A Thoracic Surgeon is often grouped with cardiac or heart specialists for cardiothoracic surgery. He/She is a surgeon who specializes in surgery that involves the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other major blood vessels inside the chest as well as surgery of the chest wall. As a thoracic surgeon, your job is to evaluate a patient's medical history and educate him or her about her condition as well as available options. Generally, you are expected to diagnose and treat diseases in the chest, and you'll do it sometimes by working closely with the primary care doctor or other specialists.

Thoracic Surgeon Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real thoracic surgeon resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage the filing, maintenance of all patient records in accordance with HIPAA practices.
  • Room patients, check vitals, verify meds, H+P on new patients, EKG as requested by provider.
  • Work in pediatric orthopedic unit: treat children with congenital deformity, trauma and joint disease.
  • Handle confidential and sensitive information with accuracy and according to HIPAA policies.
  • Function as office nurse, assist with pre-operative instructions, post-operative dressings and appointment scheduling, examinations.
  • Work with CPT & ICD9 codes daily.
  • Conduct demonstrations and perform laparoscopic cholecystectomies.
Thoracic Surgeon Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Compassion is a skill that is necessary for working with others as you're able to put aside your differences and show genuine kindness toward others.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.

Thoracic Surgeon Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a thoracic surgeon does, you may be wondering, "should I become a thoracic surgeon?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, thoracic surgeons have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 7% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of thoracic surgeon opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 55,400.

On average, the thoracic surgeon annual salary is $298,570 per year, which translates to $143.54 an hour. Generally speaking, thoracic surgeons earn anywhere from $177,000 to $502,000 a year, which means that the top-earning thoracic surgeons make $325,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a thoracic surgeon, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming an eye physician, surgeon's assistant, foot and ankle surgeon, and neurosurgeon.

Thoracic Surgeon Jobs You Might Like

Thoracic Surgeon Resume Examples

Thoracic Surgeon Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 59% of Thoracic Surgeons are proficient in Heart, Patient Care, and CME. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Compassion, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Thoracic Surgeons that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Heart, 59%

    Served as a Member of the Benefis Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute

  • Patient Care, 28%

    Work closely with Administrator to ensure comprehensive delivery of services and quality patient care.

  • CME, 10%

    Maintain personal CME and training logs.

  • Surgical Procedures, 2%

    Experience extracting procedure codes from surgical procedures as well as assigning diagnosis codes and auditing for correct E/M services.

  • Community Hospital, 2%

    Answered phones, scheduled appointments, scheduled surgeries at the Irving Community Hospital (Baylor Hospital of Irving).

  • EKG, 0%

    Perform vital sign checks, glucose level assessments and EKG's.

"heart," "patient care," and "cme" aren't the only skills we found thoracic surgeons list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of thoracic surgeon responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a thoracic surgeon to have. According to a thoracic surgeon resume, "physicians and surgeons need to be excellent communicators" thoracic surgeons are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "strengthened knowledge of the importance of communication skills between physicians and patients"
  • Another trait important for fulfilling thoracic surgeon duties is compassion. According to a thoracic surgeon resume, "patients who are sick or injured may be in extreme pain or distress." Here's an example of how thoracic surgeons are able to utilize compassion: "direct patient care with focus on comfort and compassion. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among thoracic surgeons is detail oriented. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a thoracic surgeon resume: "patients must receive appropriate treatment and medications" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "maintained accurate medical records and documented patient case history in detail. "
  • In order for certain thoracic surgeon responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "leadership skills." According to a thoracic surgeon resume, "physicians who work in their own practice must manage a staff of other professionals." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "delivered advice to surgeon general and executive leadership on public health policies, project implementation, and milestone establishment. "
  • Another common skill for a thoracic surgeon to be able to utilize is "physical stamina." Physicians and surgeons should be comfortable lifting or turning disabled patients, or performing other physical tasks a thoracic surgeon demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "collected comprehensive medical histories, performed physical examinations, and ordered and interpreted diagnostic studies. "
  • See the full list of thoracic surgeon skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a thoracic surgeon. We found that 51.9% of thoracic surgeons have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 11.1% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most thoracic surgeons have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every six thoracic surgeons were not college graduates.

    Those thoracic surgeons who do attend college, typically earn either nursing degrees or business degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for thoracic surgeons include medicine degrees or sociology degrees.

    Once you're ready to become a thoracic surgeon, you should explore the companies that typically hire thoracic surgeons. According to thoracic surgeon resumes that we searched through, thoracic surgeons are hired the most by Henry Ford Health System, Adventist Health System, and Ascension Health Alliance. Currently, Henry Ford Health System has 2 thoracic surgeon job openings, while there are 1 at Adventist Health System and 1 at Ascension Health Alliance.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, thoracic surgeons tend to earn the biggest salaries at Marshfield Clinic, Altru Health System, and SIH. Take Marshfield Clinic for example. The median thoracic surgeon salary is $369,558. At Altru Health System, thoracic surgeons earn an average of $341,699, while the average at SIH is $322,639. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on thoracic surgeon salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at United States Army, United States Navy, and Charles River Laboratories. These three companies have hired a significant number of thoracic surgeons from these institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious thoracic surgeons are:

      What Eye Physicians Do

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take eye physician for example. On average, the eye physicians annual salary is $50,609 lower than what thoracic surgeons make on average every year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between thoracic surgeons and eye physicians are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like patient care, medical records, and billing issues.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a thoracic surgeon responsibilities require skills like "heart," "cardio-thoracic," "cme," and "cancer patients." Meanwhile a typical eye physician has skills in areas such as "insurance companies," "exam rooms," "scheduling appointments," and "eye drops." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      On average, eye physicians reach higher levels of education than thoracic surgeons. Eye physicians are 8.7% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.6% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Surgeon's Assistant?

      The next role we're going to look at is the surgeon's assistant profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $30,061 higher salary than thoracic surgeons per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of thoracic surgeons and surgeon's assistants are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patient care," "cme," and "surgical procedures. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real thoracic surgeon resumes. While thoracic surgeon responsibilities can utilize skills like "heart," "cardio-thoracic," "cancer patients," and "ecmo," some surgeon's assistants use skills like "trauma," "ortho," "emr," and "epic."

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, surgeon's assistants tend to reach similar levels of education than thoracic surgeons. In fact, they're 1.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.6% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Foot And Ankle Surgeon Compares

      Let's now take a look at the foot and ankle surgeon profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than thoracic surgeons with a $2,458 difference per year.

      By looking over several thoracic surgeons and foot and ankle surgeons resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "patient care," "cme," and "surgical procedures." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from thoracic surgeons resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "heart," "cardio-thoracic," "cancer patients," and "ecmo." But a foot and ankle surgeon might have skills like "private practice," "physical therapy services," "emr," and "clinical setting."

      Foot and ankle surgeons are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to thoracic surgeons. Additionally, they're 2.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 34.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Neurosurgeon

      A Neurosurgeon is responsible for diagnosing conditions related to the nervous system, determining treatment plans, and administering medications. Neurosurgeons perform surgeries and conduct further laboratory tests to track their progress and adjust treatment plans as needed. They also discuss the medical procedures and processes with the patients and advise them about the treatments. A Neurosurgeon must have excellent communication and organizational skills, pervasive knowledge of the medical expertise to help patients with accurate recovery plans and development.

      Now, we'll look at neurosurgeons, who generally average a lower pay when compared to thoracic surgeons annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $10,794 per year.

      According to resumes from both thoracic surgeons and neurosurgeons, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "patient care," "cme," and "surgical procedures. "

      Each job requires different skills like "heart," "cardio-thoracic," "cancer patients," and "ecmo," which might show up on a thoracic surgeon resume. Whereas neurosurgeon might include skills like "emergency," "neurosurgical," "icu," and "epic."

      In general, neurosurgeons reach higher levels of education when compared to thoracic surgeons resumes. Neurosurgeons are 15.5% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 19.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.