Resident Program

Division of Cardiac Surgery Resident Program 

The cardiac surgery residency training program at Dalhousie University is modest in size. Presently, there are 10 cardiac surgeons, three fellows and seven residents. Our size helps to maximize resident experiences, allowing plenty of opportunities in the operating room, while refining the necessary technical skills. The residency program offers significant exposure to clinical patient care, as well as ample direct training with the surgical team. 

The cardiac surgery residency program is six years long and the resident completes both mandatory and elective rotations.

Year  Rotation Description
One and Two                       The first two years of rotations are designed to teach the resident the foundations of surgical training. These include various Cardiology blocks such as coronary care unit, EP, echo, as well general surgery blocks, cardiovascular ICU and vascular rotations. These rotations provide the resident exposure to examining and assessing the patient preoperatively and managing them postoperatively. 
Three The third year will be made up of seven cardiac surgery rotations, including vascular and general surgery rotations. The fourth year is an academic enrichment year and the residents will not be on a clinical rotation for one to three years during this time, rather they will be pursuing a Master's Degree or a PhD.  Research plays an important role in the program, where residents will complete scholarly projects throughout their entire training, in addition to their academic enrichment year. 
Four and Five The resident’s final two years offer a large volume of cardiac surgery and rotations in pediatric cardiac surgery. Additionally, these two years will help the resident gain proficiency and independence in commonly occurring cases and  experience with procedures that are performed less frequently. Residents will refine their clinical and technical skills during this stage of training, taking on more responsibility leading the team, while caring for patients on the cardiac surgery service. 

Residents take part in formal academic sessions, which entail presentations from the Division including morbidity and mortality rounds. They are required to attend the protected half academic days, which include seminars; lectures, guest speaker presentations, block exams, skills lab sessions and opportunities to attend conferences and journal clubs. 

This program helps develop leadership skills and allow more senior residents to supervise and teach junior residents.  Residents in the program are  involved in the training of incoming medical clerks and students.  As the resident advances, they are given more opportunities to take on the administrative aspects of health services in cardiac surgery. This program places an emphasis on teaching the resident to participate as a member of an interprofessional heart team. 

Our program accepts one resident annually, alternating years where we choose a Canadian resident through a formal selection and matching process via the Canadian Resident Matching Service. On alternate years the selection of a non-Canadian resident is coordinated through our Post-Graduate Medical Office.