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GME > Residency Programs > Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery > About the Program                   How To Apply
About Rush University
Our two-year residency program in cardiothoracic surgery provides residents with comprehensive training in anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of cardiovascular, respiratory and upper gastrointestinal diseases. During the program, residents are expected to master the clinical diagnosis, interpretation of diagnostic tests and surgical skills necessary to treat cardiothoracic conditions.

Two residents are appointed on the first of July each year. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must complete an approved ACGME accredited general surgical residency, and are expected to be eligible for examination by the American Board of Surgery. Residents who have successfully completed their training requirements are then able to apply for examination by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Our residents rotate between three services: adult/pediatric cardiac surgery at Rush, thoracic surgery at Rush and cardiac/thoracic surgery at Stroger Cook County Hospital. On each service the cardiothoracic surgery resident serves as the chief resident in charge of the patient care experience, responsible for directing the service and delegating responsibilities for patient care and operative coverage. Interns, PAs, NPs and general surgery residents round out the complement on each of the services.

Residents are expected to communicate clearly and compassionately with families and patients, as well as develop effective working relationships with other health care professionals in a multidisciplinary environment. Often times the personal development and growth is often neglected on busy surgical services and left to attending physicians to manage. This is not the case at Rush, because we believe that effective communication is the key to exceptional outcomes and has a prominent place in our training program.

By the end of their second year of service, residents are expected to function as independent surgeons in all aspects of preoperative assessments, surgical procedures and postoperative care in adult cardiac, and general thoracic surgery including the interpretation and management of hemodynamic parameters, mechanical respiration, and potential complications.

Thoracic Resident Role In Housestaff

During the course of the Rush Thoracic Residency Program, the residents will work closely with trainees from other residency programs in Chicago, as well as with health professions students from a number of institutions. These include Northwestern, University of Chicago, Loyola, Midwestern, Rush, University of Illinois, and Rosalind Franklin Chicago Medical School. Some of the trainees and students will come under the supervision of the faculty and residents on rotations within the Thoracic program, others will be supervised during their rotations on allied services such as the Intensive Care Unit. Instruction will occur on rounds in the ICU and wards, in clinic, and in the operating room. The Thoracic resident is expected to co-ordinate the efforts of the sub-ordinate housestaff and students in a professional and educational spirit. Thoracic residents will be evaluated on their ability to educate these individuals, and their input will be requested by the faculty in their evaluations of the housestaff and students in turn. It is one of the missions of the Rush Thoracic Training Program to identify individuals of remarkable ability and attract them to our field, and the Thoracic resident is ideally placed to help accomplish this goal. Regardless of their long term career plans, all sub-ordinate housestaff and students should be taught the key elements of Thoracic Surgery that will help them engage Thoracic surgeons in their future practice.


Please contact the National Residency Matching Program's office or call them at (202) 828-0620 for registration information regarding the "Match" requirements. For consideration into our program, please apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Please note that we no longer accept paper applications as these will be returned without review.

Operated by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the ERAS website is an introduction for those who are unfamiliar with its support services. The website contains contact information and explains general specifics on completing the ERAS application. It also includes information on required fees, application timelines, and use of the "token," an alpha-numeric code utilized for the registration process.

Questions can be e-mailed to or contact the Help Desk at (202) 828-0413. The MYERAS website provides information on letters of recommendation, ECFMG Reports, USMLE, and personal goals and statements. A step-by-step guide to the application process application and guidelines, is available for successful submission of your materials. Our office is available for questions. In addition, you may contact Dr. John Calhoon, Secretary of the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSDA), for questions at (210) 698-099 or email him at

We also require that you have a minimum of three letters of recommendation, one written from your chairman of the Department of Surgery, a copy of in-service scores, ECFMG certification, when applicable, visa status, and a recent photograph. These items are mandatory for our review and its absence will constitute an incomplete folder. We will only review complete folders for consideration of an interview.

The Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery welcomes prospective applicants to submit application materials through the National Residency Matching Program. After all application materials have been submitted, we will review folders and invite selected cadidates for a series of interviews with the program director and faculty members.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Julieta Magallon
Senior Residency Coordinator
Department of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery
Rush University Medical Center
1750 W. Harrison St.
Jelke Building, seventh floor
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-6370 or (312) 942-1827
Fax: (312) 563-4388



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