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Thoracic Surgery Residency Training Programs

Program director:  Walter E. McGregor, MD
Accreditation:  ACGME
Program length:
   Thoracic Surgery Residency Program: 2 years (PGY6-PGY7)
   Joint General/Thoracic Surgery Residency Program: 7 years (PGY1-PGY7)
Residents per year: 
   Thoracic Surgery (2-year) program:  1
   Joint General/Thoracic Surgery (7-year) program:  1
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About the Programs

Allegheny General Hospital has hosted training opportunities in cardiothoracic surgery since the 1950s.  Our highly regarded program and experienced faculty offer a rich case mix of adult cardiac and general thoracic patients drawn from a network of affiliated clinical sites serving western Pennsylvania.

The Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery includes divisions of Cardiac Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Critical Care Medicine.

Faculty  for our training programs are all board-certified in their specialties and participate fully in teaching.

Our cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgery training programs offer exceptional clinical and research facilities.

Our thoracic surgery ACGME-accredited training programs, which offer unique opportunities for collaborative education, include the following:


Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery Program Leadership

Victor O. Morrell, MD, chief, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, is responsible for resident training in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.

Residents and fellows in the department benefit from readily available access to all department teaching opportunities. The comprehensive endovascular program is a cooperative effort of the Division of Vascular Surgery, the Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and the Division of Cardiac Surgery with dedicated support from the thoracic aortic surgery team.


Training Facilities

Our program's training facilities are located at Allegheny General Hospital, which was founded in 1885 on Pittsburgh's historic North Side. Allegheny General has earned an international reputation for excellence and innovation in patient care, medical education and research. Serving Pittsburgh and the surrounding five-state area, hospital offers a wide array of medical and surgical services.

Gerald R. McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute

In September 2006, Allegheny General Hospital officially dedicated the Gerald R. McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute (CVI). Located on the grounds of the hospital, CVI comprises 18,000 square feet of space dedicated to outpatient consultation and diagnostic services in a multi-disciplinary clinic dedicated to research, diagnosis and treatment for cardiovascular disease. This critically important initiative was endowed by a federal seed grant and the generosity of regional business leaders. The CVI is designed to operate as a unifying structure for delivery of exceptional patient-centered care and state-of-the-art clinical research. Established CVI centers focus on:

  • Valvular heart disease / complex valve disease
  • Heart failure
  • Ventricular assist
  • Cardiac transplant
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Vascular disease
  • Comprehensive aortic repair / replacement
  • Chronic wound management

The CVI serves as an outstanding venue for recruiting some of the nation's finest physicians and researchers to join the legacy of the highly regarded and experienced Allegheny team. The Institute is headed by surgical director George Magovern Jr., MD, and medical director Srinavas Murali, MD. CVI-sponsored educational programs bring nationally recognized clinicians and researchers to Allegheny in a variety of forums which emphasize the role of both medical and surgical approaches to cardiovascular disease.

In a unique approach to connecting the medical community with the public it serves, CVI also sponsors a popular annual event featuring prominent speakers from non-medical fields. Past speakers include author David McCullough, journalist Tim Russert, film-maker Ken Burns, political commentator David Gergen and presidential author Doris Kearns Goodwin.

McGinnis Center for Innovation and Research

The McGinnis Center for Innovation and Research at Allegheny General Hospital (floor plan below) houses fully equipped and staffed clinical and research laboratories, including (shown in green) animal lab, cath lab, electrophysiology lab, fluoroscopy and critical care and (pink) Cardiovascular Training Lab.

Thoracic residency

Resident participation in research and other scholarly pursuits is expected and supported. Department personnel skilled in data management, statistical analysis, and technical writing are readily available to assist the resident. The department maintains comprehensive databases focused on inpatient quality assurance and outcomes analysis, including risk stratification modeling. Residents can access this data for patient review and research.


Faculty Information

Division of Cardiac Surgery
Stephen Bailey, MD, Director
The Division of Cardiac Surgery has expertise in all types of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass and cardiac valve repair and replacement, performing more than 500 cases per year. The division is the region's most experienced center for surgical treatment of acute and chronic thoracic aortic disease and thoracic aortic trauma. Minimally invasive endovascular aortic repair is offered by a unique multidisciplinary team comprising cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists. The cardiac arrhythmia service provides standard and minimally invasive approaches to the treatment of atrial fibrillation. As leading partners in the Allegheny General multidisciplinary Heart Failure Service, division surgeons direct active heart transplantation and mechanical heart assist programs. Innovative surgical therapies for heart failure, including left ventricular reduction surgery are also offered.

Division of General Thoracic Surgery
Robert J. Keenan, MD, Director
In western Pennsylvania, non-cardiac thoracic disease is a particularly prominent healthcare problem. The Division of General Thoracic Surgery and the multidisciplinary Allegheny Center for Lung and Thoracic Disease provide comprehensive and innovative diagnosis, treatment, and surgery specifically directed to benign and malignant diseases of the lungs, esophagus, and mediastinum. Seasoned clinicians using the latest techniques and technologies offer the best possible care and convenience for patients and families confronting cancer. Access to a full range of ACOSOG protocols and other innovative clinical trials is provided in collaboration with the Allegheny Cancer Center. The division supports these efforts with a staff of four clinical research specialists.

General thoracic surgery specialists perform over 550 major procedures each year, more than half employing minimally invasive techniques. In addition to curative and palliative procedures for thoracic malignancies, the division has long-term expertise in thoracic surgery for benign conditions, including lung volume reduction, gastroesophageal reflux, hyperhidrosis, and thymectomy for myasthenia gravis.

Division of Vascular Surgery
Satish C. Muluk, MD, Director
The Division of Vascular Surgery comprises 5 board-certified vascular surgeons who perform more than 2000 major surgical procedures each year for all types of vascular diseases, including abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid stenosis, peripheral arterial disease and venous disorders. The Division is a regional leader in the use of endovascular techniques for aortic aneurysm, carotid stenosis and lower extremity arterial disease.  Our vascular surgeons have a long tradition of working in cooperation with cardiac surgeons and members of the Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and of supporting ACGME-accredited surgical training programs.

Division of Critical Care Medicine
Peter K. Linden, MD, Director
An essential component of training in perioperative patient care is provided by critical care specialists. Our 5 board-certified critical care physicians work with thoracic surgery residents in both clinical and didactic settings. The critical care team provides 24/7 coverage for department patients; members of the team are always available to advise the resident on patient care issues.
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Victor O. Morrell, MD, Director of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is renowned for cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, critical care medicine, diabetes, hematology/oncology, neurosurgery, organ and tissue transplantation, orthopaedics, otolaryngology (ENT) and pediatric surgery. Children’s Hospital is also the only accredited Level 1 Regional Resource Pediatric Trauma Center in western Pennsylvania and one of only three in the state. Residents in our thoracic surgery training programs complete 2-month rotations in pediatric cardiac surgery under the direction of Dr. Morrell and his team. This rotation consistently receives enthusiastic reviews from the residents based on the collegial teaching atmosphere and case mix.


Thoracic Surgery Residency Training Program

Our traditional 2-year Thoracic Surgery Residency Training Program, under the direction of George J. Magovern Jr., MD, comprises 2 years of clinical training (PGY6 and PGY7). A pediatric cardiac surgery rotation is provided by Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC under the direction of Victor O. Morell, MD.

Residents may elect to concentrate in either cardiac surgery or general thoracic surgery but must meet all current requirements for American Board of Thoracic Surgery certification in cardiothoracic surgery.

Our Thoracic Surgery Residency Training Program is noted for the collegial teaching environment engendered by the faculty. Residents are rotated among the numerous board-certified cardiothoracic surgery faculty so that they gain a broad range of experience and are exposed to various teaching styles. The faculty and staff of the program are committed to offering a high-quality educational environment and receive strong support in this effort from hospital leadership.

Senior thoracic surgery residents serve as the first line of supervision for cardiothoracic services, functioning as "junior attending surgeons" under the guidance of the faculty. Residents take no in-house call and their home call assignments are supported by the general surgery residents rotating on the cardiothoracic services. The department's Division of Critical Care Medicine provides 24/7 in-house coverage for patients on the critical care units. The home call resident is responsible for returning to the hospital to participate in the evaluation and care of patients requiring emergency surgical intervention. The in-house critical care specialist is available to advise the home call resident on all patient care issues. While on home call, residents report to and are supported by the attending cardiac and general thoracic surgeons on call and by the patient's attending surgeon.

Clinical services are also supported by physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and dedicated clinical trial managers.

Amenities for thoracic surgery residents include generous office space, individual computers and standard office software. Two weeks of vacation are provided annually, with an additional 5 days off during December. In addition, attendance at one national conference is supported.


2013-2014 Thoracic Surgery Resident


Matthew P. Thomas, MD, PGY-7

Medical School:  Temple University School of Medicine

General Surgery Residency:  Albert Einstein Medical Center



Joint (7-year) General/Thoracic Surgery Residency Program

Our Joint (7-year) General and Thoracic Surgery Residency Program consists of 5 years of General Surgery training followed by 2 years of Thoracic Surgery training.  The Joint program is referred to as a "4+3" program, because the resident begins the Joint program in the 4th year of the General Surgery Residency Program.

This program is new starting in 2013-2014.


2013-2014 Joint General and Thoracic Surgery Resident


Mark Crye, MD, PGY-4

Medical School:  SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine




Thoracic Surgery Residency Alumni

The first residents graduated from our program in 1955.  Following is a list of the past 10 years' graduates:

2013 - David C. Griffin, MD

2011 - Zubair Hashmi, MD; Joseph Houda, MD;Geoffrey Pelz, MD

2009 - Shashank Jolly, MD

2008 - Christian Galvez-Padilla, MD; Yaron Perry, MD

2007 - Matthew A. Van Deusen, MD; David West, MD

2006 - Richard Koehler, MD; Ashraf Osman, MD

2005 - Thomas Birdas, MD; Gregory Smaroff, MD

2004 - Jason Robke, MD; Christos Stavropoulos, MD

2003 - Lawrence Crist, MD; Jason J. Lamb, MD; Walter E. McGregor, MD

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