Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Thoracic Surgery Elective

Thoracic Surgery Elective

Download ApplicationCourse Name: Thoracic Surgery

Length: 4 weeks

Department: Surgery

Location: The Methodist Hospital – Houston, Texas

Prerequisites: Successful completion of third year surgical clerkship

Description: This is a four week rotation in Thoracic Surgery. This is includes minimally invasive surgery, multidisciplinary oncologic management of tumors, both benign and malignant, surgery of the lung, mediastinum, and esophagus.


  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of thoracic anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of all common thoracic malignancies.
  • Participate in the care of the thoracic surgical patient including initial evaluation, surgical management, postoperative care, outpatient follow-up, and management of local or systemic recurrences.
  • Formulate a treatment plan for any thoracic surgical patient, including appropriate nonsurgical management, as indicated.
  • A complete understanding of the medical evaluation of the thoracic surgical patient including the indications and interpretation of various tests of pulmonary and cardiac function.
  • A detailed understanding of the principles of the other medical disciplines that are routinely involved in the care of thoracic surgical patients, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, pulmonology, cardiology, infectious disease and pathology.
  • A complete three-dimensional comprehension of pulmonary arterial, venous, and bronchial anatomy, especially as it relates to the performance of anatomic pulmonary resections. A similar comprehension of mediastinal anatomy as it relates to the performance of a mediastinoscopy, mediastinal tumor resection and esophagectomy.
  • Understand the efficacy, as well as the limitations, of the various incisions available to the thoracic surgeon.
  • Demonstrate appropriate management of patients after thoracic surgical procedures, especially with regards to the identification and treatment of potential life threatening postoperative complications.
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with and an understanding of the key journal articles that define the treatment of the most common thoracic diseases.
  • Acquire a level of thoracic surgical proficiency suitable for the independent delivery of safe and appropriate care.

Following completion of their Thoracic Surgery rotation, the student is expected to have achieved a broad base of knowledge and skills concerning the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care of the general thoracic ad cardiac surgical patient. The student will also be expected to participate in and having basic knowledge of the following procedures:

  • Anatomic lung resection
  • Esophagectomy
  • Mediastinal tumor resection
  • Chest wall resection
  • Video assisted thoracic surgery or Thoracoscopy
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Fiberoptic bronchoscopy
    • Identification of segmental anatomy
    • Biopsy and brushings
    • Awake bronchoscopy
  • Rigid bronchoscopy
  • Rigid esophagoscopy