Reasons to Choose Stanford's Cardiothoracic Surgical Program

Streamlined, Integrated Resident Curriculum

Designed for medical school graduates, what makes our Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgical Program curriculum unique is its streamlined three-part, six-year clinical track with two years of mandatory education enrichment, designed to reduce the years of training required to become a cardiovascular specialist while focusing training to the most crucial areas of the field.

Our residency program limits work hours to 80 per week and emphasizes work-life balance more than many competing programs.

Beautiful, State-of-the-Art Facilities

The activities of the Department are centered in the Falk Cardiovascular Research Building at Stanford, a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility for the academic offices and research laboratories of the Department. The clinical activities are centered at the Stanford University Hospital, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and the nearby Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center, with certain rotations at affiliated hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey County. Many rotations emphasize cutting edge technology, such as minimally invasive techniques, simulator practice, and robotic surgery.

Dedicated and Accomplished Faculty

Adult Cardiac Surgery

Joseph Woo, MD

Thomas Burdon, MD

William Hiesinger, MD

Yasuhiro Shudo, MD

Bruce Reitz, MD

James Fann, MD

JW MacArthur, MD

James Longoria, MD

R. Scott Mitchell, MD

Jack Boyd, MD

Ioannis Karakikes, PhD

Noot Ruaengsri, MD

Philip E. Oyer, MD, PhD

Ngan Huang, PhD

Claire Watkins, MD

Yihan Lin, MD

D. Craig Miller, MD

Anson Lee, MD

Maria Currie, MD, PhD

Michael Fischbein, MD, PhD

Elan Burton, MD

Billie-Jean Martin, MD, PhD

Thoracic Surgery

Joseph Shrager, MD

Brandon Guenthart, MD

Mark Berry, MD

Leah Backhus, MD, MPH, FACS

Natalie Lui, MD

Douglas Liou, MD

Irmina Elliott, MD

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Frank Hanley, MD

Olaf Reinhartz, MD

Malcolm Macdonald, MD

Naruhito Watanabe, MD

Richard Mainwaring, MD

Michael Ma, MD

Doff McElhinney, MD

Elisabeth Martin, MD, MPH

Teimour Nasirov, MD

Edwin Petrossian, MD

A History of Excellence and Pioneering Firsts

Stanford has a history of excellence in all aspects of cardiothoracic surgery, including a series of pioneering "firsts," such as the first heart transplant in the US, the first heart/lung transplant in the world, and one of the first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) procedures in the world. Its programs are particularly noted for work in thoracic organ transplantation and treatment of valvular, aneurysm, congenital, and ischemic heart disease, and pulmonary and mediastinal tumors.

Dr. Norman Shumway (center) performs the first heart transplant in January 1968.


Dr. Bruce Reitz (left) and Dr. Norman E. Shumway  during the first combined heart-lung transplant performed at Stanford University Medical Center.

A Legacy of Leadership

Previous Stanford trainees occupy a number of leadership positions throughout academic cardiothoracic surgery in the United States and abroad.

Scenic, On-campus Accommodations

Stanford West is a 628-unit residential, on-campus community of apartments and townhomes. It is University-owned and is located on the northwest side of the Stanford campus, adjacent to the San Francisquito Creek and trail. Virtually everything you need for daily living is easily accessible by bike, on foot, or on the Stanford Marguerite Shuttle. Each apartment has a one-car garage, washer-dryer, and (for a fee) direct connection to SUNet, Stanford's computer network. A beautiful community center includes a lounge, pool, fitness center, and business center.

Location, Location, Location

No description of our program would be complete without emphasizing Stanford University’s prime location within the San Francisco Bay Area, an area rich in natural beauty, culture, and entertainment. Stanford’s agreeable climate makes for pleasant seasons year-round, and various nearby microclimates mean you’re never far from just about any recreational activity imaginable. From sunbathing to skiing, the Bay Area can accommodate.

Stanford campus is located:

  • adjacent to downtown Palo Alto, popular for its restaurants, shopping, and specialty theatres
  • 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose in the heart of Northern California's dynamic Silicon Valley
  • 30 minutes east of beaches and the Pacific Ocean as well as the Santa Cruz Mountains
  • 1.5 hours south of the famed Napa Valley wine country
  • 4 hours from Lake Tahoe and excellent ski resorts

Local professional sports teams:

  • Hockey - San Jose Sharks
  • Basketball - Golden State Warriors
  • Baseball - San Francisco Giants, Oakland As
  • Football - San Francisco 49ers
  • Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes

Or watch sports on campus: Stanford Athletics

Or participate in recreational sports on campus: Stanford Recreation & Wellness. Our campus is also home to the Stanford University Golf Course, which is consistently rated one of the finest courses in the world.

For more information about what attracts so many people to Stanford and the Bay Area,
visit Stanford University Visitor's Information.