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Welcome from the Chairman

University of Michigan
Department of Cardiac Surgery

Welcome from the Chairman-

I am honored to join the distinguished faculty at the University of Michigan Department of Cardiac Surgery following two giants in our specialty in Drs. Edward Bove and Rich Prager both of whom have left indelible footprints in our specialty.    

Hope & Miracles

Our outstanding faculty perform the highest complexity procedures in cardiac surgery that I have seen anywhere including many reoperations, multiprocedure/ multivalve, and complex aortic work every day, often treating patients that other major medical centers have turned away. We take evaluating these patients very seriously, realizing that we are their last hope. In essence, Michigan surgeons provide this hope when all is lost. Despite caring for the sickest of the sick, our outcomes are among the top 3% in the nation, earning the top rating in aortic valve, mitral valve, and cabg/ valve operations. While we consider these successes for granted, our patients and their families consider these miracles. Day after day, week after week, I see and hear amazing stories of our team providing hope and creating miracles for patients in a difficult time.

Education at the Forefront

In 1928, the University of Michigan established the first Cardiothoracic surgery residency program in the country. Since that time, Michigan has taken our commitment to education seriously through educating and training roughly 285 bright young surgeons in our specialty. While most of our trainees enter academic practice, all become leaders in their practices. Fast forward to the present year, education is imbedded in the grain of how we practice. After three clinical years, our residents enter their academic development research period for two years in innovative projects ranging from translational work to outcomes and health policy research, usually publishing many peer-reviewed manuscripts.  Clinically, our residents often triple the number of operations required by the ABTS. In fact, most of our residents complete their required numbers as primary surgeon during their 5th clinical year allowing their final 6th year the opportunity to focus primarily on their interests. Michigan faculty take training the future of our specialty as part of our duty. Our trainees become like our surgical children. Our goal is to train talented and excellent surgeons who will go on to become the innovative leaders in our specialty.

Gorav Ailawadi, M.D.

Diversity & Inclusion

During these historic times of societal unrest, the Michigan faculty have focused on ensuring we create a culture of equality and inclusion. In a specialty where <5% of cardiac surgeons are female and an even smaller proportion are minorities, our faculty and residents span many races, backgrounds, and socioeconomic upbringings. In fact, 43% of our surgical trainees are female. Our faculty are actively involved in racial disparities research through the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI).

Research Second to None

Michigan’s Department of Cardiac Surgery is likely the highest funded department, section or division in the nation, with over 10 NIH or AHRQ funded grants. The North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) at the University of Michigan is world class with 28 dedicated scientific research buildings, over 2.1 million research space, and literally hundreds of investigators. This unparalleled environment allows for unique discovery and transforming health care. Our faculty and residents are uniformly committed to advancing treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

In summary, I am excited to join Michigan Medicine and the outstanding faculty and residents in Cardiac Surgery. I look forward to expanding our clinical reach by building innovative care, enhancing our resident education, and bringing new research opportunities to our nationally ranked institution.



Gorav Ailawadi, MD, MBA