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Message from the Program Director

Our program at the University of Wisconsin is designed to prepare residents for clinical practice. The broad case range offers experience in a wide variety of operative procedures; the remarkable thoracic volume prepares residents for mixed cardiac and thoracic clinical practices; the transplant and ventricular assist programs and the academic opportunities make our graduates competitive in the academic market as well.

We understand that professional opportunities and individual career choices are different. This necessitates that our training program offer opportunities to learn skills needed for private or academic practice and thoracic or cardiac career opportunities. Additionally, we recognize that candidate selection is often based on the uniqueness of the applicant. The heart and lung transplant, assist device, VATS thoracic surgery programs, mitral valve repair and atrial fibrillation surgery, etc. provide our residents with a strong background in new technology and unique clinical skills which make our residents more appealing to prospective partners.

Our program at the University of Wisconsin performs a large variety of cardiac and thoracic procedures. We have an active heart and lung transplant program that performs 50 transplant procedures a year. The assist device program performs 10 to12 VADs annually and is increasing with both our approval as a center for destination therapy and as an implantation center for new LVAD technology. Unlike many cardiac programs that perform mostly coronary artery revascularizations, over 65 percent of our cardiac case volume is non-coronary artery procedures, including mitral valve repair, LV remodeling surgeries, multi-valve procedures, etc. We feel that this provides the residents with experience in a wide variety of complex and relatively unique procedural skills for their careers.

The Thoracic Surgery Program at the University of Wisconsin is one of the hidden jewels of the training program. Our residents perform many VATS procedures, including esophagectomies, and have extensive exposure to a wide and large number of thoracic procedures. Our case variety and volume has attracted applicants interested in thoracic surgery careers. We feel the extensive thoracic surgical experience prepares our residents for the potential changes in the discipline.

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Program at the University of Wisconsin has an active research laboratory and a full-time performing bench research, and we encourage residents to participate in research endeavors. We strongly encourage clinical research both to appreciate how to critically evaluate the medical literature as well as to ensure that our graduates are competitive in the academic marketplace. We work hard to expose our residents to leadership opportunities, and the program is designed to foster growth in leadership and organizational skills.

Madison, Wisconsin, is wonderful place to live; housing is affordable and the dining, cultural and outdoor activities abound. It rates as one of the most livable cities in United States. For those with young families, Madison is a terrific place to raise children.

Good luck with your application process.
Shahab Akhter, MD
Professor of Surgery,
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Akhter_Shahab_ForWeb
Shahab Akhter, MD
Professor of Surgery,
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery


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