About the Program

Thoracic Surgery Fellowship

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery offers a two-year thoracic surgery fellowship program that is accredited by the ACGME. During the two-year program, fellows will rotate full time at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, and the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital to provide trainees with an in-depth experience of cardiothoracic care.

The objective of our two-year fellowship is to train outstanding clinicians in the field of Cardiothoracic Surgery encompassing the full spectrum of CT surgery. We train our fellows in minimally invasive techniques for CT surgery, heart and lung transplants, and instill interest in scientific investigations. We are passionate about helping trainees achieve their career goals, whether those be private practice or an academic career.

During your time as a fellow at Iowa, you will have flexibility with your rotation experience depending on your individual interest. Fellows will assume administrative responsibilities during their training to provide experience in managing busy clinical services.

Upon graduation, residents are eligible for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) qualifying and certifying exams setting them up for successful careers in academic or private practice settings.


Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Conference Schedule:

7 AM – Cardiothoracic Resident Conference

7 AM – Thoracic Tumor Board
7:15 AM – Adult Cardiac High-Risk Conference

7AM - Cardiothoracic Grand Rounds(2nd Wednesday of the month)
7AM - Supplemental Education Conference (4th Wednesday of the month)

7:15AM - Cardiothoracic/Cardiology Conference

7 AM – Adult Cardiac Team ICU Rounds
1 PM - Surgical Skills Lab


Fellows will have the opportunity to attend annual conferences:

  • TSDA (Thoracic Surgery Directors Association) Boot Camp (for first year fellows)
  • AATS (American Association for Thoracic Surgery)
  • STS (Society of Thoracic Surgeons)

Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend other conferences if they have been accepted to present and have received departmental approval.


Research in the department of cardiothoracic surgery is diverse and robust and an integral part of our mission at Iowa. Research opportunities in adult cardiac, general thoracic, and pediatric cardiac surgery include outcomes research, clinical trials, quality improvement initiatives, education, case reports, and basic science. While not required, we actively support and encourage our fellows to identify projects of interest and work to submit their research to national meetings and for publication.

Typical Schedule

Fellows will spend their training at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital

A sample training program is listed below. Schedules may vary by individuals’ interest in either cardiac or thoracic surgery. This schedule is only an example: there may be variations throughout each year.

Year 1
Block Number of Blocks
Adult Cardiac Surgery 6
General Thoracic Surgery 4
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery                               3


Year 2
Block Number of Blocks
Adult Cardiac Surgery 4
General Thoracic Surgery 7
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery                                2