Innovative Teaching

The faculty in the divisions of cardiac and thoracic surgery are thoroughly committed to the educational mission of the program. Routine feedback sessions, self-assessment and rapid/safe ramping of graduated responsibilities are enhanced by a variety of educational opportunities.

The Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT) is a UCLA-designated research facility. It includes a patient simulator, integrated operating room suite, laparoscopic training laboratory, and robotic surgery system. Learn more about CASIT »

A simulation curriculum has been developed for the trainees in order to enhance their cognitive and technical skills. These dedicated laboratory sessions include:

  • Cardiopulmonary bypass: Set up, troubleshooting, and crisis management
  • Vascular anastomosis: Porcine and artificial models are made available to teach and facilitate deliberate practice.
  • Aortic root: Porcine aortic root dissection and performance of aortic root replacement and valve sparing root operations
  • Mitral and Tricuspid Valve Anatomy: Dissection and understand the fibrous skeleton of the heart and valve repair and replacement strategies.
  • Arrhythmia Surgery: Anatomy and performance of the Cox-Maze operations with various energy sources.


  • Weekly M&M
  • Cardiac teaching – Combines cardiac and congenital topics
  • Thoracic teaching – Discusses thoracic topics
  • Esophageal conference
  • Congenital conference
  • Written and Oral Board preparation