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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  • #115: The Resilient Surgeon: Oliver Burkeman

    November 29, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews British journalist and best-selling author Oliver Burkeman. How can we make the most of our finite lives in a world of impossible demands and relentless distraction? This intriguing conversation reveals profound insights on how to make the best use of time—our scarcest and most precious resource. A recovering productivity geek, Oliver lends his expertise about what brings value and meaning to our lives and how this intersects with the “tsunami” of the modern world. He challenges listeners to change their way of looking at and thinking about time. Stop trying to “clear the decks before you move on to the important stuff because the decks will never be clear,” he advises. Oliver also describes a linear notion of time, comparing time to a conveyor belt with “various containers going by and we have to fill the containers.” But beware—getting more done can be just a way of inviting more to do, and this productivity pressure often turns into a chronic sense of urgency. According to Oliver, we need to rethink our worship of efficiency and give up attempts to “be infinite and limitless.” Hear how to reconfigure life around what truly 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.

    Oliver can be reached at oliverburkeman.com and @oliverburkeman

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

  • #114: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Christopher Barnes

    November 22, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Christopher M. Barnes, PhD, professor of organizational behavior at the University of Washington and expert in the impact of sleep deprivation. Dr. Barnes takes a deep dive into the impact of sleep deprivation on leadership performance and behavior, as well as its effects on interpersonal relationships. “When you sleep better, everything in your life will get better—your health, your work, your relationships, your general happiness,” he said. Dr. Barnes examines how important sleep is to overall health and mental wellness. Lack of sleep in some careers—cardiothoracic surgery in particular—often is worn as a badge of honor. But there are serious health consequences that have been linked to not getting enough sleep, including heart attacks, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, weight gain, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Barnes explains that when it comes to sleep, the path to success involves both quantity and quality. Listeners also will learn about the concept of “social jetlag” and hear a “menu” of steps to take that will help achieve good sleep hygiene. Dr. Barnes cautions against turning your bed into a home theater (watching tv), a library (reading a book), and/or a lounge (talking on the phone), and recommends banishing all of those activities from your bed, which in turn, will “preserve and strengthen” the important link between bed and sleep. “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. Barnes can be reached on Twitter @chris24barnes. View his TED Talk, “Sleep and Work.” Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.

  • #113: Tricuspid Valve Disease—Surgical or Transcatheter?

    November 19, 2021

    In this episode of the STS Webinar Series, a multidisciplinary panel of experts discusses the landscape of transcatheter devices and their place in tricuspid valve disease treatment. The program includes a case review of degenerative mitral disease with tricuspid complications, a look at the newest transcatheter tricuspid replacement technologies, and a detailed discussion of recently released trial data on surgical tricuspid repair. Participants include Gorav Ailawadi, MD, MBA (moderator), James S. Gammie, MD (moderator), Rebecca T. Hahn, MD, Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD (moderator), Molly A. Szerlip, MD, and Leora T. Yarboro, MD.

  • #112: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Chris Germer

    November 12, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Dr. Chris Germer—a clinical psychologist and thought leader on mindfulness and self-compassion. This in-depth conversation details the power of self-compassion and how important the practice is for our mental health and the ability to recover from failures and struggles. “When our self-worth comes from external approval and support, we are always walking in a minefield because it can blow up at any moment,” he says. Dr. Germer shares his personal struggles with disabling anxiety and explains how he learned to be kind to himself—self-compassion—not only when he succeeded, but also when he didn’t. The “new voice” in his head allowed him to activate warmth that dissolved fear—an astonishing breakthrough for him. Importantly, Dr. Germer says that self-compassion can very quickly turn into kindness toward others—another benefit of this practice. Listeners also will learn about the formula: pain x resistance = suffering, along with Dr. Germer’s advice for using mindfulness to turn toward “what’s bugging us” with curiosity and tolerance. “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. Germer can be reached at chrisgermer.com.

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

  • #111: Surgeons and Comprehensive Biomarker Testing for Lung Cancer Patients

    November 5, 2021

    In this episode of the STS Webinar Series, surgeons from different practice environments in the US and Canada share their experiences with establishing biomarker testing protocols for lung cancer patients. Topics include the evidence base for adjuvant targeted therapy for EGFR-positive patients, the variability in biomarker testing practices at the panelists’ institutions, and the decision-making process behind tissue acquisition for biomarker testing. Participants include Jessica S. Donington, MD, MSCR, Janet P. Edwards, MD, MPH, Farhood Farjah, MD, MPH (moderator), Biniam Kidane, MD, MSc, Svetlana Kotova, MD, M. Blair Marshall, MD (moderator), Linda W. Martin, MD, MPH.

  • #110: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Wayne Sotile

    October 29, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Dr. Wayne Sotile, an expert in resilience and work/life balance for high performing people and considered one of the world’s most seasoned clinicians specializing in life coaching for physicians. Over the years, he has counseled and coached more than 30,000 physicians and their families, while gaining a deep, critical understanding of the relationship dynamics and lifestyles of physicians. Dr. Sotile describes the “privilege” of physicians and medical families allowing him “private glimpses into their psychosocial underbelly.” He specifically addresses the loneliness that surgeons and other health care professional sometimes feel and describes the importance of updating our “mental maps” and embracing a pride of survivorship. “Get out of the internal beating up of ourselves and others with blaming or shaming messages. Nobody ever grows from being blamed or shamed,” Dr. Sotile reminds listeners. Physicians, he says, need to recognize that they are extraordinary people—smarter, work harder, and more hard-headed than most. Hear many more emotionally powerful messages and practical, solution-focused advice. 

    “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. Sotile can be reached at sotile.com

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

  • #109: Transforming Pediatric & Congenital Heart Surgery Practice and Education

    October 22, 2021

    In this episode of the STS Webinar Series, authors and editors of the STS Cardiothoracic Surgery E-book discuss the potential impact of such a comprehensive, interactive resource on congenital heart surgery practice and education. Topics include the value of detailed illustrations and embedded surgical videos for resident education, portability and access by members at every level of the surgical team, and benefits of the e-book in securing informed consent from patients and their families. Participants include Erle H. Austin III, MD (moderator), Carl L. Backer, MD, Jeffrey P. Jacobs, MD (moderator), Robert D.B. Jaquiss, MD, John E. Mayer Jr., MD, Jennifer C. Romano, MD, MS (moderator), and James S. Tweddell, MD (moderator).

  • #108: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Jud Brewer

    October 15, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus interviews Dr. Jud Brewer—a New York Times best-selling author, neuroscientist, and thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery.” This fascinating conversation takes us on a journey inside the brain, shedding light on the mechanics of our constant inner dialogue. Dr. Jud shares his straightforward approach that has been known to turn traditional advice upside down. According to this addiction psychiatrist, we all struggle with something—our brains are set up that way, he says. Listeners will learn about the impact of the modern world on the creation of addictions and habits. Dr. Jud explains that our brains hate uncertainty and habits help us survive by “planning for the future.” This expert guest recommends a three-gear process for unwinding a bad habit. Dr. Jud also touches on willpower, suggesting that it is “more myth than muscle.” “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. Jud can be reached at drjud.com and @judbrewer. Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.

  • #107: The Resilient Surgeon: Dr. Suniya Luthar

    October 1, 2021

    In this episode, Dr. Maddaus interviews Dr. Suniya Luthar, professor emerita at the Teachers College, Columbia University, and expert on building supportive, authentic connections in the face of stress. Listeners will learn details about her research, which has demonstrated how critical it is to our mental health and resilience to have a separate space in a trusted, safe, and supportive environment outside of home and work. Dr. Luthar explains how our fast-paced, high-stress world often leads to isolation and loneliness and how real connections with others is the glue that holds our mental well-being together. “For many of us who have the mindset of ‘we must be strong, we must be self-sufficient,’ the downside is that it sometimes becomes difficult to drop that shield, that armor and let people in. That is obviously very, very destructive for our mental health,” she said. Dr. Luthar discusses the significant stresses of being a working mother and the “enormous amount of emotional work” required to be “captains of the ship” at home. Hear also about the meaningful concept of a “support wallet,” which may help you “feel seen for the person you are at your core.” “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. Luthar can be reached at suniyaluthar.org and @suniya_luthar.

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

  • #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.