Criteria and Stipulations for Endorsing Industry Educational Programs


1. The content of the program must be based upon the best and most updated evidence available in the content area(s) covered.

2. The program should be fair, balanced, and not promotional in nature and content.

3. The content cannot disparage other products or educational programs.

4. The content must be germane to the work of STS members.

5. The content must ultimately be directed toward the benefit of patients.


1. The Workforce on Clinical Education will vet activities for which STS endorsement is sought with input from the Chair of the Education and Member Services Council (at his/her discretion) and make recommendations to the Executive Committee with regard to the request.

2. STS must approve the objectives and final program and if at all possible should be involved in the planning process.

3. The organization seeking endorsement must disclose the background of all speakers, including information regarding their potential conflicts of interest, and STS must have an opportunity to provide comment/input regarding the speakers.

4. A significant percentage of speakers should be STS-member cardiothoracic surgeons.

5. If wet labs are to be used for demonstrating new procedures and techniques, STS member surgeons should be involved in the majority of the teaching.

6. If speakers have a potential conflict of interest (e.g., honorarium, speaker fees, project PI, grants, etc.), this must be disclosed to the program participants both orally and in meeting materials.

7. The program as offered to physicians must be in compliance with the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs ethical opinion of “Gifts to Physicians from Industry (Opinion 8.061).

8. All educational programs should include an outcomes component that demonstrates the impact of the educational activity on the clinical practice of participants.

9. The program may not be scheduled to take place on the same dates as those of major meetings conducted by international, national and regional cardiothoracic surgery and related medical specialty societies.


1. Activities approved for STS endorsement will have the right to use the STS name and logo (trademark license) for that program only.

2. One set of STS member mailing labels will be provided to the industry partner for a one time use to market the program.

3. STS will retain approval rights for any marketing material that bears the STS name or logo.

4. A licensing fee will be assessed.

5. The fact that a licensing fee has been paid to STS will be communicated to program participants.

6. STS members will be granted a discount on the program if a registration fee is involved.

Amended by the Executive Committee of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons:  August 6, 2008