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Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program

Tufts Medical Center, the primary teaching hospital of the Tufts University School of Medicine, offers a 2-year-accredited residency in thoracic surgery.

About this program

The Tufts Medical Center Thoracic Surgery Residency Program is an ACGME-accredited two-year training program.  The Program accepts individuals who have completed an ACGME-accredited, or equivalent, residency in Surgery.  There are three residents in the Program at any given time, as the number of residents appointed alternates between one and two residents every year.  Program leadership consists of Program Director Dr. Lawrence Lee, Associate Program Director Dr. Rona Spector, and Program Coordinator Kristi Frank.  There is a significant emphasis on resident education across all aspects of the Program with faculty dedicated to teaching and mentoring each trainee on an individual level. 

The Thoracic Surgery Resident is exposed to all aspects of adult cardiac, general thoracic, and congenital cardiothoracic surgery.  Training rotation sites include Tufts Medical Center, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital.  There is progressive autotomy in clinical and surgical decision making based on the Resident’s demonstrated competencies and abilities.

The broad based clinical experience is supplemented by a robust educational curriculum, including weekly didactic conferences, surgical skills simulation sessions, and mock oral examinations.  Trainees are expected to actively engage and prepare for all educational sessions.

Our Program aims to train and produce the future leaders of cardiothoracic surgery.  Upon completion of the residency, graduates are fully equipped to enter independent practice in either academic or non-academic settings or to pursue further subspecialty training in their chosen field.  Program alumni have gone on to successful careers in all areas of the United States.


Contact info
Kristi Frank
Program Coordinator

How to apply

We welcome your interest in the Tufts Medical Center Thoracic Surgery Residency.

To apply, please access the universal application through ERAS. Contact the Program Coordinator, Kristi Frank, by email or phone for additional pre-application information.

Clinical opportunities

Clinical rotations may be tailored to individual resident desires and interests. Typically, clinical rotations include 12 nonconsecutive months spent at Tufts MC, which offers the resident exposure to approximately 1,000 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. A review of the operative experience of our recent residents has shown that case logs 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.

Life as a resident

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 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.

Conferences + lectures

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.

Schedule + benefits

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.


Lawrence Lee, MD, MBA

Gregory Couper, MD

Yong Zhan, MD

Aaron Sparks, DO

Marzia Leacche, MD

Masashi Kawabori, MD

Rona Spector, MD 

Lana Schumacher, MD

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