Your Career Journey Starts Here

In the early stages of your CT surgery career, one of the most important things you can do is partner with an organization that will help you broaden your skills, connect with peers and mentors, and take care of your health and wellbeing. These are the fundamentals of career development that will help you  

  • land the job you want,
  • deliver the highest quality of patient care,
  • develop leadership skills and increase your visibility within your practice setting among your peers,
  • make smart, strategic career decisions, and
  • connect and network with other surgeons.  

STS has what it takes to be that partner. Here you’ll find extensive professional development programs offering a wide variety of learning opportunities - from finding your first job and receiving fellowship awards to leading in the OR and becoming a voice on Capitol Hill where together we advocate for quality improvement and patient safety.  

STS’s resources and activities are developed and designed by surgeons for surgeons. At STS, you can find the support you need to thrive starting today and continuing through your CT surgery career. 

Join STS as a Surgeon Member for career-enhancing resources, complimentary subscriptions to The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and other publications, advocacy efforts, discounts on the STS Annual Meeting, and more. If you're not already a member, apply today.


STS offers a variety of high-quality, timely, and relevant opportunities for in-person and online learning. These include conferences, webinars, e-learning modules, and online courses. Some of these opportunities are available for free; others require purchase. STS members receive discounts on programs offered for purchase.  

Early Career Webinar Series

The quarterly STS Early Career Webinar Series provides fundamental information for successful career development in an out of the operating room. Surgeons from academic, private practice and hospital settings share practical information and personal insights on a broad range of topics from how to negotiate a contract and manage one’s finances to coping with second victim syndrome and supporting one’s OR team. These learning opportunities will help early careerists land the job they want, deliver the highest quality patient care, develop leadership skills, make smart strategic career decision, and connect and network with other surgeons. 

Blogs and Publications

The Career Development Blog features posts written by early career STS members on topics relating to the specific career needs of surgeons in the first years of practice. Read selections from the blog and other STS publications for latest news, events, networking, and education opportunities for early careerists.

As long as the values of the STS-PAC remain in line with my own, I will continue to contribute to it.
3 min read
David Blitzer, MD
Learn how to deploy a strategy to intentionally work with consultants and achieve the highest quality of care.
4 min read
Melanie A. Edwards, MD

For the first time, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons joined the Korean Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (KSTCVS) in their presentation of the Heart Valve Disease Forum (HVDF), an annual conference that delivers the latest developments on the basis, cause, diagnosis, treatment, and future of valve disease.

Heart Valve Disease Forum in Seoul

The forum, held September 15-16, 2023, in Dragon City, Yongsan, Seoul, was led by the President of the HVDF, Dr. Kyung Hwan Kim, and organized by co-program directors Dr. Joon Bum Kim of Asan Medical Center of Ulsan College of Medicine and Dr. S. Chris Malaisrie of Northwestern University, who commented “STS was thrilled to partner with the KSTCVS on this international event, highlighting transpacific expertise on valves.”

Dr. Kim remarked, “By co-hosting the forum with STS, we brought together the world’s top scholars in related fields for discussion and achieved the best conference experience.”

More than 300 surgeons, residents, and other medical students attending the conference heard from luminary surgeons and professors on today’s hottest topics impacting the specialty, including TAVI, innovative SAVR, and endocarditis, and trained on surgical techniques in wet labs. “The dynamic, case-based discussions and interactive wet labs with skilled faculty inspired the next generation of cardiac surgeons," said Dr. Malaisrie.

Dr. Thomas MacGillivray, president of STS, delivered several talks, including one on “Crisis Management in the Operating Room and Surgeon Leadership.”

At this year’s conference, particular emphasis was placed on connecting young surgeons responsible for the future of heart valve surgery with proven STS surgeon leaders through a mentor-mentee program. It was an exclusive opportunity for early career attendees to gain invaluable guidance on navigating their career paths and overcoming challenges from leaders.

“The heart valve symposium was a wonderful success and a historical event that stands out among the meeting’s 30-year history,” said Dr. Kim. “Our Korean colleagues agreed that collaborating with STS was the best thing in terms of excellence of lectures, one-to-one teaching in the wet lab, an exciting mentorship program, and beautiful times spent outside of the conference room.”

Oct 10, 2023
2 min read

Podcast Episodes

STS offers a variety of podcasts that feature surgeons and other professionals discuss topics to that will help optimize your performance in and out of the OR.

Same Surgeon, Different Light Podcast

Same Surgeon, Different Light: Drs. Fatima G. Wilder and Asishana A. Osho

Two first-year faculty at Boston hospitals share their upbringings, early career challenges, and aspirations for the cardiothoracic surgery profession.

Listen to the Episode

Dr. Susan Moffatt-Bruce discusses burnout

Strategies for Surgeons to Prevent Burnout

An expert panel discusses strategies to avoid burnout, a significant concern among cardiothoracic surgeons. 

Listen to the Episode

The Resilient Surgeon #BeYourBestSelf

The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Christopher Barnes

A deep dive into the impact of sleep deprivation on leadership performance and behavior, as well as its effects on interpersonal relationships. 

Listen to the Episode


Designed for STS members at any career level, the Mentorship Program connects professionals seeking career advice and other guidance. Early career surgeons can request mentorship from a more seasoned professional–as well as apply to mentor a trainee seeking guidance. Provide your contact information and notate your practice type and areas of interest (e.g., practice building, clinical research, contract negotiations) to assist in creating the best mentor/mentee match.

Find a mentor     Become a mentor

Fellowships, Awards, and Scholarships

The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF), the charitable arm of STS, provides research awards and grants aimed at developing the skills of early career surgeons, both as surgeon-scientists and health policy leaders, as well as scholarships for trainees and early career surgeons to attend various STS in-person events. 

TSF logo and photo of Dr. Doug Mathisen

TSF/STS Douglas Mathisen Traveling Fellowship in General Thoracic Surgery

Up to $20,000 to support the continuing education of early career general thoracic surgeons to travel domestically or internationally in order to learn a new technique, adapt new technology, and collaborate between investigators. 

Learn More

TSF logo and photo of Dr. Robert Replogle

Robert L. Replogle Traveling Fellowship Award

Up to $10,000 for early career congenital heart surgeons committed to the treatment of congenital heart disease to travel to another institution for the purpose of learning a novel technique, adapting innovative technology, and/or fostering collaboration.

Learn More

TSF logo and photo of Dr. Nina Braunwald

Nina Starr Braunwald Research Award

Up to $85,000 per year for up to two years to support the work of an early-career woman cardiac surgeon (within five years of first faculty appointment).

Learn More

Ethics Forum Scholarships

The Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum, a joint STS and AATS project, offers scholarships in amounts up to $10,000 for cardiothoracic surgeons to obtain formal training in biomedical ethics.

Learn More

Advocacy Scholarships

These scholarships cover reasonable travel and meal expenses associated with attendance at an STS Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC.

Learn More

Health Policy Scholarship

STS and the American College of Surgeons offer an annual scholarship to subsidize attendance and participation in the Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Learn More

Social Media Outreach

Connect with the Workforce on Career Development members on X (formerly Twitter) @CTSurgCareers, and join quarterly TweetChats, during which Society leaders discuss early career issues in an open social media forum. The most recent TweetChat, "Financial Toxicity," took place on Wednesday, August 23. Moderator Dr. Joseph Phillips (@jdphillipsMD) led a conversation on how rising healthcare costs are impacting healthcare systems and patients. Use the hashtag #CTCareers to follow the conversation. 

Note: The opinions expressed in this X/Twitter feed are those of its contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.


Watch videos for focused discussions on topics that range from clinical scenarios to lively debates and roundtable discussions.

Young Professors: Insights and Tips for Early and Mid-Career Faculty

A discussion: how to balance clinical work with the scholarly activities that are necessary for promotion in a modern academic medicine environment.

Watch Video

 How Cardiothoracic Surgeons Are Reimbursed

8 in 8 Series: How Cardiothoracic Surgeons Are Reimbursed

 A look at the basics of surgeon salary and compensation, plus two types of reimbursement models.

Watch the Video

Finding Your First Job in Cardiothoracic Surgery

Finding Your First Job in Cardiothoracic Surgery

Tips on making a good impression during an interview, making sure that the job is a great fit, how to find the best career resources, and how to engage and maintain good mentors.

Watch the Video