Fellows are assigned to one of the two general thoracic surgery services and participates in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care of patients with thoracic surgical diseases. Each fellow is expected to be involved with the care of patients and is an integral part of the team. Fellows will work closely with nursing, physician assistants and staff surgeons in the course of their training. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in complex thoracic surgical cases. The degree of responsibility and independence in the operating room is graduated, increasing with level of technical ability.
Fellows are assigned to a service for a 3-month block of time. The in-house call is currently one in 5 or 6 nights.
Didactic training includes the fellow's conferences. There is a case presentation conference each week where a patient is presented and fellows are asked to guide the diagnosis and management of the problem. It includes analyzing radiographic exams, labs and other studies. Another conference is designed to study a particular topic in more depth. This is done thru either journal article reviews or question and answer lectures.
Fellows in the advanced General Thoracic Surgery Fellowship have the opportunity to fully participate in all educational activities of the division, which include education conferences; and preparation and presentation of clinical research projects at regional, national and international surgical meetings.
Clinical research during the year is recommended. Most fellows have several manuscripts accepted for publication during their one-year fellowship.
The fellow is expected to take in hospital call during this period of time. Call is currently every fifth or sixth weekday night in-house and every other weekend on call from home.
All fellows are expected to help train more junior staff. This may occur on the hospital wards or in the operating room. All such teaching is supervised by the staff surgeons.
Formal conferences in general thoracic surgery problems are scheduled several times each week. Fellows may also be able to attend seminars and lectures in general surgery and cardiac surgery.
To ensure you gain proficiency and develop the corresponding technical skills, your performance is monitored throughout this program. You are formally evaluated by your supervising faculty member following the completion of each clinical rotation. The program director reviews these evaluations and assigns a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade. In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty to ensure your educational goals are being met.