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The goal of this elective is to provide the student with the opportunity to observe common conditions that affect heart, lung, esophagus and intrathoracic contents that are treated in a surgical fashion. Most commonly, this will involve coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, esophageal cancer, and esophageal reflux.

Objectives: At the conclusion of this week, the student will be able to:

  1. Perform a comprehensive history and physical exam pertaining to the cardiac and pulmonary systems.
  2. Describe the management of common cardiac surgical problems; specifically, coronary artery disease, aortic stenosis, and mitral insufficiency.
  3. Describe the management of common thoracic surgical problems; specifically, lung cancer, emphysema, esophageal cancer and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  4. Understand the unique perioperative management skills required of the post-operative cardiothoracic patient.

Participating Faculty:

Stephen R. Hazelrigg, M.D., William Pyle, M.D., William Stevens, MD.

Course Description:

During the elective, the student will follow the team in SIU Cardiothoracic Surgery, which includes CT surgeons, a third-year general surgery resident, physician assistants, and the nurses, on rounds and in managing inpatient problems. They will also attend surgical clinics to see the patients as outpatients and will scrub in and observe all operations performed in the operating room.

Additional web resources can be found at:  the moodle web site. Look under surgery, find cardiothoracic and the password is SIUCTS. 

Number of Students: up to 2

Expectations: Students are expected to:

  1. Have an understanding of the pertinent anatomy and review the operative procedure prior to coming to the operating room for their assigned case(s).
  2. Review the indications for surgery of their assigned case(s)
  3. Review the patient’s history prior to the surgery
  4. Make post-operative rounds on assigned patients


The student will be evaluated at the end of the week using the standard evaluation form based upon performance in all of the areas, inpatient, outpatient, and operating room.

Call Requirement:


Contact Person:

Tony Grasch PA-C, MPAS pager 744-8640 or the third year surgical resident on the service. They will help assign you to cases/clinics throughout your rotation.


The next day’s surgery schedule is available via the “hotline” to each hospital’s cardiac surgery area. St. John’s gets recorded after 4:00 pm 757-6775. Memorial’s gets recorded after 8:00 pm, 788-3443.

We operate in the cardiac surgery suites on 6D at Memorial Medical Center and the 3rd floor of the Prairie Heart Institute at St. John’s Hospital.  Pediatric cases are usually performed in the neonatal ICU in CJV at St. John’s Hospital.

If you are not in the operating room we encourage you to join us in the clinic setting or on rounds.  Below is the clinic schedule and location:                                      

Monday at 9:00(10:00)  Dr. Hazelrigg   2nd floor Simmons Cancer Institute
Monday at 9:00   Dr. Stevens 5th floor of the Prairie Heart Institute
Tuesday at 8:30    Dr. Pyle    5th floor of the Prairie Heart Institute
Wednesday at 9:00    Dr. Vasilleva    2nd floor of Moy Building (751)

Pager Contact info:

Hazelrigg pager 744-8635
Hazelrigg’s Nurse (Tilitha) 744-8636

Stevens pager 492-7563
Stevens’ Nurse (Mary) 492-7564

Pyle pager 744-8630
Pyle’s nurse (Wes) 744-8631