As the use of stents has grown and the number of cardiac bypass procedures has fallen in turn, jobs for cardiac surgeons have taken a hit. These days, cardiac surgeons who keep up active practices are often picking up a lot more heart valve or lung surgeries rather than focusing on bypass procedures. The dip in job opportunity is so pronounced that the specialty is falling out of favor in medical school. According to an article published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery last year, 12 percent of the 88 cardiothoracic residents surveyed received no job offers in 2004. Meanwhile, the number of students who do move ahead with the training has fallen enough that some programs can't fill all of their openings. Students are apparently wary of spending 10 years training and ending up without the $419,980 average salary needed to pay for the training.
To learn more about the reduction in cardiac surgery jobs:
- read this USA Today piece