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Thoracic Surgery Training Fellowship

Program Overview

The Thoracic Surgery Training Fellowship provides an international training and educational experience for young thoracic surgeons from mainland China to spend a focused period of between three and six months studying clinical techniques at a host training site in North America. This award is designed to help defray related travel and living expenses incurred at the North American host training site. Recipients will be recognized at the AATS Foundation Reception during the AATS Annual Meeting.

Educational Curriculum

This educational experience will include the following:

  • Access to the operating room to observe cases in minimally invasive thoracic surgery
  • Attendance at teaching conferences, with a focus on those that contribute to a better understanding of the science and practice of minimally invasive thoracic surgery
  • Access to the faculty of the sponsoring institution in order to develop a working relationship that will endure beyond the duration of the Fellowship and will stimulate continued evolution of minimally invasive thoracic surgery practice.
  • Some programs may also offer exposure to and education regarding robotic thoracic surgery, such as Duke University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the University of Alabama

  • Host Sites and Sponsors

    During the submission process, applicants must select a preferred site and planned time spent at the host training site.

    • Thomas D’Amico, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
    • Stephen Yang, MD, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
    • Stephen Cassivi, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
    • Wayne Hofstetter, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX  
    • David Jones, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
    • Todd Demmy, MD, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
    • Joseph Shrager, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
    • Robert Cerfolio, MD, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
    • Shaf Keshavjee, MD, University of Toronto/Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Canada


    To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

    • A Candidate must be a resident of mainland China; 
    • A candidate shall have completed his/her formal training in thoracic surgery and be in the initial 3 years of his/her staff position;
    • Candidates must have a current academic or hospital appointment;
    • Fluency in English is mandatory;
    • Candidate must meet all the necessary criteria (license, visa, etc.) for travel to and from host training site. 

    Application Process

    In addition to a formal online application, candidates will also be required to upload the following materials: 

    • Curriculum Vitae;
    • Letter of support from their department chair or division chief;
    • Proposed travel itinerary;
    • One to two page narrative to include: (1) what you hope to accomplish during the Fellowship (including length of stay and area of interest); (2) how you will utilize the skills you have learned at your home institution; (3) the relationship of the planned study to your prior work, preparation and professional goals; and, (4) statement of your future career goals.

    Review Process

    Applications will be graded on all aspects of the award criteria.  At the conclusion of their experience, Fellows must submit a final report to the Foundation and the Sponsor. Three to six months post training, Fellows must submit a report to the Foundation and the Sponsor reviewing how they applied their training to clinical practice. Depending on the time spent at the host training site, a selection of one of the following levels will be awarded:

    Level One – An award of up to $12,000 for 3 months of study.
    Level Two – An award of up to $30,000 for 6 months of study.
    Accepting applications starting September 1st.