In addition to the clinical training, resident conferences provide a systematic and thorough review of all topics relevant to adult and pediatric cardiac and thoracic surgery. The conferences are designed to cover all the requisite curriculum topics outlined by the TSDA with a particular emphasis on subjects likely to appear on the American Board of Thoracic Surgery examinations. During workdays, while in the operating room or on rounds, the residents receive excellent technical and practical training and these conferences, by allowing discussion of various topics coupled with opinions and advice from faculty moderators, will further complement the practical training.
There are four service-wide conferences which are mandatory for all residents at all levels regardless of what rotation they are on. These are Thoracic Pre-Op Case Conference, Thoracic Grand Rounds, Thoracic Morbidity and Mortality Conference, and Thoracic Core Curriculum. During the first two years, the thoracic surgery resident will also participate in the general surgery core curriculum. In addition to these mandatory conferences, there are additional conferences available while on individual rotations.
Thoracic Pre-Op Case Conference
This conference occurs every Monday and at this conference each chief resident will present all cases for his/her service for the upcoming week to all members of the Cardiothoracic Surgery team including faculty, physician extenders, junior housestaff, and medical students. Residents will be asked to briefly review the patient’s history and radiographic findings as well as the planned surgery. Cases will then be discussed in a varying amount of detail depending on the merits of the case. This conference is designed to ensure that the resident understand the decision making process involved in assessing surgical patients and arriving at the decision for surgery as well as being able to justify these decisions based on current literature and data.
Thoracic Grand Rounds
This conference occurs the first Wednesday of each month. On an alternating basis, each resident will prepare and present a 45 minute grand rounds lecture on a pertinent topic relating to the field of cardiothoracic surgery. The purpose of these grand rounds is to stimulate the resident to review the current literature and demonstrate the ability to synthesize and present this information to the faculty, physician extenders, junior housestaff, and medical students. What is learned is then placed into clinical perspective and incorporated into daily practice patterns.
Thoracic Morbidity and Mortality Conference
This conference occurs on the final three Wednesdays of each month and alternate between adult cardiac, adult thoracic, and pediatric cardiac. During this conference all complications and deaths of the previous month are presented by each resident for their respective services. Through continual attendance at these conferences, in which real clinical scenarios are discussed and critically reviewed, residents will gain knowledge to anticipate, diagnose, and treat the common and not so common complications that they may experience in their clinical practice.
Thoracic Core Curriculum
This conference occurs every Friday morning and is designed to incorporate all topics of the requisite curriculum over a 24 month period. This conference will consist of informal lecture and discussion sessions led by one of the attending faculty and is intended to help the resident build a broad knowledge base in cardiothoracic surgery which will allow continued growth throughout his/her career.
General Surgery Core Curriculum
During the first two years, the thoracic surgery resident will participate in the general surgery core curriculum. This curriculum consists of 3-4 day blocks bimonthly in which the resident is relieved of clinical duty and will attend all day sessions. These sessions will consist of didactic lectures, hand-on workshops, wet labs, and simulated nurse calls. They will cover a variety of topics focusing on the preoperative workup, intraoperative decision making, intraoperative skill set development, and postoperative management of the surgical patient.