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Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Nov;92(5):1586-91. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.05.107. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Integrated thoracic residency program applicants: the best and the brightest?

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  • 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA. joanna.chikwe@mountsinai.org



Comparative data are lacking on the numbers and nature of applicants to North American 6-year integrated thoracic residency and traditional thoracic fellowship programs.


Candidates applying within the first 3 months of the application cycles to the integrated and traditional thoracic surgery residency programs starting in 2011 at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, were reviewed.


The overall ratio of applicants to positions was 27:1 for the traditional program and 131:1 for the integrated program. There was no significant difference in the proportion of female applicants (22% vs 16%, p = 0.57). Almost half of integrated program applicants were final-year medical students, 20% of whom attended institutions with integrated programs. Traditional program applicants on average had 4 years surgery residency experience compared with the average of 3 years reported by the 46% of applicants to the integrated program who had postgraduate clinical experience. More than half of integrated program applicants were overseas graduates. Shortlisted integrated applicants had significantly greater United States Medical Licensing Examination scores and peer reviewed publications than shortlisted traditional applicants and were more likely to hold higher degrees and national research funding.


Much of the dramatic increase in the number of applicants to North American integrated thoracic residency programs has been driven by experienced international graduates. The caliber of applicants is strong, but efforts are needed to increase the appeal of thoracic surgery training to North American medical students if the goals of integrated programs are to be realized.

Copyright © 2011 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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