Thoracic Surgery Fellowship

The Thoracic Surgery Fellowship at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is a two-year fellowship open to all U.S. or Canadian board eligible general or vascular surgeons. One fellow is accepted per year. The program allows for comprehensive training in adult cardiac, adult thoracic and congenital heart surgery at three adjacent facilities. UH Cleveland Medical Center is a 1,000 bed hospital located at University Circle and includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. The Cleveland VA Hospital is one half mile away and allows for advanced independent training for a portion of the second year of fellowship.

The program has high volumes in both adult cardiac (including heart failure and transplantation and transcatheter valve replacement) and general thoracic (including a large volume of VATS, robotic, and advanced bronchoscopic procedures), as well as solid training in congenital heart surgery.


The caseload at UH Cleveland Medical Center for the last calendar year was as follows:

Cardiac Surgery
Procedure Cases
Acquired Valvular Cases 371
TAVR 251
Myocardial Revascularization 262
Aortic Procedures 92
Arrhythmia Procedures 56
VAD 21
Heart Transplant 13
Total Major Cases, excluding TAVR 815

Thoracic Surgery
Procedure Cases
Anatomic Lung Resections 117
Pleural Procedures 91
Esophagectomy 33
Major Esophagus 57
Lung Transplant 8
Total Thoracic Cases 896


The first year consists of six months on the thoracic service and six months on the cardiac service. At the end of the first year, the fellow may choose whether to focus on cardiac or thoracic surgery. The thoracic track fellow would spend the second year on the thoracic service, with a short rotation at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, while the cardiac track fellow would spend the entire year on the cardiac service, split between UH Rainbow, UH Cleveland Medical Center and the VA hospital.

Ample opportunity exists for clinical research. Funding and time is available for travel to the annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) meetings.

Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program Aims

  • The educational mission of our Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program is to train surgeons who are Board eligible for the American Board of Surgery to function as thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons at the highest level of performance expected of a certified specialist.
  • To train residents as leaders in the following minimally invasive fields in which our medical center excels, including:
    • Transcatheter valve replacement
    • VATS lung resection
    • Curative therapy of high-risk lung cancer patients, including those in the very elderly and in those patients with severe COPD.
    • Advanced bronchoscopic diagnostic and intervention techniques
    • Ablative therapies for lung cancer
    • Surgical treatment of heart failure
    • Advanced experience in reoperative coronary surgery
  • To provide a balanced training experience including training in congenital heart surgery, adult cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery and oncology, esophageal surgery, endoscopic techniques and transcatheter technologies
  • To provide a foundation for clinical investigation
  • To provide a training experience balanced in outpatient and inpatient experience, comprehensive in preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative training
  • To train a complete cardiothoracic surgeon, aware of societal and economic factors, cognizant of patient and family wishes and needs, who is able to meld his broad training in medical diseases with excellent surgical skill in order to deliver optimal, efficient and durable care
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