Surgical case volumes in non-university-affiliated cardiothoracic surgery training programs in the US have been extensively studied by the Residency Review Committee (RRC) for thoracic surgery. The RRC has established that these programs offer a broad experience in common cardiothoracic procedures such as myocardial revascularization, valvular surgery, and cardiopulmonary transplantation. However, resident exposure to other important but less common cardiac surgical conditions in these programs remains unanswered. To address this question, an institutional review board-approved retrospective review of the experience of thoracic surgery residents with one of the rarest of surgical conditions, cardiac tumors, was conducted at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana. A survey of existing private, non-university-affiliated US cardiothoracic surgery training programs was conducted to determine the extent of the cardiac tumor experience in these programs. The results were then compared with selected university programs.