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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  • #28 Preparing for AI and New Cyber Threats in Cardiothoracic Surgery

    March 5, 2019

    Artificial intelligence and electronic health technologies are changing how physicians conceptualize and treat diseases. Although these futuristic advancements are leading to improvements in quality, safety, and patient outcomes, these technologies also are dramatically changing the cyber threat landscape. Kevin W. Lobdell, MD talks with colleagues in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, and anesthesiology about embracing virtual reality, augmented reality, and machine learning, while also finding ways to protect against cyberattacks.

  • #27: Pain Management in Cardiothoracic Surgery

    February 20, 2019

    The opioid epidemic, especially in the United States, has prompted many physicians to re-evaluate their prescription writing habits when it comes to narcotics. Because pain management is an important part of the recovery process after cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Robbin Cohen recently moderated a panel discussion with both cardiac and general thoracic surgeons about ways they are modifying surgical techniques and pharmacological strategies, deploying multidisciplinary team-based efforts, and supporting the Society’s legislative priorities aimed at helping to ease the crisis.

  • #26: Current Advances in Lung Cancer Early Detection and Therapy

    February 15, 2019

    Lung cancer morbidity and mortality remains high in the United States and beyond despite major changes over the past few years in early detection and treatment for advanced disease. Dr. Douglas E. Wood, from the University of Washington in Seattle, moderates a roundtable discussion with prominent lung cancer surgeons—Drs. Shanda H. Blackmon, Lisa M. Brown, and Mitchell J. Magee—who explain how results from the recent NELSON study are game-changing, ways to improve access to screening, how vaping is creating a new generation of cigarette smokers, and advances in systemic therapy and immunotherapy for lung cancer.

  • #25: Maintaining Good Relationships with Referring Physicians

    February 6, 2019

    An important element of building and maintaining a successful cardiothoracic surgery practice is the relationship with referring physicians such as cardiologists and primary care physicians. Dr. V. Seenu Reddy moderates a panel discussion about the elements of forming good relationships, breaking through the anonymity resulting from electronic health records, creating a patient-centered experience, how to communicate bad news, and building a solid reputation.

  • #24: TAVR and the Value of the STS/ACC TVT Registry

    February 5, 2019

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is reevaluating the scientific evidence supporting volume requirements for hospitals and heart team members who perform transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures. Drs. Joe Bavaria, Tom Gleason, Richard Shemin, Vinod Thourani, and Michael Deeb discuss the value of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry for quality improvement initiatives, outcomes research, and device surveillance.

  • #23: Beyond the Abstract: Culture of Safety and Gender Inclusion in Cardiothoracic Surgery

    December 13, 2018

    Hosted by Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, Annals Deputy Editor, Digital Media and Digital Scholarship, the “Beyond the Abstract” program explores the “whys” behind an article in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and discusses next steps with authors and thought leaders. In this episode, Leah M. Backhus, MD and David T. Cooke, MD join Dr. Varghese to discuss the importance of gender diversity in the specialty. Read the Annals article, “Culture of Safety and Gender Inclusion in Cardiothoracic Surgery,” at http://bit.ly/2EqllPI.

  • #22: Beyond the Abstract: Individual Surgeon Performance in Adult Cardiac Surgery

    October 30, 2018

    Hosted by Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, Annals Deputy Editor, Digital Media and Digital Scholarship, the “Beyond the Abstract” program explores the “whys” behind an article in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and discusses next steps with authors and thought leaders. In this episode, David M. Shahian, MD and Keith S. Naunheim, MD join Dr. Varghese to discuss the motivation for developing surgeon-level outcomes metrics and why it’s important. Read the Annals article, “Individual Surgeon Performance in Adult Cardiac Surgery,” at http://bit.ly/2ACEs6b.

  • #21: Introduction to the New “Beyond the Abstract” Program

    October 28, 2018

    The Society has expanded its Surgical Hot Topics podcast series with a new program called “Beyond the Abstract.” Hosted by Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, Annals Deputy Editor, Digital Media and Digital Scholarship, the program explores the “whys” behind an article in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and discusses next steps with authors and thought leaders. This brief introductory episode explains what you can expect in each episode.

  • #20: How to Recruit More Women Into Surgery

    June 19, 2018

    Women make up 46% of medical school graduates; however, only 22% of cardiothoracic surgery trainees are women. Of the 8,617 people who have been certified by The American Board of Thoracic Surgery to date, only 308 (3.6%) are women. STS Director-at-Large Shanda H. Blackmon, MD, MPH says that has to change. She provides 10 tips on how to attract more female candidates into the specialty. Her talk originally was given at the 2018 European Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It also is available at https://youtu.be/yHqijGPF9L8.

  • #19: Eye of the Beholder: The Reinvention of Seeing

    June 15, 2018

    Cardiothoracic surgeons and their professional societies must be leaders in accountability and transparency. In his Presidential Address at the 2018 STS Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Richard L. Prager, MD noted that surgeons must embrace their failures and always think about getting better—not winning, but getting better—in order to be successful.