The Thoracic Surgery Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) offers an ACGME-accredited two-year thoracic-track cardiothoracic residency program. This program was established by Dr. Robert Ginsberg in 1990 with the mission of training future leaders in thoracic surgery and was one of the first programs in the country to provide a focus on general thoracic surgery. This legacy continues today under the leadership of Dr. David Jones, Chief of Service, and Dr. James Huang, Program Director. The residency includes broad exposure to diseases of the chest, including pulmonary, esophageal, mediastinal, pleural, pericardial, and chest wall pathologies, along with a robust experience in cardiac surgery, including coronary, valvular, aortic, and transcatheter procedures through rotations at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical College (NYPH/WCMC). With the volume and breadth of operative cases, the dedication to teaching, and the structured didactic components, this program offers the trainee an intense and unparalleled experience in thoracic surgery. Applicants should have completed general surgery training by the time of matriculation and should be board-eligible or board certified by the American Board of Surgery.
Our internationally renowned faculty comprises twelve thoracic surgeons at MSKCC and twenty-two cardiothoracic surgeons at NYPH/WCMC, whose strong belief in the importance of mentorship and teaching serves as the foundation for our training program. Trainees enjoy a broad exposure to a variety of both malignant and benign pathologies. Minimally invasive approaches including VATS, robotic, and advanced endoscopic techniques are equally emphasized alongside complex open surgical approaches. Experience in the clinic is integral to the resident’s training as well and includes an in-depth opportunity to evaluate patients who are being considered for surgical management. A highly structured didactic program complements an extensive operative experience that is second to none, and residents have ample opportunity to pursue clinical research and academic scholarship.
The thoracic resident spends 15 months on thoracic rotations and nine months on cardiac rotations. During their time at MSK, the thoracic-track individual has the option to pursue a two- or three-month elective at another ACGME-accredited institution of their choice to complement their experience. The thoracic resident is entrusted with full administrative oversight and responsibility for the service.
Thoracic residents complement their large operative experience with a structured didactic program that consists of several lectures and teaching conferences weekly that are all faculty-run. The academic year begins with the fundamentals of thoracic surgical techniques and patient management. A weekly didactic lecture based on the TSDA Thoracic Surgical Curriculum is given by the faculty, drawing from the expertise present across the various specialties, and a regular case conference discussion serves to follow-up and consolidate the knowledge gained from the lecture. Additional conferences including Journal Club, Cath Conference, Esophageal Conference, Tumor Board, and Morbidity and Mortality provide ample opportunities to deeply explore a topic. The availability of a robotic simulator as well as a simulation lab provide resources for practice and technical training outside of the OR.
Training in clinical research is essential to the development of the academic thoracic surgeon. The academic year begins with a lecture series on Clinical Research Methods and continues with monthly journal clubs, during which key articles are critiqued and reviewed and the study methods analyzed, and research conferences where residents can present ongoing work.
Research interests and opportunities are discussed at the beginning of the residency, and the resident should plan to complete at least one or two research projects during each year, mentored by a faculty member, with expectations for presentation at a national meeting and subsequent publication. Support is available for meeting travel to present accepted abstracts.
Benefits and Environment
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan—a vibrant community with many amenities and attractions nearby, including numerous restaurants, museums, and shops. Central Park and Riverside Park offer beautiful outdoor escapes, and there are many activities for families and children. Several schools are in the vicinity.
Salary and benefits are provided to all residents according to level of training (number of postgraduate years). Thoracic residents are provided a generous benefits package and assistance with finding housing. For more information, please refer to Resident Housing and Benefits.
February 1, 2019
Length of Program
Applicants must have completed their residency training in general surgery and have attained qualification to sit for the American Board of Surgery examination. Foreign medical graduates with equivalent qualifications are also eligible to apply if they hold a valid ECFMG certificate.
Number of Positions
The program accepts two thoracic residents each year through the NRMP Match (NRMP code: 1466460F0)
How to Apply
Applications are to be submitted via ERAS directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering program. We require the ERAS application, a personal statement, at least 3 letters of recommendation (but no more than the ERAS maximum), USMLE scores, ABSITE scores and a headshot photo. Interviews for selected candidates will be held in April.