Douglas Wood Elected STS President

Los Angeles (Jan. 28, 2013) — A world-renowned thoracic oncology surgeon will lead STS into its 50th Anniversary.

Douglas E. Wood, MD was elected by the membership this evening to serve as the Society’s 2013–2014 President.

“This upcoming 50th Anniversary year gives us a chance to look back and consider our founders—the individuals who contributed to making the Society what it is today—as well as looking forward to the future of how we are affecting health care policy, science, research, and education in cardiothoracic surgery,” he said.

A long-time STS volunteer, Dr. Wood is currently the Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he also holds the Endowed Chair in Lung Cancer Research. Dr. Wood specializes in lung and esophageal cancer and has been a leader in the management of complex airway disease and the surgical management of end-stage lung disease. He developed UW’s lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) program to treat patients with severe emphysema. He also served as the co-principal investigator in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial, which was the first multicenter clinical trial designed to determine the role, safety, and effectiveness of bilateral LVRS in the treatment of emphysema.

In addition to his work with LVRS, Dr. Wood developed an interventional bronchoscopy program to complement UW’s surgical airway program. This interest led him to his role as one of the principal investigators in the Spiration IBV™ clinical trial, evaluating the effectiveness of endobronchial valves for the palliation of severe emphysema. Dr. Wood has been a prolific surgeon-scientist, with over 20 grants and 200 publications.

Dr. Wood received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University. He then completed his general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery residencies at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and spent an important formative year as a surgical registrar at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

An STS member since 1995, Dr. Wood has broad experience as a volunteer leader. Most recently, he served on the STS Board of Directors as First Vice President. In 2012–2013, he also served on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Council on Health Policy and Relationships Operating Board, and the Workforce on Critical Care, and in the past has served on the Board of Directors as well as numerous committees and workforces. He has represented the Society on the Board of Directors for the Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education and on the Lung Cancer Guidelines panel of the American College of Chest Physicians.

In addition, Dr. Wood has held leadership positions at several other organizations, including President of the Seattle Surgical Society, President of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association, Councilor for the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Chair of the Guidelines Panel for Lung Cancer Screening for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and the Board of Directors for the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS).

Dr. Wood has dedicated a major part of his career to resident education. He is the residency program director at the University of Washington, Chair of the Thoracic Residency Review Committee for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, recent Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and has served on the Program Committees and educational programs for virtually all of the cardiothoracic societies in the United States. One of Dr. Wood’s greatest passions is getting to know and work with residents and junior faculty in both US and international programs when he is teaching as a visiting professor. He has been awarded honorary memberships in the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland, La Sociedad Mexicana de Cirujanos Torácicos Generales, and later this year will receive the Fellowship ad hominem from the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.

Dr. Wood has been extensively involved in working to develop collaboration and synergy between specialties in areas of education, database development, and quality improvement. Outside of the United States, Dr. Wood has actively worked toward forging partnerships between US surgical societies and the thoracic surgical organizations in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Dr. Wood’s philosophy has aimed at always looking for opportunities to build bridges and partnerships across specialty lines, with the view that collaboration, rather than competition, provides the best care for all of our patients.

Dr. Wood lives in Seattle with his wife, Johanne LeBlanc, and daughters, Sophia and Emily. His greatest enjoyment is spending time with his family in the mountains of Washington State, where he is trying to learn to kite board, a skill he has not yet mastered.


Founded in 1964, STS is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 6,600 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality care through education, research and advocacy.

The STS Annual Meeting is one of the largest cardiothoracic surgery meetings in the world. The 2012 STS Annual Meeting attracted 4,700 registrants, including 2,300 cardiothoracic surgery professionals.