Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery Didactics|Loyola Medicine

Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery Residency Didactics

Monday Morning TSDA Curriculum Conference

Every Monday morning after ICU rounds, all residents on rotation at Loyola and the Hines VA gather to review the weekly readings from the TSDA Curriculum Moodle Web-brain with a faculty member.  The faculty member has reviewed the readings and visual material as well, and leads an interactive discussion that emphasizes elements vital to clinical practice, and relevant for the written Thoracic boards.  The two-year version of the curriculum covers the full spectrum of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Congenital Cardiothoracic disease, as well as advanced topics in Critical Care.

Simulation Lab

Once every other month, the Monday morning session is devoted to a two hour simulation lab using porcine tissues in the Stritch School of Medicine Center for Simulation in Education.  The thoracic residents, and general surgery residents rotating on our services perform such procedures as aortic root enlargements, complex mitral repairs, and anatomic pulmonary resections, led by a faculty member.  These sessions alternate with a coronary anastomosis workshop. The porcine model allow a stress free examination of all relevant anatomic relationships as well as the ability to speed mastery of technique.

Residents in simulation lab

Residents in simulation lab

Residents in simulation lab

Wednesday Morning Conference

Wednesday morning conference rotates regularly between the following formats:

Mortality and Morbidity

Held the first week of every month, cardiovascular and thoracic outcomes are discussed by faculty and residents, reviewing diagnostic and therapeutic decision making as well as the relevant literature.

Journal Club

Over the course of a month, each resident selects a recent peer-reviewed publication for discussion.  The selection process takes into consideration the degree to which the publication changes understanding and treatment of a disease relevant to cardiothoracic practice, and the validity of the paper's experimental design and methods.

Congenital Heart Practical

Preserved autopsy specimens of typical congenital malformations are reviewed in a 'hands-on' fashion with Dr. Saroja Bharati, co-author with Drs. Lev and Kirklin of the classic textbook, Cardiac Surgery and the Conduction System.  The specimens often include unsuccessful attempts at correction, yielding valuable insights into technical pitfalls of repair techniques.

Clinical Case Conference

Using a format designed to prepare residents for oral boards, one resident presents a case to another resident who is unfamiliar with the patient.  The presentation of the history and physical prompts the on-the-spot resident to propose a workup, and the resident is then required to 'cold read' imaging studies, and come up with a differential diagnosis and treatment plan.  The actual treatment plan, and intra-operative images are then reviewed and compared to the resident plan.  The assembled faculty provide constructive criticism of the resident's decision-making process.


Faculty from our own and other Departments of the Medical Center, as well as distinguished visiting professors from other institutions present their insights and research results.

Residents in didactic session