The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Thoracic Surgery Residency Program, fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), is Iowa’s only cardiothoracic training program. It has been in existence since 1949, the first year the American Board of Thoracic Surgery recognized training programs.

This program was developed under the leadership of Johann Ehrenhaft, MD, namesake of the Departmental Chair position. Ehrenhaft stepped down as Divisional Chairman in 1985. In 1986, Douglas M. Behrendt, MD, was chosen as the new Chairman and served as such until January 2004. Mark D. Iannettoni, MD, MBA, was appointed Chairman in January 2004.

Through all three eras, Cardiothoracic Surgery has been on the forefront of innovation and technological advancement in the areas of cardiac and thoracic surgery. This spirit of hard work and diligence in the fight against chest disease continues.

The primary goal of the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program is to prepare each resident to be successful in the career path he/she chooses--whether academic or private practice.

Thoracic residents work, side-by-side, in clinic, research and other fellowship duties with each Cardiothoracic Surgery faculty member. This work is in an environment that is consistent with proper patient care, meets the educational needs of fellows, and provides the applicable program requirements.

The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery offers one or two first-year positions in its Thoracic surgery residency. In addition to training at UI Hospitals and Clinics, each resident will also spend time at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (within walking distance).

The thoracic residents participate in preparing weekly conferences regarding their specialty to be presented to medical students, General Surgery residents, departmental (ARNPs, Hospitalists) staff and faculty in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Graduates of this program are competent to enter private practice or to continue on in an academic career. Refer to Alumni Placement for more details.

Thoracic surgery residency training is a high priority item for the full time faculty of the UI Department of Surgery's Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Through close supervision, the surgical staff provides teaching at each level for the residents with a well-organized program and continually increased responsibility.