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Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program

UC San Diego's Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Residency program is designed to train leaders in CT surgery. Our program is directed by Dr. Patricia Thistlethwaite under the leadership of our Chief, Dr. Michael Madani who is an internationally recognized leader in cardiothoracic surgery. The faculty has extensive experience in all aspects of the specialty, including valvular repair, cardiothoracic transplantation, pulmonary thromboendarterectomy and minimally invasive cardiac surgery. The cardiothoracic transplantation program, established in 1989, includes heart, combined heart-lung, single lung and double lung transplantation. We have the busiest lung transplantation program west of the Mississippi, and the most successful in the world.

Program details:

  • Fully accredited by ACGME
  • Weekly conferences on adult and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery
  • Two years of training (opportunity of 3rd yr for specialty training or research)
  • Weekly residents' education conference
  • One resident per year
  • Equal time at UC San Diego Medical Center and La Jolla VA
  • Selection occurs 12 months prior to commencement

Equal periods of time are spent at the UC San Diego Medical Center, and at the La Jolla VA Medical Center. At each hospital, the cardiothoracic resident assumes chief resident responsibility, supervising general surgery residents in pre-operative and post-operative care. Over the two years of training, the cardiothoracic surgery residents achieve increasing levels of surgical experience and independence. In addition to carefully structured clinical time, weekly conferences are held in adult and pediatric cardiac surgery, pulmonary surgery, and transplantation. There is a weekly session specifically devoted to resident education and review of the thoracic surgery curriculum. The members of our faculty have a strong commitment to teaching and are dedicated to maintaining an excellent training program.

If you are interested in knowing more about our graduate medical education program, please go to our Graduate Medical Education Home Page at

Applying to Our Program

You will need to submit:

  • Universal application NMRP
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Dean's letter from your medical school

For more information, please contact:

Residency Administrator
9500 Gilman Dr. #7892
La Jolla, CA 92093-7892

Phone: (858) 657-7777
Fax: (858) 657-5058