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The residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at UAB is a two year intensive educational experience that begins after the resident completes an ACGME-accredited General Surgery training program. One surgeon is accepted into the UAB Cardiothoracic Residency Program every year. At the initiation of training, each resident is expected to declare to the Program Director whether a cardiac or thoracic track is preferred. The training will be tailored to ensure completion of the operative requirements according to the track chosen. The case requirements of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery may be viewed here.
The general outline for completing the residency is as follows. The first six months of training is spent as the Chief Resident on the Thoracic Surgery service. The Chief of Thoracic Surgery is Dr. Robert Cerfolio. The volume of cases is high and the resident is responsible for multiple operating rooms on a daily basis. The Thoracic Surgery resident shares responsibility with the attending staff for the training of General Surgery residents rotating on the Thoracic Surgery service. One day per week is spent in outpatient clinic activity at The Kirklin Clinic. A portion of one day per week is spent at the VA Thoracic Surgery clinic under the direction of Drs. Doug Minnich, James Davies and William Holman.
The Thoracic Surgery program at UAB has a high volume of cases including pulmonary, mediastinal, esophageal, tracheal, and chest wall operations. It is anticipated that the resident will complete all requirements for board certification in six months. However, if additional time is required to complete the requirements for thoracic track training, the extra time will be appended to the final six month experience.
During the next phase of training the resident focuses on cardiac operations as the Chief Resident of a combined adult and pediatric Cardiac Surgery service. The majority of this time is spent at University Hospital. The resident initially focuses on adult cardiac pathology including organ replacement (heart and lung transplantation; mechanical circulatory support). During the second year of training, the cardiac surgical resident also becomes the Chief Resident of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery service. These operations are performed by Drs. Kirklin and Dabal. In the intensive care unit, the resident works in collaboration with staff members in Pediatric Cardiology in caring for patients with congenial heart disease.
During cardiac surgical training, the resident spends a portion of two days per week in outpatient clinics. The remaining time is spent performing cardiac operations. The variety of cardiac pathology, both pediatric and adult, that is available at UAB and the Birmingham VAMC ensures that the requirements of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery are met and that a resident has an excellent surgical experience.
Didactic training includes conferences in Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery. The resident attends the Thoracic Surgery conference primarily during the first six months of training and the Cardiac Surgery conference during the final eighteen months of training. Other conferences (pulmonary medicine, cardiology catheterization conference, General Surgery Grand Rounds) are available to cardiothoracic surgical residents
UAB is a member of the ACGME Resident Matching Program. Applicants are referred to the matching program guidelines for regulations guiding this process. The UAB Cardiothoracic Residency Program fully adheres to all ACGME regulations and guidelines. A summary of institutional policies for Graduate Medical Education are available on the UAB School of Medicine website.
There are opportunities for research available within the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. These include clinical studies in Thoracic Surgery under the direction of Drs. Robert Cerfolio and Doug Minnich. Basic research in transplant immunology as it relates to cardiothoracic transplantation is available in the laboratory of Drs. James Kirklin and James George. Clinical research in cardiothoracic surgery and particularly in the field of mechanical circulatory support is available under the direction of Dr. James Kirklin, Dr. William Holman and Dr. David Naftel. The intensity of clinical training during the two years of Cardiothoracic Residency at UAB precludes a major commitment to research training during the residency. However focused training in research outside of the two year residency program can be arranged through the Divisional Chairman, Dr. Kirklin and the Deputy Director, Dr. David McGiffin.
Previous residents who have completed the Cardiothoracic Residency Program have obtained positions at the University of Iowa, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Chicago, St. Louis University, Boston University, University of Texas at Galveston, University of Washington at Seattle, Georgetown University, Tulane University, and The Cleveland Clinic, while others are in private practice in various cities throughout the United States
Inquiries regarding the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program should be submitted to:
Cardiothoracic Surgery Division Director: James K. Kirklin, M.D.
Cardiothoracic Residency Program Director: William L. Holman, M.D.
For more information please contact:
Zeigler Research Building 719
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0007
Phone: (205) 934-3853