Thoracic Surgery

Cardiothoracic Residency Program

Tufts Medical Center, the primary teaching hospital of the Tufts University School of Medicine, offers a two-year ACGME accredited residency in Thoracic Surgery. The program accepts one resident per year. All individuals who have completed the program have successfully passed the examination of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

The goal of the program is to produce the finest surgeon leaders of the future. The Program Director is Frederick Y. Chen, MD, PhD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery and a nationally recognized educator of surgeon leaders, and the Associate Program Director is Lawrence Brinkerhoff, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery and also a nationally recognized surgeon educator. The PD and Associate PD work closely for the benefit of resident education and are deeply committed to resident education. The faculties of both Divisions are equally as committed.

Clinical rotations may be tailored to individual resident desires and interests. Typically, clinical rotations include 12 nonconsecutive months spent at Tufts Medical Center which offers the resident exposure to approximately 1000 heart operations a year as well as 300 thoracic cases. The cardiac surgery service typically runs three rooms and the thoracic surgery service one room per day. Review of the operative experience of our recent residents has shown that case logs all exceed all requirements of the ABTS. There is also a thoracic surgery rotation with the Lahey Clinic which is located approximately 10 miles north of Boston. A congenital cardiac rotation is available at Boston Children's Hospital if desired. Other rotations might be arranged, based on interest.
The clinical experience received is designed to provide a graded responsibility with each resident functioning as Chief of the service, conducting patient rounds with a team of physician assistants, general surgical residents, and medical students from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Cardiac surgery experience

The cardiac surgery service provides exposure to all adult cardiac procedures including complex coronary artery revascularization, valve repair and replacement, arrhythmia surgery, thoracic aortic surgery, advanced heart failure procedures, cardiac transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, and minimally invasive techniques. Tufts Medical Center is a top ten in the nation heart failure and transplant center.

Thoracic surgery experience

The general thoracic surgery training is provided through a wide variety of routine and complex surgeries. This experience includes the use of minimally invasive (VATs and robotic) techniques; pulmonary, tracheal and chest wall resection; and both benign and malignant esophageal surgery.

The educational philosophy of the training program is resident focused. We ensure that each resident’s individual needs are met. Ours goals are to fulfill each resident’s professional and personal ambitions and aspirations.

As a program that accepts only one cardiothoracic resident each year, Tufts Medical Center offers an environment that is intimate and personalized, where residents and fellows are mentored to find and develop their passions in the field of medicine. This setting lets our physicians-in-training collaborate directly with our energetic, experienced and engaged full-time faculty who truly love to teach.

Our faculty and staff welcome each resident and fellow into our Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children's Hospital family. Our relationships with Tufts University, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, our clinical affiliates and our referring physician network (NEQCA) creates a huge network of faculty, employees and alumni who are eager to help trainees along the way.

The clinical program is strengthened by dedicated small group conferences and lectures. In addition we partake in the city wide mock oral exam preparation program. All efforts are made to meet each resident to provide them with the support they need to become independent accomplished cardiothoracic surgeons.

The cardiothoracic resident takes call from home for the designated service and/or institution they are assigned to during the week and every other weekend for all services and/or institutions. Although they are not required to take in-house call, they are responsible for covering emergency surgery and participating in the care of critically ill patients.

Our program is dedicated to upholding the standards set by the Residency Review Committee and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education with regards to resident work hours.

Trainees are permitted three weeks of vacation per year. Each resident will also attend one national meeting per year at the Division's expense. The Division will also support additional meeting attendance for abstract or research presentations. Participation in clinical research projects is highly encouraged, but not mandatory. Remuneration is at the standard level for 6th and 7th post-graduate years in this institution.

The faculty consists of cardiac surgeons and general thoracic surgeons at Tufts Medical Center. The faculty is dedicated to the teaching and training of residents in order to graduate outstanding technical surgeons as well as compassionate physicians with excellent skills in patient care. All of the faculty participate in the teaching, evaluation, and professional development of the residents.

Laurence Brinckerhoff, MD
Chief, Thoracic Surgery; Associate Program Director; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Specialties: Thoracic surgical oncology, minimally invasive surgery, clinical trials, tumor immunology

Frederick Y. Chen, MD, PhD
Chief, Cardiac Surgery; Program Director; Professor of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine
Specialties: Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) 

Gregory Couper, MD
Surgical Director, Advanced Heart Failure Program; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Specialties: General cardiac/thoracic surgery

Masashi Kawabori, MD
Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Specialties: Heart transplantation, mechanic circulatory support, adult general cardiac surgery

Antonio D. Lasaletta, MD
Thoracic Surgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Specialties: General thoracic and foregut surgery, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, surgical robotics

Hassan Rastegar, MD
Senior Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Specialties: Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, surgical repair of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices

Dustin Walters, MD
Thoracic Surgeon: Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Specialties: Thoracic surgery 

Yong Zhan, MD
Co-Director, Aortic Disease Program; Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine 
Specialties: Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, aortic aneurysm and dissection surgery, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices

We welcome your interest in the Thoracic Surgery Residency at Tufts Medical Center. There has never been a better time to enter this unique and challenging specialty.

If you have general or specific questions about the program, please feel free to e-mail the Program Director, Dr. Fredrick Chen. To apply please access the universal application through ERAS. Contact Annette Cerulli by e-mail or phone, 617-636-5891, for additional pre-application information.