surgery Training

Learning objectives of the cardiac surgery fellowship program include:

  • Mastering surgical techniques for the entire spectrum of acquired cardiovascular diseases, such as:
    • Coronary bypass grafting
    • Valve repair and replacement
    • Treatment of pericardial disease
    • Extensive use of arterial conduit
    • Minimally invasive endoscopic techniques for conduit harvesting and revascularization
  • Mastering full responsibility for surgical planning, including:
    • Assimilation of pre-operative assessment
    • Invasive studies
  • Mastering full responsibility for performing the surgical procedure
  • Competently assessing the indications for cardiovascular surgery based on available scientific evidence
  • Effective management and operation of an outpatient cardiac surgery clinic with nurse practitioners
  • Mastering principles of cardiopulmonary bypass, including running the pump

Exposure to Major Cardiovascular Procedures

Cardiac surgery fellows rotate at UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, and UPMC Passavant.

The rotations include extensive exposure to major cardiovascular procedures, including:

  • Primary and re-operative procedures for coronary atherosclerosis
    • On and off pump
    • Minimally invasive
  • Ventricular aneurysm
  • Mitral and aortic valve repair and replacement
  • Aortic root replacement

Outpatient clinics, post-op units, and conferences

In addition to receiving operative experience, cardiac surgery fellows:

  • Attend outpatient clinics to evaluate new patients, including their histories and physical and diagnostic data. They will then be expected to develop a plan for therapy.
  • Are responsible for post-operative management in the cardiovascular intensive care unit and the less intensive post-operative patient care in the general cardiothoracic surgical unit.
  • Are able to attend:
    • Weekly update conference/department Grand Rounds
    • Morbidity and mortality conference
    • Cardiac case conference
    • Other cardiology/HV conferences of interest

How to Apply to the Cardiac Surgery Fellowship

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine accepts applications through the ERAS® (Electronic Residency Application Service) Fellowships website.

Please visit the ERAS site to learn more about application requirements, fees, and other details. 


UPMC Presbyterian
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Suite C800
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213