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PA Cardiothoracic Transplant Surgical Residency Program

The PA Cardiothoracic Transplant Surgical Residency Program expands, and builds upon the basic training foundation provided during PA school to help prepare the resident for a career in cardiothoracic surgery.


Learn more about this valuable opportunity, including its requirements, curriculum and schedule.


Program Description

Newly established, with a first expected graduating class in fall for 2021, the residency program is a 12-month didactic and clinical training program of State-of-Florida licensed, and Nationally Board-Certified PAs who are specializing in cardiothoracic transplant surgery. The program expands, and builds upon the basic training foundation provided during PA school to help prepare the resident for a career in cardiothoracic surgery. The PA Residents participate in all phases of care of the cardiothoracic surgical patient including pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative care, in both in-patient and out-patient settings.

PA Program Details


Program Director: Bradford Ledzian PAC, DMSc, MHS, DFAAPA, FAPACVS, CCTC

Education Coordinator: Brian Cardona PA


Institutional Affiliation

AdventHealth Transplant Institute is high volume center offering the full spectrum of cardiothoracic surgical care.  In addition to revascularization, valve, and aortic surgery, the Postgraduate residency program will be have an emphasis on mechanical circulatory support, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and heart and lung transplant surgery.


Residency Objectives

Upon completion, the PA Resident will have an in-depth understanding of general cardiac surgery with sub-specialty knowledge concentration in heart failure surgical options including: mechanical circulatory assist devices, transplantation, and extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation. The successful graduate will develop intensive care unit and step-down unit clinical management skills, and independent first assistant operative skills.


Program Length

12-months, beginning in September, with start date varying slightly to account for timing of PA program graduation



2 PA surgical Residents per 12-month period.



Residents will rotate through 7 surgical 4-week blocks including: General Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiothoracic Operative Technique, Mechanical Circulatory Support Surgery, Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation Surgery, General Transplant Surgery, Heart Transplant Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgically Relevant Anatomy and Physiology.

Residents will rotate through 5 medical 4-week blocks including: Heart Failure Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Critical Care, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia/Perfusion, Echocardiographic/Cardiac Catheterization Diagnostics, Cardiac Pharmacology.

Residents will participate in formal didactic portions of the program, integrated throughout the year and cumulatively representing one 4-week block. Designated didactic training includes:

Scrubbing/Instrument Lab, Suture Lab, Tying Lab, Leg/Arm/Full Body Cadaver Labs, Mannequin Lab, CSUALS Course, FCCS Course, APACVS Conference, Industry sponsored Ventricular Assist Device Training, Industry Sponsored Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Training, and CT Core Curriculum Board Review Course.

CT Core Curriculum Board Review Course

Residents will participate in informal didactic training throughout the year including: ~3-5 Hours per week of Didactic lectures, conferences, grand rounds, multi-disciplinary rounds, patient review committees

Clinical Training includes: Primary focus on clinical services in the inpatient and outpatient setting. Inpatient training will focus on: Pre-operative admission, consultation, evaluation and medical optimization; Intra-Operative 1st and 2nd assistance; Invasive procedures; Post-operative ICU and floor patient care and discharge.  Outpatient training will focus on: Pre- and Post-Operative clinic; Out-Of-Hospital patient clinical phone call management and Out-Of-Hospital operative call-in. Delivery of patient care will be conducted in collaboration with faculty surgeons and physicians. 


Admission Requirements

Applications must be graduates of an ARC-PA accredited Physician Assistant program and be eligible for, or have passed, the NCCPA Board exam.  Residents must obtain a Florida License upon acceptance into the program and undergo the standard Advent-Health pre-employment process.  Current BLS and ACLS certification is required.


Application Components

Completed Application form

Application Fee $25.00

Personal Statement – 1 page in length, expressing career goals and source of interest in cardiothoracic surgery

Curriculum Vitae

3 Letters of Recommendation: For recent graduates, 1 Letter must be from the PA Program Director.  For established PAs, 1 letter must be from the current employer

Official PA Program Transcripts


Selection Criteria

Residents will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Completion and submission of all Application Components
  • Personal Interview (Applicants will be screened for a limited number of interview spots
  • based on materials submitted)
  • Work and life experience
  • Education and academic records
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills


Credentials Awarded

Upon successful completion of the Residency Program, the PA Resident will be awarded a Certificate of PA Surgical Residency Completion signed by the Program Director and Medical Director. The AdventHealth PA CT Surgical Resident will receive CME credit (50 hours) from the American Academy of Physician Assistants, upon successful program completion.

This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria.This activity is designated for 50.00 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. 

This activity was planned in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria for Live Programs and for Commercial Support of Live Programs. 



Other Fees/Expenses/Tuition: None



The standard AdventHealth employee health plan will be available for PA Residents. Mal practice insurance will be provided. Residents will have 5-days Paid Vacation.  Residents will be sent to two CME meetings.  Residents will be provided lab coats.  All reference material will be provided.



$5,000.00 Housing stipend supplement will be provided. Residency housing is available. Housing will be arranged by each resident. Relocation costs are the responsibility of each PA Resident.

Calendar of Events

Application Deadline: March 15th

Interview Notification: March 20th

Interview Dates: Early April

        Interview-related expenses are the responsibility of each candidate

Selection Notification: April 10th

Commitment to Program: April 20th

Dates are subject to change


For More Information

AdventHealth Transplant Institute, Post Graduate CT PA Surgical Residency


Program Director



2415 North Orange Avenue, Suite 600

Orlando, Florida 32804