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Cardiothoracic Surgery

Established in 2001, the residency program is a 12-month didactic and clinical training program for licensed, board-certified PAs who wish to specialize in cardiothoracic surgery. It expands upon the basic training of the PA in diagnosis and management of conditions common to cardiothoracic patients. The PA resident participates in all phases of care of the cardiothoracic surgical patient including assisting in the operating room.

Purpose: To provide the graduate physician assistant with an opportunity to obtain advanced training in cardiothoracic surgery.

Description: The residency program offered by St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is a 12-month didactic and clinical training program.  It will expand upon the basic training of the PA in diagnosis and management of conditions common to cardiothoracic surgery patients.

Chairman, Department of Surgery: Walter M. Whitehouse, Jr., MD
Medical Director: Andrew L. Pruitt, MD
Program Director: Scott A. Rogers, PA-C
Education Coordinator: Paul Meek, PA-C

Institutional Affiliations: St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is a 537-bed, award-winning academic teaching hospital and tertiary care center providing specialized care not typically available at community hospitals. Located near Ann Arbor, Michigan, it is one of several large teaching hospitals in the suburban Detroit area, participating in the education of PA students, medical students and physician residents.

Cardiac & Thoracic Surgeons of Ann Arbor, P.C. is a private surgical practice affiliated with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

Michigan Heart a premier cardiovascular program affiliated with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, is a multidisciplinary collaboration between cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular medicine & surgery.

Residency Objectives: Upon completion, the PA will have an in-depth understanding of the various subspecialties within cardiothoracic surgery, including: Coronary Artery Disease, Aortic Valve Disease, Mitral Valve Disease, Aortic Aneurysm, Congenital Heart Disease in Adults, Esophageal Disease and Carcinoma, and Lung Carcinoma. The graduate will have had extensive experience in the triage, evaluation, treatment and management of cardiothoracic problems in each of these areas. The graduate will have developed into an independent first-assistant in the operating room.

Program Length: 12 months, beginning in July of each year. (Starting dates may be adjusted to meet PA program graduation.)

Openings: We have 1 residency position per 12 month period.

Curriculum: The didactic and clinical portions of the program are integrated. The residents attend 3-5 hours per week of didactic sessions, including lectures, conferences and grand rounds.

Clinical training includes intensive care unit orientation and rotation, daily patient rounds in the ICU and step-down units, training in invasive procedures, surgical skills lab, and progressive levels of involvement in cardiac and thoracic surgical cases. Various techniques of conduit harvest (open and endoscopic saphenous vein harvest, radial artery and arm vein harvest) will be mastered. Additional skills include cannulation and repair of femoral vessels and placement of chest tubes, invasive monitoring lines and intra-aortic balloon pumps. The goal is to advance all residents to the level of independent first assistant in the operating room. Residents will experience call duty with service PAs for surgical emergencies and weekend rounds with attending staff.

Admission Requirements: Applicants must be graduates of an ARC-PA accredited physician assistant program and be eligible for (or have passed) the NCCPA board exam. Residents must obtain a Michigan License upon acceptance into the program and undergo a pre-employment background check. Current ACLS certification is required.

Selection Criteria: Residents will be selected on the basis of the following:

  1. Work and Life Experience (Surgical experience is not required, but some prior exposure to cardiothoracic surgery is considered important.)
  2. Education / Academic Records
  3. Letters of Recommendation
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Communication / Interpersonal Skills
  6. Completion & Submission of all Application Components
  7. Personal Interview (Applicants will be screened for a limited number of interview slots based on materials submitted.)

Credentials Awarded: Upon successful completion of the residency program, the PA resident is awarded a certificate of training signed by the Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the Head of Cardiac & Thoracic Surgery, and the program directors. The SJMH PA Residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery is approved for the maximum CME credit (50 hours) by the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Compensation: $60,000
Other Fees/Expenses/Tuition: none

Benefits: Family Health Insurance, Malpractice Insurance. Ten days paid vacation. The resident will also be provided with surgical loupes, lab coats and reference materials.

Housing: Arranged individually by each resident. The Medical Center is located in a suburban residential area with many apartment complexes nearby.

Calendar of Events:
Application Deadlines: March 15
Interview Notification: March 31
Interview Dates: Last weekend in April
Selection Notification: Early May
Commitment to Program: May 15

This information is subject to change.

For More Information:
Scott A. Rogers, PA-C
5325 Elliott Drive, Suite 102
Ypsilanti, MI 48197