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
2 min read

As Congress enters an election year, legislative activities typically slow down. Yet lawmakers already are beginning to lay the important groundwork for fiscal year 2025 appropriations. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons continues to advocate for our most critical federal programs, including one increasing funding for lung cancer research.

3 min read
Derek Brandt, JD, STS Advocacy

In this episode of Same Surgeon, Different Light, host Dr. Thomas Varghese chats with Dr. Mara Antonoff, associate professor and program director of education, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, at MD Anderson Cancer Center, about the origins of her career. Dr. Antonoff shares what it takes to be a leader in thoracic education, what she learned about the importance of independent and deliberate practice as a competitive figure skater, and the power of resilience from her parents who “made do with very minimum resources.” Dr.

48 min.

At a time when surgeon burnout is on the rise, STS is making wellness a priority. In this video message from STS President Jenna C. Romano, MD, MS, hear about the importance of being intentional about wellness and achieving a balanced life in this ever-evolving profession. 

May 2, 2024
1 min read

STS is pleased to announce the release of the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database Executive Dashboard Report, now available on the Database platform. The Executive Dashboard includes the following components:

  • The participant’s star ratings for the last six star-rating periods, allowing you to easily track your site’s risk-adjusted performance longitudinally.
  • Resource utilization metrics for isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures, which provide participants near real-time data vs. STS benchmark data from the previous analysis period, including: 
    • ICU times
    • Postoperative total ventilation hours
    • Postoperative length of stay
    • Total blood project usage (intraoperative/postoperative)
  • Participant’s performance on meeting inclusion eligibility criteria. Utilizing green, yellow, and red statuses and convenient drill-down functionality, participants can easily identify cases of concern and save valuable time. And case counts are available to allow users to verify if their site meets case count requirements for analysis. Updates to this report are ongoing to provide real-time data. Refer to the Notifications tab on the IQVIA Platform for updates. 

Additional procedure types for resource utilization metrics were released on April 13, 2024. More utilization metrics are being considered. If you have a suggestion, contact Carole Krohn at
If you have questions regarding the Database, contact the STS Database Help Desk.

May 1, 2024
1 min read
community health
“Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than a master of one.”
3 min read
Heather Palomino, MD

In this episode hosted by Dr. David T. Cooke, Drs. Jordan Dozier, Clauden Louis, and Michael Onwugbufor talk about their long, education journey, how to design a practice, and their shared experiences. Dr. Onwugbufor shares part of his career journey this way: "When searching for a first job, you need to know you'll have some kind of mentorship and support. For me, it was reassuring to know that when I started doing my first few cases, I wasn't by myself. I didn't feel lonely. That I had someone more experienced supporting me.

CHICAGO (April 26, 2024)  The expanding use of transcatheter technologies has changed the landscape in the treatment of valvular disease in adult cardiac patients, with valve surgery rapidly shifting to more complex interventions frequently involving other concomitant procedures.

Apr 26, 2024

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the enactment of a final rule to ban non-compete clauses as an unfair method of competition. This groundbreaking rule prohibits employers from entering into or maintaining non-compete agreements with workers, with limited exceptions. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has been a strong advocate for this ban, recognizing that non-compete clauses significantly hinder cardiothoracic surgeons by limiting their ability to serve their communities, maintain continuity of care, and ensure patient access to specialized surgical services.  

"STS members and the broader physician community will benefit from the ban on non-competes," says STS President Jennifer C. Romano, MD, MS, and a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon. "Eliminating non-compete clauses removes major barriers for cardiothoracic surgeons, enhancing their ability to decide where and how they practice without undue restrictions. This change is especially crucial in improving access to specialized surgical care across various regions, fostering a more dynamic and responsive healthcare system." 

The unfortunate exclusion of most non-profit hospitals from this rule significantly constrains its benefits. We encourage Congress to continue the momentum on this important issue by enacting S. 220 / H.R. 731, the Workforce Mobility Act, which would extend these crucial protections to all healthcare providers, ensuring a truly competitive and patient-centered healthcare environment.  




Apr 23, 2024
1 min read
national minority health month

April is National Minority Health Month, a time and opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of improving the health of racial and ethnic minority communities and reducing health disparities. While our patient population in the US is rapidly diversifying, our specialty of cardiothoracic surgery remains one of the least diverse specialties in terms of gender and race.

5 min read
STS Workforce on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

In this episode of Same Surgeon, Different Light, Dr. Thomas Varghese talks with Dr. Richard Ohye, the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children's Hospital Congenital Heart Center, about finding his niche and superpower in cardiothoracic surgery, and how his career has evolved over the years. "When I rotated on pediatrics, it was another level of everything perfect. It was art. This is what I wanted to do. I found my niche," said Dr. Ohye. 

50 mins.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Class I recall for nearly 14,000 Abbott and Thoratec HeartMate left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). This recall comes after reports of multiple deaths and injuries associated with these devices, which are used to aid patients with advanced heart failure. 

The recalled devices include: 

  • Product names: HeartMate II and HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) 
  • Product codes: DSQ 
    • Class 1 Device Recall HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist System ( 
    • Class 1 Device Recall HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System ( 
  • Model numbers:  Full List of Affected Devices 
  • Distribution dates: Starting April 21, 2008 

The problem at the center of this recall is the gradual buildup of biological material in these devices develops over 2 or more years, potentially obstructing the device and diminishing its ability to support the heart's pumping action. This issue can trigger alarms for low blood flow and impair the device's effectiveness. 

Recall Action: This recall is classified as a correction rather than a complete product withdrawal. The FDA has not advised the return of all affected devices. However, heightened vigilance concerning low-flow alarms, which may indicate significant outflow obstructions, is recommended. 

Customers should have received an Urgent Medical Device Correction letter on February 19, 2024, providing detailed guidance on monitoring for and addressing potential obstructions. 

Abbott and Thoratec have made efforts to educate physicians on the importance of heeding persistent low-flow alarms as early indicators of potential obstructions and have shared diagnostic recommendations to identify obstructions and discussed treatment options available for managing such issues.  

If you have questions about this recall, contact Abbott and Thoratec directly at (844) 692-6367. To report a problem with these devices, complete the FDA reporting form

Apr 16, 2024
2 min read