American Board of Thoracic Surgery

633 North St. Clair Street, Suite 2320
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 202-5900 www.abts.org

Thoracic Surgery (Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery)

Thoracic surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients with acquired and congenital pathologic conditions within the chest. Thoracic surgeons treat diseased or injured organs in the chest, including the esophagus (muscular tube that passes food to the stomach), trachea (windpipe), pleura (membranes that cover and protect the lung), mediastinum (area separating the left and right lungs that contains the heart), chest wall, diaphragm (separates the chest from the abdomen), pericardium (membrane covering the heart), heart (including the pericardium, coronary arteries, valves and myocardium) and lungs. The most common diseases requiring thoracic surgery include heart lesions, such as coronary artery disease and valve problems, lung cancer, chest trauma, esophageal cancer, emphysema, and heart and lung transplantation.

Training required prior to initial board certification

Six (6) to nine (9) years

Board eligible period (+practice requirement)

Seven (7) years*

Subspecialty

Certification in the following subspecialty requires additional training and assessment as specified by the board.

Congenital Cardiac Surgery

Congenital heart surgery encompasses the diagnosis, care, and operative treatment of structural abnormalities involving the heart and major blood vessels. Although these defects are generally present at birth, they may also develop in infancy and childhood. Congenital heart surgeons care for patients from the fetus to the adult.

Lifelong learning requirements

  • Complete 150 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ over each 5-year period (an average of 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ annually).
    • A minimum of 75 of the 150 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ need to be relevant to Thoracic Surgery
  • Complete the SESATS exercise during the fifth year of the MOC cycle.

*Thoracic Surgery will accept a Vascular Surgery residency in lieu of a General Surgery residency as along as the Vascular Surgery training leads to primary certification by the American Board of Surgery.