A cardiothoracic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in surgical procedures of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. This includes surgeons who can be called cardiac surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, general thoracic surgeons, and congenital heart surgeons. Following your general surgery residency, you will be able to pursue further specialization in thoracic or cardiothoracic surgery. Thoracic surgery residencies are very difficult to match into, with only 36 spots offered in 28 programs. Of the 72 US seniors who applied, fewer than half matched into a position. Here are the best medical schools for surgery, including thoracic surgery residency matches.
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The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine class of 2022 welcomed 162 matriculants from almost 7,000 applications. UPSOM matriculants have a median MCAT score of 516 and a mean GPA of 3.78. In the 2018 residency match, 9 UPSOM students went into general surgery residency programs, with several others choosing sub-specialties. The Surgery and Perioperative Care Clerkship in students’ third year is a 6-week clerkship which covers the discipline of general surgery.
The University of Washington School of Medicine received $638.8 million in NIH grants in fiscal 2016 and is second to Harvard University, a private institution, in the amount of federal funding. With its larger class size of 270 entering MDs and a median MCAT score of 510, UW School of Medicine received more than 9,000 applications, including more than 1,000 from the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho—a region the school prioritizes for admission. In the latest 2018 match results, 19 UW students chose to specialize in general surgery or match into surgery-preliminary residencies.
Third-year medical students at BUMC are offered a Thoracic Surgery Rotation. Duties include operating room, clinic, and rounds. Students learn diagnosis and surgical management of esophageal, mediastinal and pulmonary disease. BUMC saw one of its seniors match into a coveted thoracic surgery residency in 2018. A highly competitive program, BUMC has 172 seats open every year, with incoming median MCAT score and GPA at 518 and 3.83.
Almost a third of Albert Einstein medical students came in as non-science majors. The Bronx, New York based school welcomed a class of 183 with a median GPA of 3.83 and a median MCAT score of 515. In 2018, one Albert Einstein senior matched into a thoracic surgery residency.
The third-year medical student surgery clerkship at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor gives students the surgical knowledge and clinical skills they’ll need as physicians, regardless of their ultimate choice in specialties. Medical students rotate on many services, including endocrine surgery, plastic surgery, trauma and burn surgery, surgical oncology, and more.
With median GPA and MCAT score of 3.88 and 518, Michigan had 18 of its students match into general surgery or surgery-preliminary residency programs. Additionally, the Department of Surgery offers clinical electives and programs that prepare fourth-year medical students as they apply for residency. These opportunities build surgical expertise and leadership skills.
Consistently at the top of any best-of lists, Harvard Medical School’s class welcomes almost a quarter of its incoming class of 165 students from communities underrepresented in medicine. Nearly 60% of the entering class of 2018 is made up of women. As a top MD program, HMS is selective, with a median matriculant GPA of 3.92 and a median MCAT score of 519. Of all 2018 match participants, 16 chose surgery residencies, with 7 going into general surgery. You can expect to choose from a myriad surgery electives as a student, from transplantation surgery to plastic and reconstructive surgery.
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During your clerkship year at NYU, two four-week blocks are dedicated to selective and elective rotations, which allow you to customize your education based on your professional interests. Selective and elective areas of study include radiology, as well as geriatric and palliative care, healthcare policy, global health, and more. The 2018 match saw 1 NYU senior head into a thoracic surgery residency. NYU’s class of 118 students has some of the strongest median GPAs and MCAT scores around 3.92 and 521. NYU School of Medicine offers full-tuition scholarships to all current students and future matriculated students in the MD degree program, regardless of merit or financial need, provided they maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Match Day 2019 saw one student get accepted into a thoracic surgery residency, with more than a dozen other future MDs matching into various surgery residencies. Students in the MD programs at the Duke University School of Medicine study in the Durham, North Carolina research triangle. With a median MCAT score of 519, about the 98th percentile, the MD program attracts pre-meds from almost 40 states.
UCSF’s medical school 2018 match results included 15 matches into various surgical residencies, nine of which were into surgery and surgery-preliminary and one of whom went into thoracic surgery. With the median GPA and MCAT scores sitting at 3.85 and 517, UCSF received more than 7,700 applications for 149 seats. Most matriculants come from California residents and a significant percentage of the student body is made up of students underrepresented in medicine. As part of the surgery core clerkship program, students work both in the inpatient service and the outpatient clinic and follow-up on patients when they are admitted to the surgical service. Students take calls once a week and participate in team rounds, in clinics, and in the operating room. Students also do work-ups on patients who present with acute surgical illness.
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The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA received more than 11,000 applications for 175 spots in 2017, making it one of the most coveted medical schools in the country. Accepted students had a median MCAT score of 517, meaning you’ll need to be well in the 90th percentile band to be a competitive candidate. In 2018, 14 DGSOM students matched into general surgery residency programs and two matched into thoracic surgery residencies. The 12-week surgery clerkship in the third year is designed to provide students with a balanced, multidisciplinary perspective of the surgical sciences. The objectives include appreciating strengths of a sampling of surgical subspecialties and functioning as a member of the surgical team.
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