Is becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon right for me?
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How to become a Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Those who want to become cardiothoracic surgeons will need to complete four years in university, four years of medical school, and then complete a five to seven year general surgery residency. This is then followed by a two or three year cardiothoracic surgery fellowship.
It is important to note that the cardiothoracic surgery fellowship certification is based on the number of surgeries performed as the operating surgeon, not the time spent in the program. This is in addition to passing rigorous board certification tests. Recently, however, many programs now offer the option for an integrated six year cardiothoracic residency (in place of the general surgery residency plus cardiothoracic residency).
Some cardiothoracic surgeons choose to do additional training in a sub-specialized area but this is optional with the exception of congenital heart surgery, which does require the completion of a one-year fellowship.