The clinical experience is central to learning to practice cardiothoracic surgery. A solid command of the pathophysiology of cardiothoracic disease processes and the mechanisms behind their treatments will be critical in providing optimal care. In order to help develop the fund of knowledge required to understand disease processes, formulate optimal treatment strategies, and make appropriate clinical decisions, we have implemented a defined didactic curriculum as a complement to the clinical experience of the residents.

This curriculum, which is based upon the Society of Thoracic Surgery Curriculum, is an 88 week program that covers topics in adult cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, and congenital cardiovascular disease. Assignments are composed of book chapters, journal articles, videos, and other media. Quizzes are available for review and assessment of knowledge. Every week, the material from each assignment is reviewed with faculty. Journal clubs, wet labs, and lectures regularly supplement the defined curriculum.