In a bid to foster professional development and guidance for aspiring cardiothoracic surgeons, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has unveiled a unique mentorship program tailored for medical students and residents.

The initiative, created with the Thoracic Surgery Medical Student Association (TSMSA), aims to bridge the gap between seasoned professionals and the next generation of surgeons. It delves into the intricacies of cardiothoracic surgery and forms collaborative relationships between early careerists and students. The new program is an extension of the current STS mentorship program that matches trainees with senior surgeons. 

The newly introduced medical student and resident mentorship opportunity is set to personalize the way aspiring surgeons acquire training, career advice, and other essential insights. The goal is to connect medical students eager for guidance with cardiothoracic surgery residents and fellows and facilitate a dynamic exchange of knowledge and experience. It is an expansion of the current STS mentorship program that matches trainees with senior surgeons.  

Under this program, medical students are empowered to seek mentorship from residents and fellows, gaining crucial insights into cardiothoracic surgery as a specialty. The mentorship extends beyond theoretical knowledge, offering practical guidance on residency programs, the interview process, rotations, and other aspects vital for navigating the field successfully. This hands-on approach provides aspiring surgeons with a comprehensive understanding of the demands and opportunities within the specialty, aiding them in making informed career decisions. 

Moreover, the program benefits residents and fellows too, giving them an opportunity to hone their mentorship skills while contributing to the development of future generations of cardiothoracic surgeons. By assuming the role of mentors, residents, and fellows gain valuable leadership experience and the satisfaction of guiding and shaping the careers of aspiring professionals. Through this reciprocal relationship, both mentors and mentees contribute to the advancement of the field while fostering a sense of camaraderie and community.

Joseph Phillips, MD, thoracic surgeon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and chair of the STS Mentorship Task Force, expressed confidence in the program's potential to significantly impact STS Medical Student and Resident/Fellow members. He emphasized the importance of mentorship in nurturing talent and fostering a supportive environment conducive to professional growth.

“In a rapidly evolving field like cardiothoracic surgery, mentorship serves as a cornerstone for success, offering guidance, support, and inspiration to young surgeons as they embark on their professional journey,” said Dr. Phillips. “With this initiative, STS reaffirms its dedication to nurturing talent, fostering collaboration, and shaping the future of cardiothoracic surgery.” 

It's just one more way STS is helping to cultivate a vibrant and resilient community of cardiothoracic surgeons poised to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.

May 13, 2024
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Registration details coming soon!

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A new and exciting space, The Hub will be the center of activity for programs, sessions, networking, and mentoring specifically for cardiothoracic surgery trainees and early surgeons.  Use the following schedule to plan to connect with your colleagues and refresh during the meeting:

"STS celebrates its 60th Annual Meeting"
The Hub will make its first appearance at STS 2024

Saturday, January 27
Juice Shots Available
9 - 9:45 a.m.

Early Career Insights with Dr. Leah Backhus, sponsored by AstraZeneca
9:10 - 9:40 a.m. 
Small Theater

STS Trainee Luncheon
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Large Theater

Leaders in CT surgery, including members of the STS Board of Directors, Workforces, and Task Forces, will be seated with trainees to discuss topics of interest to residents. Discussion topics include subspecialty training, dedicated research time, interventional and catheter-based skills during training, gaps in diversity, training paradigms, the current job market, and addressing non-clinical training needs. Attendance is limited to trainees (residents, fellows, medical students, LTTF scholars) and invited faculty. 

Sunday, January 28
Ask the Experts: How I Succeeded as an Early Career Surgeon
7 - 8 a.m. 
Large Theater

Listen to a panel discussion from your colleagues who found success early in their careers. 

Dr. Brian Mitzman – University of Utah
Dr. Jessica Rove – University of Colorado

Dr. Amy Fiedler – University of California San Francisco
Dr. Stephanie Worrell – University of Arizona
Dr. Reilly Hobbs – University of Utah/Primary Children's Hospital
Dr. Derek Serna-Gallegos – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Dr. Olugbenga Okusanya – Thomas Jefferson University

Juice Shots Available
9:45 - 10:30 a.m.

Early Career Journey Roundtables
9:55 - 10:30 a.m.
Large Theater

Early career surgeons and trainees have the opportunity to meet in an informal setting with STS leaders, who will offer insight into topics relevant to their career stages. Early career surgeons and trainees are on a unique journey, and seasoned surgeons will provide high-value information and an opportunity to meet and network with leaders in the specialty. 
(The roundtables listed below will be held concurrently.) 

STS: Your Career Journey Partner
This roundtable discussion will focus on how STS is a surgeon’s partner throughout one’s career journey, including how to become a more active and involved member; tap into award and fellowship opportunities; engage in STS’s resources, avenues of support, and advocacy opportunities; and make the most of the STS Annual Meeting. 

Trade Secrets for a Successful Career Journey
This roundtable discussion will focus on how surgeons can set themselves up for success early in their career journey, including how to navigate a job transition, negotiate a contract, get the most out of being a mentor or mentee, best manage one’s time, lead an OR team, and network with peers and colleagues. 

TSRA Luncheon
11:30 a.m. -12:45 p.m.
Large Theater

Join fellow trainees for the TSRA Luncheon moderated by TSRA President, Dr. David Blitzer. The program will include TSRA Awards, an update on TSDA activities, and a "State of the Workforce," including the job market and policy changes impacting trainees. 

Monday, January 29
STS Trainee Symposium: Professionalism Puzzles You May Encounter During Residency: How to Piece Together a Resolution
7:15 - 8:45 a.m.
Large Theater
Continental breakfast will be served 

This session showcases challenging situations that occur in medical practice regarding professionalism using real and hypothetical scenarios. 

Dr. Elizabeth Dexter – Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Amber Duda – University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Pauline Go — Penn State College of Medicine - Proper Use of Social Media for Surgeons
Dr. Clauden Louis – BayCare Medical Systems – Named in a Malpractice Lawsuit? Keep Calm, Consult with a Malpractice Lawyer, and Learn On
Dr. Aundrea Oliver – East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University – Harassment in Residency
Dr. Sean A. Jordon – University of Tennessee Medical Center – A Co-Residents Substance Abuse is Affecting Their Work – What Now?  
Dr. Melanie Edwards – Trinity Health Care – Financial Planning During Training and the Transition from Training to Practice

Presentations of Thoracic Surgery Foundation Research Award Recipients
9:30 - 10 a.m.
Large Theater

A highlight of research being conducted by cardiothoracic surgeon and trainee recipients of a TSF Research Award. 

Juice Shots Available 
10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Early Career Journey Roundtable: My Approach to Wellness
10:40 - 11:15 a.m.
Large Theater
Coffee will be served

Early career surgeons and trainees have an opportunity to meet in an informal setting with STS leaders who will provide insight into topics relevant to their career stage. Early career surgeons and trainees are on a unique journey, and seasoned surgeons will provide high value information and an opportunity to meet and network with leaders in the specialty.

This roundtable discussion will focus on achieving personal and professional wellness, how to avoid burnout, advice on personal self-care, and tips for achieving financial stability. 

Mock Oral Exams
Saturday, Jan. 27, 9 - 9:45 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 28, 6:30 - 7 a.m. and 9:45 - 10:30 a.m.
Monday, Jan. 29, 12 - 1:15 p.m.

This program is designed to help decrease the stress of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) exam by allowing trainees to prepare for and practice with the oral exam format. Registrants will receive access to a collection of online modules and resources that provide an overview of effective oral exam test-taking strategies, the anatomy of an oral exam, mock oral exam dos and don’ts; and an in-person session with a mock examiner (including small group of other trainees) who will present case scenarios, pose questions, and provide individualized verbal and written feedback to each participant. Limited spots are available, and priority will be given to cardiothoracic surgery residents who are registered for the Annual Meeting and scheduled to take the ABTS oral examination in June 2024. 

STS Mentorship Program
STS Mentorship Program mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet up in the Networking Lounge. The STS Annual Meeting is an excellent opportunity for mentors and mentees to meet face-to-face with their program partners during breaks, meals, or any other time that works best for both parties. 

Painting with a Purpose
While in The Hub, tap into your creative side and contribute to Painting with a Purpose by adding your personal touch to a mural that will be completed through meeting-goers’ collected efforts and donated to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Galveston, TX, after the meeting.

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