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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Surgery
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Cardiac Surgery

Ranked seventh in the nation for heart and heart surgery programs by U.S. News & World Report, the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's Department of Surgery is widely respected throughout the nation as an innovator and leader. The division's success is built upon three main areas: education, research and clinical care through Feinberg-affiliated hospitals.


The Division of Cardiac Surgery is widely respected throughout the nation as an innovator and leader by focusing on three main objectives: improving measurable outcomes within the service line, elevating the reputation and brand of the program and expanding and growing the program’s impact on patients.”

Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, Chief

What We Do


Visit our Education section for more information on the following training programs:


The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute - Clinical Trials Unit is a centralized research unit dedicated to supporting our investigators performing high-quality cardiovascular clinical research. Our investigators are practicing physicians who see the firsthand results of innovate treatments. Northwestern Medicine physicians address the prevention and treatment of heart and vascular disease through the investigation of new technologies, drugs and devices that ultimately translate into the best patient care. The unit staff provide the infrastructure to support these initiatives while ensuring compliance with federal, state and institutional regulations, policies and procedures to project the safety of our research participants.

 Patient Care

Our faculty provide comprehensive surgical solutions for a wide range of cardiac diseases across the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and Northwestern Medicine. In the most recently released U.S. News & World Report rankings, we are ranked the seventh Cardiology and Heart Surgery program in the nation and have been among the top 10 nation’s most elite programs for five straight years. We are the highest ranked cardiology and heart surgery program in Illinois for 12 straight years.

Meet Our Team

Carl Backer

Professor of Surgery (Cardiac Surgery)

Dr. Backer was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin. He was an undergraduate at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Dr. Backer and his wife, Julia have four children and live in Winnetka, Illinois. Dr. Backer’s academic appointment is the A.C. Buehler Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and he is currently the Division Head of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He recei...

Andrei Churyla

Assistant Professor of Surgery (Cardiac Surgery)


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Contact Us

Support What We Do

We invite your philanthropic partnership in helping us achieve our research and teaching missions each day.

You can contact Tiffany Scarparotti for more information on supporting our division at 312-503-3088 or

Make an online donation
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