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College of
Health Sciences

Thoracic surgery

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine offers a four-week elective rotation to fourth-year medical students with Geisinger Medical Center's Department of Thoracic Surgery. 

Our department provides inpatient and outpatient general thoracic surgical care to adults in central Pennsylvania with a variety of disease processes, primarily involving the neck, mediastinum, pleural space, lungs, esophagus, pericardium and chest wall. Surgical oncology is of primary interest, including malignancies of the lung, esophagus, robotic surgery, are employed whenever possible, appropriate and safe.

You’ll be integrated into the service by active participation in the daily care of our patients. In doing so, you’re encouraged to demonstrate (at a level appropriate for your training) engagement in the following clinical tasks:

  • Initial evaluations of patients seen in consultation
  • Formulating differential diagnoses
  • Recommending appropriate workup sequences
  • Becoming familiar with basic surgical anatomy
  • Understanding goals of surgical therapy
  • Actively participating (when appropriate) in operative procedures
  • Maintaining daily inpatient follow-up on assigned patients

All clinical education activities are conducted under close supervision and in full cooperation with the surgical team, which includes the director of the department as well as a dedicated thoracic surgery physician assistant.

Goals and objectives

The overall educational goal is to provide you introductory exposure to the evaluation and compassionate care of patients with general thoracic surgical disease.

Specific educational goals include: 

  • Application of focused history and physical exam skills
  • Formulation of relevant differential diagnoses
  • Familiarity with basic thoracic surgical anatomy
  • Comprehension of thoracic surgical goals and expected outcomes
  • Application of evidence-based guidelines as they relate to all aspects of general thoracic surgery

Apply now

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Acceptance into the elective is by application only.

All applications must be submitted through Visiting Student Learning Opportunities™ (VSLO®).

Contact us

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Megan Longenberger 
Program Manager, Health Professions Education
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