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FAQS IN DNB CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY

1. Why are there are a lot of dropouts from these courses?

2. Pros & cons of these courses?

3. Is it at par with MCh or MS? Is doing MS MCh better?

4. How much do we actually learn: operate & learn surgery or relegated to dressings & scoot work?

5. Passing rates

6. What to do after completion?


Please note - all views expressed here are the contributor's personal opinion.


Dropouts: First of all I dont think dropouts are unique to just 6 yr courses.. They happen with most branches & also not necessarily only with DNB.. Anyhow I think reasons for dropout from 6 year courses are:

First, many of the students opt for these courses as a back up option rather than a primary option. Its a difficult thing really transitioning from just finishing MBBS to a super speciality. It can be overwhelming at times but mostly students just realise after joining that this is simply not their cup of tea. Its a difficult thing to do even when you are interested but once the confidence is lost I mean that is the end.

Second, a lot of students come to the departments all excited & high hopes & expectations sometimes on their own...sometimes due to a misunderstood review & at times misguidance.. they join & find it is not what they understood it to be.. some stick around even after that..some don't...

Third reason is a rare one but I have seen this one.. people opt for these courses thinking there wont be a heavy work load since the hospitals in which these specialities have seats are mostly corporate but they get surprised to see that residents here are working as hard because either the case load is not exactly light or you are expected to follow track & prepare a particular patient in a particular way.

Talking of CTS particularly, its become a less popular branch mainly because it has a long learning curve.


Pros & Cons:

Biggest advantage is you get out as a superspecialist. No competitive exams anymore.

Cons- the only con that is there is that you close all other options, so you cant do anything else & if you leave it after taking you are basically closing a door on one of the options of doing PG.



It is at par with Mch! Period. Discrimination..MS>DNB... I dont know about these things..I am not a pessimist & thats that!

DNB 6yrs or MS pathway?? Take DNB 6 yrs if you are very sure you like the branch or atleast have some interest in it. Doing MS just gives you an option of having a sneak peek at all specialities & an option to pursue each one of them, you choose at a later date.

DNB 6yrs is more fast track in terms of exposure not in terms of time though. So be careful, if there is doubt & there is an option of going for General Surgery, go for it!


Learning My advice is speak to residents of the particular institutes to get to know exactly. My opinion is most of the institutions wont give you completely free hand but wont deny you the basics teaching as well.



Very few institutes offer little to no exposure exactly very few offer a lot of hands on.

Academics again at most places will be just about average. Most surgeons give work only when they are supremely confident of your skills, You have to earn that trust.

When you join any institute always always remember OT is a privilege.

CTS: learn to harvest conduits.. opening & closing chest obviously.. cannulation techniques.. CPB going on & coming off.. If you even learn to do this much in a smooth efficient way & can tackle minor complications that come with these techniques you will be fine.


Passing rates: They will wary each year.

It also depends on your preparation. Even with the worst papers there are people who pass that is because they worked hard consistently, Maybe we should try & be like them... Consistent with studies.


Future Options - Fellowships, subspecialties, Job, everything is an option.

There seems to be a misunderstanding that all procedures that a CT surgeon does a cardiologist can do non-invasively.. this is false! You cant even earn well after completion...Again false!


Good Luck!

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