March 5, 2021
30 min.


In this episode, Dr. Tom Varghese interviews Dr. Ourania Preventza, from Baylor College of Medicine. The awe-inspiring journey of Dr. Preventza—an internationally known expert in aortic surgery—started in Athens, Greece, where she grew up and later attended medical school. Her father, who was a judge, always wanted her to go to law school, but Dr. Preventza thought that medical school would be “more challenging and competitive.” Listeners will learn that she eventually moved to the US—not knowing anyone—for her surgical residency. She describes feeling like an “outsider” and shares that being a “woman and a foreigner with an accent” made it especially difficult to navigate her studies in another country. But her grit, resilience, determination, and daily calls with her family, kept her going. Hear the personal details of why Dr. Preventza chose cardiothoracic surgery—an “amazing, evolving field” and her insights into diversity and inclusion efforts that she thinks help “cultivate a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness.”  

“Same Surgeon, Different Light” is a program from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) designed to demystify cardiothoracic surgery, revealing the men and women behind their surgical masks.