Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery Observer

The Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery participates in the Observership program designed by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Observership program is for academicians and educational trainees who are interested in observing surgical procedures and outpatient consultations in the department. This is a one-way relationship in that we provide service to the trainees; they do not provide service to us. This is a hands-in-pocket training experience. Observation only.

Observership program requirements in the Department of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery

  • Must demonstrate proficiency in English
  • The maximum appointment for an Observer is three months
  • If approved, there is a fee in the amount of $500 during the first month and $200 for each additional month (months two and three)
  • White lab coat required (Department will provide scrubs for the operating room)

Application process:

  • Applications will be accepted between June and August for a proposed observership during the months of January-June of the following year. Applications will be accepted between January-March for a proposed observership during the months of July-December of the same year.
  • Applications will be reviewed by our faculty in September and April respectively.
  • Our department only allows 2 observers at a time
  • To apply for observership, e-mail Dara Keener with a current CV, letter of support from home institution, letter describing your areas of interest in disease and/or technology and include the length of time you are requesting to observe.

If your application is approved

  • You will notified of the dates to observe.
  • An account will be set up for you through the Discover web based application system. You will receive an e-mail from Discover where you will complete the application and submit the required documents through Discover.
  • Once the application and documents are submitted, the Department of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery will recommend you for an educational appointment.
  • Your application and supporting documents will be sent to the Academic & Visa Administration - Trainee (AVA - Trainee) for approval. If approved as an Observer, you will receive an appointment letter via e-mail from AVA - Trainee.
  • The Academic and Visa Administration - VISA office (AVA - VISA) can help you secure a Visa, if applicable. Non-US citizens, including permanent residents, are required to check in with AVA - VISA before the first day of the appointment. The office is located at 7007 Bertner Avenue, 1MC17.3439, Houston, TX. Phone: 713-792-1112; e-mail: Non-US citizens should bring all original immigration documents.
  • All observers (regardless of citizenship) must check in with AVA - Trainee after they clear AVA - VISA. AVA - Trainee is located at 7007 Bertner Avenue, 1MC17.3439, Houston, TX. Phone: 713-792-2696. Please have your Visa and Immigration Services Administration Office clearance documents and passport for verification when you check in. Non-US citizens must present the clearance forms they received from AVA - VISA.
  • After you check in with the AVA - Trainee, report to the Program Coordinator's office, Pickens Academic Tower, 1400 Pressler Street, 19th Floor, Rm. FCT19.6000.
  • Observers will need to bring the required fee in credit or debit card, money order or a cashier’s check payable to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery, Pickens Academic Tower, 1400 Pressler Street, 19th Floor, Rm. FCT19.6000, Houston, TX 77030.
  • The Administrative Chief Thoracic Surgery Fellow and the Program Coordinator will design a program for the observer during his/her appointment.

If you have any questions, please contact program coordinator Dara Keener or 713-792-7664.