Allegheny Health Network
Find a
Doctor
Request An Appointment Login to
MyChart
Patient
Center
News Classes &
Events
Contact
Us
Call 412.Doctors

Curriculum

Curriculum

Our faculty is dedicated to the goal of providing a comprehensive educational environment that fosters the professional development of our residents, thereby enabling them to become proficient cardiothoracic surgeons.  Following residency, trainees will be fully prepared for board-certification in Thoracic Surgery.

Program Overview | Pathways | Didactics | Training Facilities

Program Overview

Our ACGME accredited training program offers a rich case mix of adult cardiac and general thoracic patients drawn from a network of affiliated clinical sites.  Residents may elect to concentrate in either cardiac surgery or thoracic surgery but must meet all requirements for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery certification upon graduation.  At the completion of training, all residents will be competent in the 6 core competencies:

  • Medical Knowledge
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • Professionalism
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Back to top


Pathways

Traditional Pathway – 2 years Cardiothoracic Surgery (PGY-6 – PGY-7)

Residents will be assigned rotations consisting of 12 one month blocks at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH).  There will be a 2 month pediatric rotation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in the first year.  Below is a sample rotation schedule over the 2 years.

Rotation Months
Year 1
Cardiac Surgery 4-6
Thoracic Surgery 4-6
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery 2
Year 2
Cardiac Surgery 6
Thoracic Surgery 6

Joint 4/3 Pathway - 4 years General Surgery (PGY-1 – PGY-4), 3 years Cardiothoracic Surgery (PGY-5 – PGY-7)

This pathway offers a joint General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery opportunity where residents will have comprehensive exposure to both disciplines.  Upon completion, residents will be eligible for certification through the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.  Below is a sample rotation schedule over the 7 years.

Rotation Months
Year 1
General Surgery 12
Year 2
General Surgery 11
Pediatric Surgery 1
Year 3
Cardiac Surgery 1
General Surgery 10
Thoracic Surgery 1
Year 4
Vascular Surgery 6
General Surgery 6
Year 5
General Surgery 10
Thoracic Surgery 2
Year 6
Cardiac Surgery 4-6
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery 2
Thoracic Surgery 4-6
Year 7
Cardiac Surgery 6
Thoracic Surgery 6

Integrated 5 + 2 Pathway – 5 years Vascular Surgery (PGY-1 – PGY-5), 2 years Cardiothoracic Surgery (PGY-6 – PGY-7)

This innovative approach to surgical training is a groundbreaking educational experience that is not offered anywhere else in the country.  We have built a curriculum that leads to eligibility for certification through the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery in Vascular Surgery.  Below is a sample rotation schedule over the 7 years.

Rotation Months
Year 1
Anesthesia 1
Cardiac Surgery 2
General Surgery 6
Thoracic Surgery 1
Vascular Surgery 2
Year 2
General Surgery 7
Transplant 2
Vascular Surgery 3
Year 3
Endovascular Surgery 2
General Surgery 4
Vascular Surgery 6
Year 4
Vascular Surgery 12
Year 5
Vascular Surgery 12
Year 6
Cardiac Surgery 4-6
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery 2
Thoracic Surgery 4-6
Year 7
Cardiac Surgery 6
Thoracic Surgery 6

Back to top


Didactics

The Thoracic Surgery Program is committed to providing an outstanding didactic curriculum to complement clinical teaching. Tuesday mornings are designated as protected time for the weekly academic conference schedule.  All members of the cardiac and thoracic surgery staff are full participants in the educational schedule.  Below is a listing of educational activities that are provided:

  • Cardiothoracic Teaching Conferences
    Topics are presented by a resident with the faculty leading a discussion of relevant cases and scenarios as they might be used in the ABTS board exam. Residents are assigned weekly readings in the topic to be presented and take a written pre-test prior on this material prior to the lecture.
  • Multi-disciplinary Conferences
    Residents and attending physicians present and lead discussions on recent cases.  Specialties involved in the conference include Gastroenterology, Surgical Oncology, Pulmonary, and Thoracic Surgery.
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery M & M Conferences
    Residents and faculty present assigned cases in a roundtable, discussion format in this monthly conference.
  • Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Journal Club
    Residents discuss cardiac surgery and thoracic surgery topics in a monthly rotation of topics.
  • Career Development Conferences
    A new set of lectures has been incorporated into the annual conference schedule.  Important topics covered include, but are not limited to, Quality & Patient Safety, Physician Wellbeing, Medical Depositions, Malpractice Insurance, Credentialing, and Billing & Coding.
  • Surgical Grand Rounds
    The Department of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery sponsors three visiting professors each year to present at Surgical Grand Rounds.  In addition, department faculty also regularly present on topics in their sub-specialties.
  • Department Academic Meeting
    Residents, faculty and administrators meet quarterly to learn about and discuss issues related to training programs, new hospital and department initiatives and accomplishments, reports on quality assurance processes, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and administrative / healthcare concerns.
  • "Wet" Lab
    A special feature of our program is the “Wet” Lab held four times each year in the Center for Surgical Arts at Allegheny General Hospital.  Residents practice suturing and other procedures on pig hearts, valves, and cadavers.

Back to top


Training Facilities

Allegheny General Hospital 

Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), located on Pittsburgh’s north side, is a national leader in cardiovascular, cancer, neuroscience, orthopedics, and transplants. 23 main operating rooms and integrated minimally invasive suite, 4 specialized operating rooms, and 7 Ambulatory Surgery Center operating rooms; 24-bed surgical/trauma intensive care unit, 32-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit, and 32-bed neurosurgical intensive care unit. The hospital was first in the state to open a dedicated trauma ICU and is a Level I Regional Resource Center for Trauma that annually admits more than 2,000 patients to the Division of Trauma Surgery. Our air ambulance service, LifeFlight, introduced in 1978, was the first aeromedical emergency transport system in the northeastern United States. Five LifeFlight helicopters transport more than 200 patients per month within a 150-mile radius of Pittsburgh.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

A hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is the only hospital in Southwestern Pennsylvania dedicated solely to the care of infants, children and young adults.

Back to top