Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Comparison of cardiothoracic surgery training in usa and germany

Vakhtang Tchantchaleishvili1, Suyog A Mokashi1, Taufiek K Rajab1, R Morton Bolman1, Frederick Y Chen1 and Jan D Schmitto12*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Cardiac Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

2 Division of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany

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Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2010, 5:118  doi:10.1186/1749-8090-5-118

Published: 26 November 2010



Training of cardiothoracic surgeons in Europe and the United States has expanded to incorporate new operative techniques and requirements. The purpose of this study was to compare the current structure of training programs in the United States and Germany.


We thoroughly reviewed the existing literature with particular focus on the curriculum, salary, board certification and quality of life for cardiothoracic trainees.


The United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany each have different cardiothoracic surgery training programs with specific strengths and weaknesses which are compared and presented in this publication.


The future of cardiothoracic surgery training will become affected by technological, demographic, economic and supply factors. Given current trends in training programs, creating an efficient training system would allow trainees to compete and grow in this constantly changing environment.