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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.

Each year, two residents are appointed on July 1. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must complete an approved general surgical residency, and are expected to be eligible for examination by the American Board of Surgery. Residents in this program 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. 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 as 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, 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.



Please contact the National Residency Matching Program's office or call them at (202) 828-0620 for registration information regarding the "Match" requirements. Additionally, please be advised that our program is no longer accepting paper applications. You are required to apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to be considered. All paper applications will be returned without review.

The website is an introduction for those who are unfamiliar with ERAS. It explains general information on how to request certain items that are required for the completion of the ERAS Application. It includes information on required fees, how to request a token that is needed to access an ERAS application and contact information for ERAS which is operated by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Any questions can be e-mailed to or you may also contact the Help Desk at (202) 828-0413. This website also includes information on letters of recommendation, ECFMG Reports, USMLE, and personal goals and statements. After reviewing and understanding the process of submitting an ERAS application, one can access the application and guidelines, which will provide you with a step-by-step process to assist in a successful submission of your application. Our program hopes this process will be easier and more helpful to you. We are always available for any questions you might have or you can contact Dr. Calhoon, the secretary of the TSDA, for questions at (210) 698-0999 or email him at

We also require that you have a minimum of three letters of recommendation, one being from your chairman of the Department of Surgery, copy of in-service scores, ECFMG certification, when applicable, visa status and a recent photograph. Please do not forget to include a recent photo or any of the above needed items in your application, these are mandatory items for our department and its absence will constitute an incomplete folder.

We will only review candidates' folders for consideration of an interview when folders are complete. If an interview is granted, we will contact you to make arrangements.

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 applicants for an individual interview with Michael Liptay, MD, and members of the faculty and staff.

We look forward to receiving your application.

Sandra L. Schneller, MA
Senior Residency Coordinator
Department of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery
Rush University Medical Center
1653 West Congress Parkway
Suite 714, Jelke
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-6370
Fax: (312) 942-6052



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