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:

iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | TuneIn Radio | CastBox

  • #31: The Risks and Benefits of Media Exposure for Cardiothoracic Surgeons

    March 25, 2019

    Media coverage can be a powerful way for cardiothoracic surgeons to help more patients and their families understand important health care information. But how can you handle a reporter’s tough questions and still get your message across? Todd K. Rosengart, MD leads a panel discussion with cardiothoracic surgeons who have had experience with handling awkward media situations, connecting with a lay audience, and helping to change the course of a conversation when a reporter has incorrect information.

  • #30: STS Provides Personal Performance Data to Cardiac Surgeons

    March 15, 2019

    The Society is offering a new opportunity for self-assessment and quality improvement in cardiothoracic surgery—surgeon-specific outcomes reports from the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD). For those who affirmatively opt in, these feedback reports will be available beginning in fall 2019 and will include data on coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR), CABG+AVR, mitral valve repair and replacement (MVRR), and CABG+MVRR. Four STS leaders, Drs. Richard Prager, David M. Shahian, Alan M. Speir, and Domenico Pagano, recently discussed the importance of this initiative and how it will lead to better patient care.

  • #29: How to Develop a Productive Mentor/Mentee Relationship

    March 8, 2019

    Some of the most successful cardiothoracic surgeons credit mentors for part of their achievements. Whether you are still in training, an early careerist, or a senior surgeon, taking part in a productive mentor/mentee arrangement has long-term benefits. But how do you identify a good mentor or mentee and cultivate that relationship? Drs. Mara B. Antonoff, Vinod H. Thourani, John D. Mitchell, and Elizabeth A. David describe the qualities to look for in a mentor, the importance of communication, setting realistic expectations, avoiding “mentor malpractice,” and why mentees should under promise and over deliver.


  • #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.