October 2, 2020
37 min.


In this inaugural episode, Dr. Tom Varghese interviews Dr. Robert Higgins, STS Past President and surgeon-in-chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Listeners will discover that Dr. Higgins was just 5 years old when he lost his father—who was an African American general practitioner in the segregated South during the 1960s—in a tragic accident. Together, his mother and grandparents raised three “crazy, hell-raising boys,” sacrificing extraordinary things to afford them the best educational opportunities and encouraging them to always “excel in everything” they did. Dr. Higgins shares advice from his mother that he has never forgotten: “keep on keeping on”—a reminder that challenges in life should be embraced as “opportunities to persevere and show grit.”  

“Same Surgeon, Different Light” is a program from the Society designed to demystify cardiothoracic surgery, revealing the men and women behind their surgical masks. Learn more about STS diversity and inclusion efforts at sts.org/diversity.

Patients can learn more about cardiothoracic diseases and their treatments at ctsurgerypatients.org.