The postgraduate training program is 12 months in duration with didactic and clinical portions ongoing throughout the year. PA’s will participate in grand rounds, surgical case presentations, surgical subspecialty conferences, surgeon-in-chief rounds, Morbidity and Mortality conference, complete selected readings and curriculum assignments, and/or attend conferences specific to the cardiothoracic rotation. The PA will be encouraged to be a self-motivated and lifelong learner.

Our Postgraduate Cardiothoracic Surgery PA Fellowship gives you the opportunity to: 

  • Obtain a dynamic cardiothoracic surgical training experience enabling you to provide the highest level of care through your ability to triage, evaluate, treat, and manage cardiac and thoracic disorders, and first-assistant in the operating room.  

  • Master various techniques of conduit harvesting and preparation and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to manage patients with Coronary Artery Disease, Aortic Valve Disease, Mitral Valve Disease, Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Aortic Aneurysm, Lung and Esophageal Cancer, Thoracic Disease, and Thoracic Trauma.  

  • Perform bedside assistance in advanced thoracic minimally invasive robotic procedures. 

  • Further refine critical thinking and highly marketable skills to a specialized patient population. 

  • Be part of an organization dedicated to training the next generation of academic surgeons. 

  • Learn and work alongside colleagues in all areas of healthcare who are committed to team-based patient care. 

  • Access MD, APP, and other staff participating in world-class research, teaching, and leadership through LSUHS School of Medicine, LSUHS Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, Biomedical and Science Libraries, LSUHS Clinical Skills Center and Surgical Skills Lab, gross anatomy, and histology labs. 

  • Earn a competitive annual salary, full and comprehensive benefits, and continuing education credits, available by participating in and attending lectures, conferences, grand rounds, and journal clubs. 


Our physician assistant fellows will have exposure to coronary bypass and associated conduit harvesting (open and endoscopic saphenous vein harvest), aortic, mitral, tricuspid valve procedures, ascending and descending aortic procedures, thoracic procedures including neoplastic and non-neoplastic, esophagectomy, thoracic robotic procedures, thoracic trauma, simulation laboratory sessions, central venous access/swan-ganz catheter placement, arterial line placement, chest tube placement, thoracentesis, intra-aortic balloon placement and removal, endotracheal intubation.


The didactic curriculum will include cardiovascular and thoracic anatomy and physiology; acquired, congenital and neoplastic disease; thoracic trauma; invasive procedures; critical care management; pre, peri and postoperative patient management; operative intervention and outcomes; patient presentation, evaluation, and testing; Surgical Grand Rounds and M&M, surgical case presentations, surgical subspecialty conferences, great cases, morbidity and mortality conference, complete selected readings and curriculum assignments, and/or attend conferences specific to the cardiothoracic rotation.


During your Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship, you will be mentored by the attending physicians, chief residents, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and surgical residents. You will meet individually with the faculty throughout the program with formalized feedback at three, six and nine months into the program.


The clinical curriculum is integrated within the didactic curriculum with rotations in cardiac and thoracic surgery every 3 months. Physician assistant fellows are expected to perform daily rounds, present patients and implement the plan of care, outpatient clinic, give educational presentations, perform invasive diagnostic procedures and therapeutic procedures, and participate in all surgical aspects of the intraoperative care of cardiac and thoracic surgical patients.

The goal is to foster and instruct the PA trainee so that they develop proficient clinical skills in the pre-, peri-, and post-operative care of the surgical patient. As required by state law, all clinical activities of the PA trainee will be supervised by instructors. In each rotation, PA Trainees will be given a list of required skills, number of cases, and curriculum assignments they should complete prior to finishing the rotation. Please see criteria for completion of graduation for additional didactic requirements needed of PA trainees.


Program Fellows will be paid a competitive salary of $70,000 over the 12 months of the program, and are eligible for full, comprehensive benefits provided by LSUHS. The fellowship program provides educational materials including protective loupes, lab coats, textbooks, handouts, and Internet access while in an LSUHS facility. Learn more about Salary and Benefits.


LSUHS Department of Surgery offers one Postgraduate Physician Assistant Fellowship position in Cardiothoracic Surgery per 12-month period. Upon successful completion of the LSUHS Post Graduate Cardiothoracic Surgery Physician Assistant Fellowship, a certificate of completion is awarded to the PA Fellow. 

Our program has been created in accordance with the published Accreditation Standards for Clinical Postgraduate Physician Assistant Programs by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), with anticipation of accreditation.