Podcast Episodes

The Society's podcast, Surgical Hot Topics, features leaders in cardiothoracic surgery discussing important issues in the field. Please note: The comments included in these episodes are that of the individuals involved and not necessarily that of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Find episodes here, or subscribe via the links below:

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  • #106: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Michael Maddaus

    September 17, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Wayne Sotile serves as a guest interviewer, speaking with the host of The Resilient Surgeon, Dr. Michael Maddaus. During this incredibly honest conversation, Dr. Maddaus generously shares his own personal stories and real-world experiences that included a poor and abusive alcoholic upbringing, 24 arrests as a juvenile, five stints in reform school, and a devastating personal fall following his addiction to prescription narcotics. So how did he end up in medical school? Dr. Maddaus credits his job delivering furniture, an unlikely mentor, and some vocational interest tests. While navigating all of these ups and downs—always with grit and resilience—what did he learn? “I learned to be very comfortable being uncomfortable, how to adapt and get along in various environments, and how to work with a lot of different types of people,” he explains. The stories you will hear from Dr. Maddaus prove that resilience is a journey, not a destination. “The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.

    Dr. Maddaus can be reached at MichaelMaddaus.com and @MMaddaus.

    Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.

  • #105: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Robert Lustig

    September 3, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric neuroendocrinologist and author of Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine. This fascinating discussion of metabolic health and nutrition exposes some of the leading myths that underlie the current pandemic of diet-related disease. Dr. Lustig explains that the food business—by pushing processed food loaded with sugar—has hacked our bodies and minds. Hear scientifically based guidance on how to protect our bodies and minds from the “ravages of processed food.” Dr. Lustig shares his food philosophy, which can be summed up in six words: protect the liver, feed the gut. Real food (no labels!) does both. Processed food—a “poison”—does neither, and instead, floods the liver and starves the gut. Listeners also will learn that it’s not what’s in the food, but what’s been done to the food that matters. “The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.

    Dr. Lustig can be reached at robertlustig.com and @RobertLustigMD.

    Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.

  • #107: Patient Blood Management Guideline: A Discussion with the Authors

    September 2, 2021

    In the latest episode of the STS Webinar Series, an expert panel discusses findings and recommendations from a new guideline on patient blood management developed by STS and three other medical specialty organizations. The panel, made up of guideline coauthors, shares 10 key takeaways about conserving blood resources, managing anemia, optimizing coagulation, and improving patient outcomes. Participants include: Victor A. Ferraris, MD, PhD, R. Scott McClure, MD, MS, Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, MBA (moderator), Linda Shore-Lesserson, MD, and Pierre R. Tibi, MD.

  • #104: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman

    August 20, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman, psychiatrist and author of the best-selling book, The Molecule of More. Why are we obsessed with the things we want and bored when we get them? Why is addiction “perfectly logical” to an addict? Dopamine, according to Dr. Lieberman. This chemical pushes us to achieve greatness, but it also can lead to our downfall. Listeners learn fascinating details about the general science of dopamine and the role it plays in directing behavior. Dr. Lieberman also discusses other “brain pleasure molecules” (serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and endocannabinoids) and shares how mental wellbeing critically depends on the skillful management of these brain chemicals. “The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.

    Dr. Lieberman can be reached at www.danielzlieberman.com. View the TED Talk, “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness,” mentioned during this episode. 

    Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.

  • #105: Perioperative Coronavirus Vaccination—Timing and Implications

    August 20, 2021

    In the latest episode of the STS Webinar Series, a panel of infectious disease, cardiology, and cardiothoracic surgery experts discusses findings and recommendations from a new guidance statement on perioperative vaccination for CT surgery patients. They offer personal experiences and advice on administering the COVID vaccine in the perioperative period, potential adverse effects, and considerations for booster shots. Participants include Mara B. Antonoff, MD, David M. Aronoff, MD, Rakesh C. Arora, MD, PhD (moderator), Adam F. Burdorf, DO, Daniel T. Engelman, MD, and HelenMari L. Merritt-Genore, DO (moderator). 

  • #103: The Resilient Surgeon: Wendy Wood, PhD, MS

    August 6, 2021

    Forming good habits is hard and breaking bad habits can be even harder. In this episode of The Resilient Surgeon, Dr. Michael Maddaus talks to social psychologist Wendy Wood about managing your environment, understanding your second self (the hidden part of your brain that is on autopilot), and ways to remove friction so that you can develop habits to #BeYourBestSelf.

    Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.

    More about Wendy Wood
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-wood-15180a15/
    Twitter: @ProfWendyWood
    Website: https://goodhabitsbadhabits.com

  • #102: Beyond the Abstract: Women in Thoracic Surgery Scholarship—Impact on Career Path and Interest in Cardiothoracic Surgery

    July 30, 2021

    Hosted by Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, the “Beyond the Abstract” program explores the “whys” behind articles in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and discusses next steps with authors and thought leaders. In the latest episode, Lauren C. Kane, MD and Leah M. Backhus, MD, MPH, join Dr. Varghese to discuss how women remain underrepresented in cardiothoracic surgery. In this male-dominated specialty—only 5% of practicing surgeons are women—what needs to be happen in order to improve the pipeline into cardiothoracic surgery? Dr. Varghese suggests—and Drs. Kane and Backhus agree—that pragmatic, active interventions such as mentorship and scholarship can directly influence “outstanding results” and actually effect change in a meaningful way. Hear what else Drs. Kane and Backhus have to say about “doing the work” and helping to form a strong and committed community of women cardiothoracic surgeons. Read the related Annals article online: Women in Thoracic Surgery Scholarship: Impact on Career Path and Interest in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

  • #101: How to Start a Surgeon-Led Lung Cancer Screening Program

    July 23, 2021

    In the latest episode of the STS Webinar Series, an expert panel discusses the surgeon’s role in program development and increasing screening rates. The discussion also includes a review of the new United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines for lung cancer screening and the implications for surgeons of expanded screening. Participants include: DuyKhanh P. Ceppa, MD, Loretta Erhunmwunsee, MD, Cherie P. Erkmen, MD, Christopher R. Gilbert, DO, Mark W. Onaitis, MD (moderator), Elliot L. Servais, MD, Betty C. Tong, MD, MHS, MS (moderator). 

  • #100: The Resilient Surgeon: Dorie Clark

    July 23, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews accomplished self-reinvention expert and communication coach Dorie Clark. Listeners learn why we “say yes to everything”—a habit that often results in constant busyness and overwhelm. Dorie explains that while saying yes is often “easy,” saying no—even to good things—is important and can be life-changing. Use a checklist to evaluate an opportunity and help you decide when to say no, she advises. Dr. Maddaus draws attention to highlights from Dorie’s new book, “The Long Game” (publishing on Sept. 21), including recommendations for breaking out of the endless cycle of being on autopilot and creating interesting, meaningful lives. What small changes can we make that could have enormous impact on our success? Dorie offers strategies on how to leverage our time in more efficient and powerful ways. Hear also what she says about “optimizing for interesting” and embracing the 20% time concept to explore “experimental” projects. “The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.

    Dorie can be reached at dorieclark.com and @dorieclark, and you can download "The Long Game" strategic thinking self-assessment for free at dorieclark.com/thelonggame.

    Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.

  • #99: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Monique Valcour

    July 9, 2021

    “The Resilient Surgeon” is a new program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers. Host Dr. Michael Maddaus will talk to game changers in the high-performance and wellness space who can share real-world strategies for building and maintaining resiliency.

    In this inaugural episode, Dr. Maddaus interviews executive coach Dr. Monique Valcour, who shares advice and strategies on integrating work and life and thriving in a high-demand world. According to Dr. Valcour, burnout is fundamentally a state of resource depletion. She recommends thinking about “what are the elements of my work, what are the moments where I feel most alive, where I have a sense of meaning, and where I have a sense of contributing something of value.” Then, “really lean into” those activities and relationships. Listeners will discover that being on “autopilot” puts them at risk for a less-than-optimal mind, body, energetic state, and focus. The goal instead should be to become more “conscious and intentional” of the choices that are being made. Hear also what Dr. Valcour says about having a sense of meaning in every moment and how to “keep the life force within you bright and shining.”

    Dr. Valcour can be reached at moniquevalcour.com and @moniquevalcour.

    Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.