Thoracic surgeons who are sometimes called “cardiothoracic surgeons” are highly specialized medical professionals who diagnose and treat illnesses injuries and conditions affecting the thorax which is the part of the body that lies between the neck and the abdomen. The website www.wisegeek.com says that thoracic surgeons concentrate on surgery involving the heart and lungs. In some cases surgery is undertaken to insure a proper blood supply to the heart. Surgery may also be performed to make sure heart valves are working properly and thoracic surgeons may insert pacemakers that provide electrical stimulation so that the heart beats regularly and they may even perform heart transplants. Those who treat children with heart defects or other conditions must have training over and above that required for surgery on adults. Thoracic surgeons complete an extensive course of training. First they earn a bachelor’s degree with all the required premedical courses. Then they must be accepted and then complete four years at an accredited medical school after which they spend five years in a surgical residency. In addition they need two to three more years of advanced training and they must become members of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery before they can start their own practice. Those working with children need additional training in pediatrics. Thoracic surgeons have private practices or they work in hospitals or facilities that specialize in this type of medicine. They can be employed by the local state or federal government and some hold academic positions at universities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics thoracic surgeons have excellent earnings. Shortly after they complete their training they can expect to earn six-figure salaries and after a few years of practice their incomes easily approach $400000.
|Education Required:||Doctoral Degree|
|Tasks:||Performs operations on the heart, lungs, and esophagus.
Focus on the heart and blood vessels.
Treats diseases of the lungs, esophagus, and chest wall.
Operates on individuals with heart disease.
|Also Called:||Cardiothoracic Surgeon
General Thoracic Surgeon
Congenital Heart Surgeon