The real joy comes when you get to really make a difference on a larger scale, not just for yourself or your department or your hospital, but for your specialty.
On the political front, we were a major player in reversing the move toward a CABG bundle and made significant strides in connecting data in the STS National Database with Medicare data, a step that would enable us to establish the true cost effectiveness of our procedures. And efforts in conjunction with the ACC and CMS have helped ensure our ongoing participation in percutaneous valve procedures for the foreseeable future.
Finally, the charitable arm of STS, The Thoracic Surgery Foundation, has provided a record amount of funding (nearly $900,000) for cardiothoracic surgery research. In addition, TSF continues to underwrite multiple philanthropic cardiothoracic missions to underserved populations throughout the world.
In just a few weeks, I will get to stand on the podium, deliver a Presidential Address heralding these accomplishments, and nominally take a bow. But I know the real truth, as does every president before me. While we get to act as the face of the specialty, we cannot take credit personally for those accomplishments. We are privileged for a 1-year period of time to be the caretaker of a well-oiled and efficient machine comprising hundreds of volunteer surgeons and staff. They are the ones who do all the work, and they are the ones who deserve all the credit. Let me take this opportunity to thank all of you who, throughout the year, have given your Blood, Sweat, and Tears (rock and roll analogy) to make my presidential year both successful and gratifying. I owe you a huge debt of thanks… as do all of our members and their patients.
Happy New Year to you all.
Answers to rock and roll quiz:
Adult Cardiac: “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” Huey Lewis and the News
General Thoracic: “Every Breath You Take,” The Police
Congenital: “A Hole in My Heart,” Cyndi Lauper