The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is dedicated to educating the next generation of cardiac and thoracic surgeons, having trained more than six residents over the past 6 years through its Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program.

This dedication to the future of CT surgery and commitment to educating trainees has culminated in a program whose success can be measured by the caliber of its graduates. Our Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency prepares residents to become outstanding cardiothoracic surgeons who are equipped not only to obtain American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) certification, but also to become leaders within both academic and community settings.

Residents completing the program should reach a competency level of 4, as defined by the Thoracic Surgery Milestone Project, which includes six competency levels of training: Patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and development, systems-based practice, professionalism and interpersonal skills and communications.

The UAB Cardiothoracic Surgery Program includes exposure to advanced techniques, such as robotic surgery, ECMO/VAD/heart/lung transplantation, and transcatheter aortic valve and mitral valve procedures. To a certain degree, residents may also be able to customize part of their training within the structure of the program according to their respective career goals.

Pathways

The UAB Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency provides two pathways for training:

  • Traditional two-year pathway (following completed general surgery residency):
    • Match into two-year program via the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)
  • Integrated 4/3 pathway:

Curriculum

The typical curriculum for a UAB cardiothoracic surgery resident depends on their chosen pathway, as well as whether the resident is a cardiac-track or thoracic-track resident within the program. ABTS case requirements differ depending on which track a resident takes. For integrated residents, elective time is offered, which allows time for residents on the cardiac track to learn techniques in cardiac catheterization and echocardiography, while residents in the thoracic track are given time to learn techniques in interventional pulmonology.

Other features of our residency program include weekly didactic cardiac conferences, weekly didactic thoracic conferences, monthly morbidity and mortality sessions, monthly simulator/wet lab sessions, funded opportunities to attend national/regional meetings, support for selected “away” rotations and mock oral boards.


Cardiac Track:

Traditional Pathway

PGY6

  • 3 months thoracic
  • 3 months cardiac
  • 3 months VA (cardiothoracic)
  • 3 months congenital
Traditional Pathway

PGY7

  • 3 months thoracic
  • 9 months cardiac

4/3 Pathway

PGY4

  • 3 months VA (cardiothoracic)
  • 3 months cardiac elective/cardiothoracic ICU (plus 6 months general surgery)
4/3 Pathway

PGY5

  • 3 months cardiac
  • 3 months cardiac elective/cardiothoracic ICU(plus 6 months general surgery)
4/3 Pathway

PGY6

  • 3 months thoracic
  • 3 months cardiac
  • 3 months VA (cardiothoracic)
  • 3 months congenital
4/3 Pathway

PGY7

  • 3 months thoracic
  • 9 months cardiac


Thoracic Track:

Traditional Pathway

PGY6

  • 3 months thoracic
  • 3 months cardiac
  • 3 months VA (cardiothoracic)
  • 3 months congenital
Traditional Pathway

PGY7

  • 3 months cardiac
  • 9 months thoracic

4/3 Pathway

PGY4

  • 3 months VA (cardiothoracic)
  • 3 months thoracic elective/cardiothoracic ICU (plus 6 months general surgery)
4/3 Pathway

PGY5

  • 3 months cardiac
  • 3 months thoracic elective/cardiothoracic ICU(plus 6 months general surgery)
4/3 Pathway

PGY6

  • 6 months thoracic
  • 3 months cardiac
  • 3 months congenital
4/3 Pathway

PGY7

  • 3 months cardiac
  • 9 months thoracic

Research Opportunities

Participation in clinical research is considered part of cardiothoracic surgery training at UAB Hospital and Children’s of Alabama. Every clinical and research faculty member in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is available to mentor medical students and residents who wish to perform research during their period of training. Please contact David Cleveland, M.D., or James George, Ph.D., for opportunities in cardiothoracic surgery-related research.

Contact

Benjamin Wei, M.D.
Program Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency

Attn: Beth Parker, Program Coordinator
701 Zeigler Research Building
703 19th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294
Phone: (205) 996-7588
Email: ecparker@uabmc.edu

Additional Resources for Residents