In this article, I will outline the origin of cardiothoracic surgical (CTS) training at Indiana University (IU) and its evolution to the present. I will describe my educational background, surgical training in this specialty, and my role as an educator of CT surgeons. I will describe our faculty and the structure of the CTS residency. Finally, I will describe a newly adopted smart phone “App” called SIMPL, which allows the resident and faculty to quickly (<4 minutes) evaluate the CTS resident’s performance for each surgical case they perform together. The tool prompts both parties to determine the resident’s level of involvement in >50% of the most critical aspects of each surgical procedure, the resident’s performance during the critical portion of the operation from poor to excellent, and the degree of difficulty of the operation from simple to complex. The attending surgeon and the resident data are then forwarded to the SIMPL database where the SIMPL software aggregates data for each resident and procedure producing a report at the end of the rotation of the resident’s performance relative to his peers. This additional evaluation process will better ensure that our CTS residents are “practice ready” when they complete their training.
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