IU School of Medicine



Cardiothoracic surgery involves surgical procedures of the chest and its vital organs. The basic surgical principles employed are consistent across all surgical specialties and this course will serve to augment those lessons learned on other surgical rotations. Technical considerations and hands on participation in operations is expected but understanding the pathophysiology of the diseases that bring patients to the cardiothoracic operating room will receive greater emphasis. The course will include formal rounds, didactic presentations, attendance at M&M and supervised participation in direct patient care. Students will be a part of the care team as full participants. Clinic participation is required where history and physical findings of cardiac and thoracic diseases will be learned. This is a particularly good opportunity to enhance auscultatory skills with readily available echocardiography to confirm clinical impressions. Preoperative preparation in the context of multiple comorbid conditions will be emphasized.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Cherron Jones (Jones562@iupui.edu)

Director: Daniel J. Beckman, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: IU Health Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis)

Other Faculty: Dr. Fehrenbacher, Dr. Wozniak, Dr. Corvera, Dr. Hess, Dr. Wang, Dr. Hashmi, Dr. Vigilance, Dr. Pillai

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of the 30-day course the student will be expected to: 1) List the techniques of basic suturing and knot tying. (PC5)
  • 2) Explain the importance of gentle treatment of the tissues and thoracic incisions and their impact on respiratory and circulatory physiology. (PC5)
  • 3) Explain Hemodynamics and the tools employed to measure and assess hemodynamics. (MK1)
  • 4) Discuss many of the pathophysiological problems which are treated on the cardiothoracic service along with evaluation of potential postoperative complications. (MK3)
  • 5) Explain how cardiac disease can adversely impact all types of non-cardiac surgery. (MK2)
  • 6) Recognize and evaluate thoracic surgical emergencies that commonly present to the emergency department. (PC3)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form; (Assessments will be done via observation in areas of Clinic, Hospital, OR and discussions with faculty)

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 4th year status

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 50 (7:00am - 5:00pm, opportunity for call hours if desired)

Time Distribution: 85% Clinical; 5% Laboratory; 5% Lecture/Seminar; 5% Library

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Any student wanting to drop or add this elective after the initial computer scheduling should contact Cherron Jones (Jones562@iupui.edu). This course may be dropped or added up to the 15th day of the month preceding the elective month. Students will enjoy a collaborative team-based approach as full members of the care team. Professionalism in team and patient interaction is learned by example on this rotation. The faculty is committed to the professional development of each student enrolled on the service. The student will have the opportunity to establish long term mentee-mentor relationships with experienced faculty that will be valuable throughout their medical education.

Third Year Elective? No

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None