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Robotic Surgery – Cardiac in partnership with Medtronic


  • Grant: €12,000
  • Location: A high-volume robotic centre in Europe
  • Duration: 3-4 months.

The Robotic Surgery – Cardiac Fellowship is supported by an educational grant from Medtronic.


Robotic systems have been applied in Cardio-Thoracic surgery for more than 20 years, but their application in daily surgical practice is still considered a challenging programme.

This Fellowship provides the successful Fellow with the chance to gain both theoretical and practical skills on robotic cardiac surgery and visit Medical Research and Advanced Technological Institutes in Europe.

Fellowship overview

This Fellowship includes a three-four month placement at a high-volume robotic centre in Europe, where the successful applicant will receive in-depth exposure and experience in basic and complex procedures.

Participants will be able to master basic techniques and train in simulation environment (Level 1 and 2) and will be introduced to Level 3. Contact with proctors will ensure continuous learning and implementation of techniques on completion of the Fellowship.

Training includes didactic lectures, videos, surgery observation and hands-on animal laboratory sessions; exposing the successful Fellow to a virtual training simulation programme in addition to the various aspects of the evaluation, multi-disciplinary treatment, surgical techniques and post-operative care of patients with cardiac diseases.

Specific Learning Objectives

  • Buttonology
  • Simulation of robotic handling
  • Patient selection, preparation, installation and management (GCP)
  • Hybrid approach and team interaction
  • Safety steps and emergency management, bedside assistance

Learning Objectives

EACTS plays an important role by promoting the educational opportunities for the training surgeons in the field of high-technology such as robotic systems. The fellows have the opportunity to access different levels of training depending on their previous experience and with as general aims:

  • To select the best patients
  • To use and apply the robot in the OR
  • To interact with a robotic team
  • To know and rapidly identify and resolve pitfalls
  • To create hybrid thinking and simulate procedures upfront

These features make part of both the basic and advanced level in cardiac care.


  • Buttonology, draping and startup, installation and docking
  • Instrument changes
  • Emergency undocking
  • How to use training instruments and virtual training

A/Virtual training curriculum

  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Master

Exercises must be completed with a score over 90% to pass.

B/ Create a clip of an anatomical challenge and how to solve it

  • C/ Bedside assistance
  • D/ Clinical indication and decision making, heart team participation


To help with living and travel costs associated with this Fellowship, we offer a grant of €12,000.
EACTS will also provide a bursary towards the cost of your attendance at the 2024 EACTS Annual Meeting.

Application and selection criteria

Essential Criteria

In order to apply for this Fellowship, you must:

  • Be an EACTS member with up-to-date membership payment
  • Be a senior resident/Fellow in cardiac surgical training or a young junior surgeon working at a hospital which performs robotic surgery
  • Be fluent in English

Desirable Criteria

  • Previous experience in robotic cardiac surgery
  • Possibility of applying the knowledge and abilities acquired during the Fellowship in their own practice
  • Willingness to install a robotic cardiac surgery program in the future

The following documents must be provided as part of your application:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) (A structured curriculum and appropriate documentation of training is required
  • Letter of interest detailing the way in which you meet the above application criteria, along with your career aspirations, as well as how you believe the Fellowship will impact your career.
  • Letter of support from head of training/department or local director of the robotic cardiac surgery program
  • OR Log listing robotic surgery experience (includes cases as primary surgeon and/or patient side surgeon)
  • List of publications and presentations, key publications as PDF

The selected trainee is expected to have acquired an adequate amount of knowledge for the competent practice of general cardiac surgery.

Experience necessary 4.

Application guidance

Please ensure that all documents submitted are written in English, and that they are submitted either as word documents or PDF. We do not accept images or handwritten applications. We are unable to provide advice or guidance about visa applications, so please ensure that you understand the visa requirements before applying for this Fellowship.

Evaluation  and feedback

Feedback will be given according to the simulation hours and level achieved. After each month, a structured evaluation of activities with determination of training goals for the next month will be produced.

At the end of the Fellowship, the Fellows will produce a full report on their experience based on the Francis Fontan Fund Committee guidelines.