Cardiothoracic surgery residency training: Past, present, and future

Ara Asadur Vaporciyan, Stephen C. Yang, Craig J. Baker, James I. Fann, Edward D. Verrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A dramatic transformation of cardiothoracic surgical education has evolved over the past few decades. Methods: We begin by presenting recognized catalysts of this change, organized by whom they primarily affect: the trainees, the trainers, and the profession as a whole. Our trainees' prior training is different, and their current demographics and priorities have changed. There is less incentive to teach, with time-honored traditions of education inadequate to meet the needs of trainees. Concurrently, our profession has to adjust to new regulations, increasing financial constraints, and an expanding body of knowledge and technology. To address these issues requires developing new models of education and assessment that can thrive in today's environment. We discuss efforts in the United States and abroad, including new training paradigms ranging from restructuring existing models to novel approaches (eg, competency-based training). Training tools are being developed, such as online instruction, simulation-based learning, and regular student-centered assessments. Finally, models that recognize and reward teaching as a scholarly activity are being implemented. Conclusions: Like the radical advances we have witnessed in surgical therapy, surgical education requires creative and perhaps disruptive changes if we are to continue to produce well-trained additions to our professional ranks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-767
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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