In this episode, Dr. Tom Varghese interviews STS Past President Dr. Doug Wood. Described as the “embodiment of the academic quadruple threat—with excellence in clinical work, research, education, and leadership,” Dr. Wood is considered a giant in cardiothoracic surgery who is responsible for building a world-class Center of Excellence in thoracic surgery at the University of Washington. Listeners will learn that a combination of a fluke, luck, and a “secret” $35 application, as well as a teacher who cared about him and parents who supported him, landed Dr. Wood at Harvard University from a farm in rural Michigan. Dr. Wood also shares how “Take It to the Limit” was not just a famous Eagles song, the rallying cry for his Harvard rowing team, and the name of his STS Presidential Address, but it also was how he decided to live his life. And, you don’t want to miss what Dr. Wood says about taking cardiothoracic surgery “to the limit,” how the “macho” specialty has not been a favorable career path for women, and how diversity—with its “different viewpoints and lived experiences”—makes us stronger. “Same Surgeon, Different Light” is a program from the Society designed to demystify cardiothoracic surgery, revealing the men and women behind their surgical masks.
Dr. Wood’s STS Presidential Address is available as an article in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and as a video.