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Is masters/PhD basically required in residency for cardiac surgery?

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34 minutes ago, Edict said:

If you complete a canadian cardiac surgery residency you can complete a 2 year CT fellowship in the states and be BC/BE in the US. Only reason to do it imo is if you changed your mind and wanted to do general thoracic. The same path in Canada would require a 3 year fellowship with 1 yr of general surgery included. 


I said the same thing earlier in this thread.

And I think a Thoracic fellowship after a Cardiac residency in Canada would only require two years if you used your enrichment year for the General Surgery during the Cardiac surgery residency. It could probably be done in less than 8 years since 6 months of senior Thoracic rotation during Cardiac residency would count towards Thoracic training. No need to do the Cardiac portion of a Thoracic fellowship either. In fact, one of the two surgeons I know who did this took 7 years to get board certified in both. It was before competency based residency as well.

Don't know why you'd do it unless you really loved Thoracic procedures or hated Cardiac's lifestyle.

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  • 1 month later...

Late to this discussion:

I'm a cardiac surgery resident.

My two cents:

Do you need a Masters or PhD? Not necessarily. There are people in Canada getting jobs without a Masters or PhD. However, these jobs may not be the jobs that you want, in the place that you want. An academic centre will favour someone who is going to do research or has an advanced degree but it isn't always a must. Don't do a  PhD unless you truly love research and want to make it part of your career. 


Job market? Despite the posts in this thread saying it is bleak - that is very much not the case. There are currently many academic centres in Canada hiring at this very moment and a large part of the workforce is going to hit retirement soon. Many jobs are not posted, people are identified through the grapevine and via networking and invited to apply for a position. Transcatheter taking over you say? Yes, to an extent, but not as much one would think. CABG isn't going anywhere. Long term TAVI data? We don't have that yet, and even then, not everybody can have a TAVI. More importantly, are surgeons involved in transcatheter valve? Heck yes. If you want to guarantee a job in cardiac surgery, do a structural fellowship - golden ticket right there. 


Job marketability? - You need to have a value add. That could simply be having done fellowship training in a niche that a centre is looking to fill. That could mean big research plans and funding for your institution. This is where a research degree might fall in. 


Residency grind? You betcha. It's not a walk in the park, but if you truly love the specialty, it'll be worth, and it is truly a rewarding field. Is 9 years a long time to train having added a grad degree and/or fellowship(s)? Sure, but some cardiology folks spend equal or longer than that in training. As I deliberated over how and where and when to do fellowship, a mentor asked how much difference one year could make in the grand scheme of things? That's a personal question for each individual, but I'd say one extra year investment won't be a deal breaker to most people considering what you might gain from that extra year in terms of skills, credibility, and job prospects. 


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