Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center

Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship and Integrated Six Year Training Program Virtual Tour

Welcome to the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Montefiore offers two pathways for becoming a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon through the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery. The traditional two-year fellowship and an integrated six-year residency program run in parallel.

Joseph DeRose, MD, Program Training Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency/Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship

Why our program could be right for you

The traditional two-year fellowship program at Montefiore-Einstein is one of the oldest traditional training programs in the country. Our traditional training track began in 1963 and was one of the first programs to acquire formal ACGME accreditation, which was received in 1983. Applicants to the fellowship program must first complete an ACGME-accredited five-year general surgical residency training program. The two-year fellowship involves dedicated rotations on thoracic surgery, congenital heart surgery and adult cardiac surgery.

In 2020, the program also received accreditation to be an integrated six-year program. Applicants must be in their final year of medical school and first complete their United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2. The first three years of the program involve a broad-based surgical training in general surgery, vascular surgery, critical care and cardiology. Through the PGY1–PGY3 years, the i6 resident spends approximately 12 months on the thoracic and adult cardiac services as an integral member of the team. The final three years are spent dedicated to thoracic, congenital and adult cardiac surgery.

The faculty and team are actively involved in numerous clinical trials, and collaboration has been our tradition. Guided by our department’s Division of Research, fellows and residents are strongly encouraged to partake in clinical research. Our faculty are excellent teachers, and fellows and residents choose a mentor early in their training to help facilitate their path. Our program provides fellows and residents with a well-rounded, hands-on experience, focusing on clinical excellence and an appreciation of our patient population’s disease complexity. As a faculty, we are passionate about the craft of cardiothoracic surgery, and we pride ourselves in being truly invested in our fellows and residents and in their futures.

What sets Montefiore-Einstein apart

At Montefiore-Einstein, we are guided by a mission to heal, to teach, to discover and to advance the health of the communities we serve. Comprising 11 member hospitals and more than 200 specialty care sites, Montefiore Health System provides highly specialized, coordinated care for diverse populations in the New York region, across the country and globally.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, home to nearly 1,000 students in its MD, PhD and combined MD/PhD programs, is one of the nation’s preeminent centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. Through the joint efforts of Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore-Einstein is able to advance research and accelerate discoveries, benefiting patients and ensuring access to state-of-the-art healthcare for all.  

  • Montefiore’s medical specialties ranked as top 1% in the nation by U.S. News and World Report
  • Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) recognized as one of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” by U.S. News and World Report
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine ranked a top 50 “Best Medical School for Research in the Country, 2020” by U.S. News and World Report 
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Einstein $178M+ in research funding in 2019, placing Einstein 34th among 142 schools of medicine
  • 380+ NIH-funded grants awarded to Einstein
  • 700+ clinical trials 
Catherine C. Skae, MD, Vice President and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

Graduate Medical Education at Montefiore-Einstein

Representing one of the top 10 largest medical and surgical training programs in the country, Montefiore Health System and our Albert Einstein College of Medicine provide postgraduate clinical training to more than 1,400 residents and fellows per year. Clinicians across Montefiore-Einstein’s numerous educational programs actively mentor and cultivate a new generation of healthcare leaders. 

Our mission to improve access and quality of care for our diverse community draws residents and fellows from top medical, dental and PA schools from around the world. We develop and expand programs designed to advance teamwork, communication and decision-making, and our progressive focus on comprehensive care provides an ideal training ground for our residents and fellows.

To make the process of working and training at Montefiore-Einstein more seamless, we offer a variety of services for our house staff, physician assistants and interns, including assistance with credentialing and orientation, institutional resources, visas, contracts, HR documents, payroll, notary services and specialty training and certifications. 

Montefiore-Einstein by the numbers

7.7 million+

patient interactions annually  

1.1 million+

patients annually, representing the largest network in the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley

200+

specialty care locations, with more coming soon

40,000+

employees

Home to notable programs and our Centers of Excellence

Moses Campus provides the highest level of care for the most severe cases, offering tremendous clinical learning opportunities to our fellows and residents. This site is the primary home of our training, and where we perform the entire breadth of cardiac and thoracic surgery, including left ventricular assist device implantations, heart and lung transplantations, complex valve repairs and replacements, as well as complex lung resections—open, video-assisted and robotically-assisted.

An academic hospital adjacent to our Albert Einstein College of Medicine

The Jack D. Weiler Hospital on our Einstein Campus is our tertiary care center for the East Bronx and Montefiore-Einstein’s busiest ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) site. The breadth of cardiac and thoracic surgery is performed here as well, including complex structural heart interventions.

A world-renowned Cardiothoracic Surgery faculty

Robert Michler, MD

Surgeon-in-Chief
Professor and Chairman, Surgery
Professor and Chairman, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Samuel I. Belkin Endowed Chair, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Co-Director, Montefiore-Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care

Daniel J. Goldstein, MD

Vice Chair, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Surgical Director, Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance Programs
Professor, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Joseph DeRose, MD

Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Program Training Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency/Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship
Professor, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Brendon Stiles, MD

Chief, Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Oncology
Associate Director, Surgical Services
Assistant Professor, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Mohammed M. Abbasi, MD

Transplant Pulmonologist
Attending, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Sammar Alsunaid, MD

Transplant Pulmonologist
Attending, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Jamil Borgi, MD

Associate Surgical Director, Advanced Pulmonary Failure and Lung Transplantation

Mei Chau, MD, MPA

Surgical Director, Structural Heart Program, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Associate Program Director, Residency and Fellowship Training
Assistant Professor, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Neel Chudgar, MD

Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Associate Director of Clinical and Translational Research, Thoracic Surgery
Attending Physician
Assistant Professor, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Stephen J. Forest, MD

Surgical Director, Lung Transplantation and Advanced Pulmonary Failure
Assistant Professor, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Ali Mansour, MD

Medical Director, Lung Transplantation and Advanced Pulmonary Failure
Attending, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Tadahisa Sugiura, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Mayuko Uehara, MD, PhD

Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Marc Vimolratana, MD

Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Current fellows and residents

Rachel Riccardi, MD

Chief

Danielle Spragan, MD

Chief

Babawande Adesibikan, MD

Junior

Robin Willard, MD

Junior

Brandon Ferrell, MD

Intern

A challenging and innovative curriculum

Our  training programs provide fellows and residents with comprehensive, broad-based experiences. Adult cardiac surgery offers exposure to heart failure surgeries, heart transplants, minimally invasive approaches, transcatheter therapies, aortic surgeries and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Thoracic surgery offers exposure to oncological lung resections—open, minimally invasive, robotically assisted, bronchoscopic interventions, lung failure and lung transplants. In congenital heart surgery, exposure is at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in the NewYork-Presbyterian system.

A robust didactic curriculum with an emphasis on the mastery of both written and oral board exam material is a requirement of our training programs. Weekly education sessions follow a schedule created from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons curriculum. Our fellowship and residency programs encourage an environment of collegiality and strong interdisciplinary relationships with other specialties at Montefiore-Einstein, including heart failure cardiology, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, anesthesiology, critical care medicine and vascular surgery. Over the course of all training years, fellows and residents have ample opportunities for clinical research.

An unmatched diversity of experience

As a premier academic medical center serving the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley, Montefiore-Einstein offers its postgraduate trainees comprehensive exposure to a broad diversity of patients and pathologies. The diverse range of experience available prepares our postgraduate trainees for future careers in their chosen field, be it in the research or clinical and/or non-clinical setting.

Live and work close to the best of everything

The Bronx, New York City’s northernmost borough, is a culturally rich neighborhood placed at the intersection of Manhattan and its surrounding regions. Our postgraduate trainees typically live in hospital housing or off-site in nearby Riverdale, Lower Westchester or Manhattan, and have access to an unmatched diversity of experiences beyond the program itself. 

In the Bronx, with its ample parks and gardens, you’ll learn first-hand why it’s known as “the City’s Greenest Borough.” The neighborhood offers plenty of local food, art, sports and culture, and is just a subway ride away from Manhattan’s famed theaters, museums and attractions. 

As a resident of the Tri-State region, you’ll have unmatched access to the city’s cultural offerings, not to mention the bounty of outdoor excursions that are available just beyond. Day-trips and weekend excursions to the Hudson Valley, Catskills, Long Island or New Jersey provide ample opportunities for swimming, hiking, biking, skiing and other seasonal activities. 

Drag map or zoom to explore things to do in the Bronx, Manhattan and beyond. 

Cardiothoracic Surgery Non-ACGME Accredited Training Opportunities

Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Training

The Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Montefiore-Einstein offers a one-year, non-ACGME further training fellowship in minimally invasive cardiac surgery. Candidates should have recently completed either the American Board of Thoracic Surgery requirements or equivalent Cardiothoracic surgery training abroad and be eligible for New York State licensure. The fellowship provides comprehensive exposure to all aspects and management of patients undergoing robotic coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, minimally invasive aortic valve surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), MitraClip and transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR). Candidates are expected to actively participate in clinical research protocols and the education of fellows, surgical residents and medical students. Other responsibilities include participation in the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and organ harvest call schedule, and to function as a junior attending in a clinical instructor role.

Heart and Lung Failure Cardiothoracic Training

The Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Montefiore-Einstein offers a one-year, non-ACGME further training  fellowship in end-stage heart and lung failure. Candidates should have recently completed either the American Board of Thoracic Surgery requirements or equivalent cardiothoracic surgery training abroad and be eligible for New York State licensure. The fellowship provides comprehensive exposure to all aspects of medical and surgical management of patients with advanced heart and lung disease, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), short and long-term mechanical support as well as heart, lung and heart-lung transplantation. Candidates are expected to actively participate in clinical research protocols and the education of fellows, surgical residents and medical students. Other responsibilities include participation in the ECMO and organ harvest call schedule, and to function as a junior attending in a clinical instructor role.

Fellowship and Integrated Six Year Residency Application Information

We’re seeking fellows and residents who will shape the future of healthcare.

If you would like to apply to become a Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellow or Integrated Six Resident at Montefiore-Einstein, you can find more information and deadlines at the following websites:

Montefiore-Einstein recognizes that having a diverse and inclusive institution is critical to success, and we reaffirm our fervent commitment to fostering a culture in which diversity is a central tenet.

Have questions? Get in touch.

La’Shari Valentin, MBA                  
Director, Postgraduate Education
Department of Surgery
Department of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery
718-696-2584 Office
347-920-6423 Cell
718-881-5074 Fax
Lvalentin@montefiore.org

Katherine Kim
Residency Program Coordinator
katkim@montefiore.org

Learn more about the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center