Cardiothoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in the diagnosis and management of surgical conditions of the heart, lungs and oesophagus and includes cardiopulmonary transplantation and paediatric cardiac surgery.
At present specialty training in cardiothoracic surgery is a six year programme and entry to it is at the ST3 level. For the ST3 to ST6 years there is training in the core aspects of the specialty which are in part assessed by the FRCS (C-Th) examination, which is taken around the time of completion of the ST6 year. In years ST7 and ST8 trainees acquire the particular skills and knowledge in their chosen area of subspecialisation. The CCT (certificate of completion of training) is awarded on successfully completing the ST8 year.