Training is a critical skill set in itself. STS offers training resources to help you launch and advance your career in cardiothoracic surgery. Explore this curated collection focused on innovation and technology, skills development, best practices, teamwork, mentorship, and career planning.

STS Membership

Resident/Fellow and Medical Student Membership in STS offer access to complimentary subscriptions to The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and other publications, mentoring connections, discounts on educational offerings, free registration to the STS Annual Meeting, and more. If you're not already a member, apply today


Designed for STS members at any career level, the Mentorship Program connects professionals seeking career advice and other guidance. Trainees can request mentorship from a more seasoned professional–as well as apply to mentor a medical student seeking guidance. Provide your contact information and notate your practice type and areas of interest (e.g., practice building, clinical research, contract negotiations) to assist in creating the best mentor/mentee match.

Find a mentor     Become a mentor

Blogs and Media

Residency is a social as much as a technical experience. During training, some of your most important lessons come from conversations among peers. The Aspiring CT Surgeons Blog features posts written for trainees, by trainees, with topics ranging from optimizing technical performance in the operating room, to balancing childcare or exercise with training, to navigating both successful and unsuccessful mentor relationships. The blog provides a forum for frank discussion of the challenges residents face, as well as the rewards of caring for the cardiothoracic patient while training amongst an elite cohort of peers. View selections from the blog and other STS publications: 

retirement planning
There are many profound changes and considerations during the early stages of your career. Planning for retirement is one that needs your time and attention now. 
4 min read
Olugbenga Okusanya, MD
The education of medical students and residents is critical for the future growth and improvement in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. Early career cardiothoracic surgeons need to be involved in helping the next generation of surgeons establish and advance their careers. In this article, learn about ways you can get involved.
4 min read
Robert M. Van Haren, MD

A new and exciting space, The Hub will be the center of activity for programs, sessions, networking, and mentoring specifically for cardiothoracic surgery trainees and early surgeons.  Use the following schedule to plan to connect with your colleagues and refresh during the meeting:

"STS celebrates its 60th Annual Meeting"
The Hub will make its first appearance at STS 2024

Saturday, January 27
Juice Shots Available
9 - 9:45 a.m.

Early Career Insights with Dr. Leah Backhus, sponsored by AstraZeneca
9:10 - 9:40 a.m. 
Small Theater

STS Trainee Luncheon
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Large Theater

Leaders in CT surgery, including members of the STS Board of Directors, Workforces, and Task Forces, will be seated with trainees to discuss topics of interest to residents. Discussion topics include subspecialty training, dedicated research time, interventional and catheter-based skills during training, gaps in diversity, training paradigms, the current job market, and addressing non-clinical training needs. Attendance is limited to trainees (residents, fellows, medical students, LTTF scholars) and invited faculty. 

Sunday, January 28
Ask the Experts: How I Succeeded as an Early Career Surgeon
7 - 8 a.m. 
Large Theater

Listen to a panel discussion from your colleagues who found success early in their careers. 

Dr. Brian Mitzman – University of Utah
Dr. Jessica Rove – University of Colorado

Dr. Amy Fiedler – University of California San Francisco
Dr. Stephanie Worrell – University of Arizona
Dr. Reilly Hobbs – University of Utah/Primary Children's Hospital
Dr. Derek Serna-Gallegos – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Dr. Olugbenga Okusanya – Thomas Jefferson University

Juice Shots Available
9:45 - 10:30 a.m.

Early Career Journey Roundtables
9:55 - 10:30 a.m.
Large Theater

Early career surgeons and trainees have the opportunity to meet in an informal setting with STS leaders, who will offer insight into topics relevant to their career stages. Early career surgeons and trainees are on a unique journey, and seasoned surgeons will provide high-value information and an opportunity to meet and network with leaders in the specialty. 
(The roundtables listed below will be held concurrently.) 

STS: Your Career Journey Partner
This roundtable discussion will focus on how STS is a surgeon’s partner throughout one’s career journey, including how to become a more active and involved member; tap into award and fellowship opportunities; engage in STS’s resources, avenues of support, and advocacy opportunities; and make the most of the STS Annual Meeting. 

Trade Secrets for a Successful Career Journey
This roundtable discussion will focus on how surgeons can set themselves up for success early in their career journey, including how to navigate a job transition, negotiate a contract, get the most out of being a mentor or mentee, best manage one’s time, lead an OR team, and network with peers and colleagues. 

TSRA Luncheon
11:30 a.m. -12:45 p.m.
Large Theater

Join fellow trainees for the TSRA Luncheon moderated by TSRA President, Dr. David Blitzer. The program will include TSRA Awards, an update on TSDA activities, and a "State of the Workforce," including the job market and policy changes impacting trainees. 

Monday, January 29
STS Trainee Symposium: Professionalism Puzzles You May Encounter During Residency: How to Piece Together a Resolution
7:15 - 8:45 a.m.
Large Theater
Continental breakfast will be served 

This session showcases challenging situations that occur in medical practice regarding professionalism using real and hypothetical scenarios. 

Dr. Elizabeth Dexter – Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Amber Duda – University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Pauline Go — Penn State College of Medicine - Proper Use of Social Media for Surgeons
Dr. Clauden Louis – BayCare Medical Systems – Named in a Malpractice Lawsuit? Keep Calm, Consult with a Malpractice Lawyer, and Learn On
Dr. Aundrea Oliver – East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University – Harassment in Residency
Dr. Sean A. Jordon – University of Tennessee Medical Center – A Co-Residents Substance Abuse is Affecting Their Work – What Now?  
Dr. Melanie Edwards – Trinity Health Care – Financial Planning During Training and the Transition from Training to Practice

Presentations of Thoracic Surgery Foundation Research Award Recipients
9:30 - 10 a.m.
Large Theater

A highlight of research being conducted by cardiothoracic surgeon and trainee recipients of a TSF Research Award. 

Juice Shots Available 
10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Early Career Journey Roundtable: My Approach to Wellness
10:40 - 11:15 a.m.
Large Theater
Coffee will be served

Early career surgeons and trainees have an opportunity to meet in an informal setting with STS leaders who will provide insight into topics relevant to their career stage. Early career surgeons and trainees are on a unique journey, and seasoned surgeons will provide high value information and an opportunity to meet and network with leaders in the specialty.

This roundtable discussion will focus on achieving personal and professional wellness, how to avoid burnout, advice on personal self-care, and tips for achieving financial stability. 

Mock Oral Exams
Saturday, Jan. 27, 9 - 9:45 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 28, 6:30 - 7 a.m. and 9:45 - 10:30 a.m.
Monday, Jan. 29, 12 - 1:15 p.m.

This program is designed to help decrease the stress of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) exam by allowing trainees to prepare for and practice with the oral exam format. Registrants will receive access to a collection of online modules and resources that provide an overview of effective oral exam test-taking strategies, the anatomy of an oral exam, mock oral exam dos and don’ts; and an in-person session with a mock examiner (including small group of other trainees) who will present case scenarios, pose questions, and provide individualized verbal and written feedback to each participant. Limited spots are available, and priority will be given to cardiothoracic surgery residents who are registered for the Annual Meeting and scheduled to take the ABTS oral examination in June 2024. 

STS Mentorship Program
STS Mentorship Program mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet up in the Networking Lounge. The STS Annual Meeting is an excellent opportunity for mentors and mentees to meet face-to-face with their program partners during breaks, meals, or any other time that works best for both parties. 

Painting with a Purpose
While in The Hub, tap into your creative side and contribute to Painting with a Purpose by adding your personal touch to a mural that will be completed through meeting-goers’ collected efforts and donated to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Galveston, TX, after the meeting.

Jan 17, 2024
5 min read

Overall survival rates of esophageal cancer have risen in the past 50-plus years, from 5% in 1970 to 22% in 2023. Yet, no comprehensive guidelines addressing multidisciplinary management of esophageal cancer that incorporate input from surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists have been available, until now. 

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Society for Radiation Oncology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology have co-authored the first comprehensive guideline on the management of esophageal cancer. Published today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the guideline addresses key clinical subject areas pertinent to the care of patients with locally advanced, resectable thoracic esophageal cancer. 

The guideline delivers recommendations for the use of induction chemotherapy, optimal radiation dose, value and timing of esophagectomy, use of chemotherapy vs. chemoradiotherapy before surgery, approach and extent of lymphadenectomy, and the value of adjuvant therapy after resection.

“These comprehensive guidelines address areas critical for standardizing and improving care and outcomes for esophageal cancer patients,” says study investigator Stephanie Worrell, MD, clinical associate professor and thoracic section chief at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “The recommendations are based on a comprehensive review of innovations and advancements in the most recent literature.”

Nov 2, 2023
1 min read
CT surgeon speakers
While establishing a niche gets you recognized across the healthcare field, how should you handle requests to speak outside your niche?
2 min read
Mara Antonoff, MD & Olugbenga Okusanya, MD
A new loan repayment program will support physicians who serve in medically underserved areas.
2 min read
Derek Brandt, JD, STS Advocacy

If you are interested in writing an article for the Aspiring CT Surgeons Blog, email Dr. Jason Han or Dr. Linda Schulte at communications@sts.org.


Explore a full range of educational offerings designed to encourage both individual and collaborative learning and provide expertise and guidance. These include resident symposia and Boot Camps, the Thoracic Surgical Curriculum, webinars, and the STS Cardiothoracic Surgery E-Book

STS 2023 Annual Meeting Online

Annual Meeting Online

Experience the exceptional content that was presented at the 2023 STS Annual Meeting. Access nearly 80 educational sessions and 91 e-posters that incorporate the latest research, technology, and practice in all major cardiothoracic surgery disciplines. 

STS Resident/Fellow and Medical Student Members can access AM Online for free!

Learn More

E-Book Title

STS Cardiothoracic Surgery E-Book

The most current, continuously updated online resource for cardiothoracic surgery information in the world, available online and via mobile app, offering home, office, or point-of-care reference 24/7/365.

Learn More and Subscribe

STS 2024 - The 60th Annual Meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. January 27-29, 2024, San Antonio, Texas

60th STS Annual Meeting

Plan to attend the Society's 60th Annual Meeting, January 27-29, 2024, in San Antonio, Texas. STS Resident/Fellow and Medical Student Members can register for free!

Learn More

Scholarships & Awards

The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF), the charitable arm of STS, provides research awards and grants aimed at developing the skills of surgeon-scientists during residency. Award submissions open on July 1, 2023. 

Several other scholarship opportunities are available, including the Looking to the Future Scholarship, which fund participation in the STS Annual Meeting for the best and brightest medical students or general surgery residents in hopes of encouraging them to pursue careers in cardiothoracic surgery.

TSF logo and photo of doctor looking through microscope

TSF Resident Research Fellowship Award

Up to $60,000 per year for up to 2 years to support the research fellowship of a resident who has not yet completed cardiothoracic surgical training.

Learn More and Apply

TSF logo and photo of male doctor consulting with female patient

TSF/FFF International Traveling Fellowship in Partnership with LACES

Support of $11,000 (€10,000) for 4-10 weeks for senior CT surgical residents to travel internationally for the purpose of learning a novel technique, adapting innovative technology, and/or fostering collaboration. (In partnership with the Latin American Association of Cardio and Endovascular Surgery)

Learn More and Apply

TSF Logo and photo of Dr. Carolyn Reed

Carolyn E. Reed Traveling Fellowship Award

Up to $10,000 for a woman resident in her last year of cardiothoracic surgery residency to travel to another institution for the purpose of learning a new skill or technology.

Learn More and Apply


Mentorship in Cardiothoracic Surgery

Mentorship in Cardiothoracic Surgery

A discussion: the benefits of having a mentor, but also of being one to the next generation.

Watch Video

 How Cardiothoracic Surgeons Are Reimbursed

8 in 8 Series: The Role of the CT Trainee in the ICU

 Advice for new trainees on maximizing the experience in the intensive care unit.

Watch the Video

Finding Your First Job in Cardiothoracic Surgery

Finding Your First Job in Cardiothoracic Surgery

Tips on making a good impression during an interview, making sure that the job is a great fit, how to find the best career resources, and how to engage and maintain good mentors.

Watch the Video


The Society's podcast, Surgical Hot Topics, features leaders in cardiothoracic surgery discussing important issues in the field. Listen to the episodes on your favorite podcast app or on the website. Check out these two popular series produced by STS: 

Same Surgeon, Different Light Podcast

Same Surgeon, Different Light

This series is designed to demystify CT surgery, revealing the men and women behind their surgical masks. Episodes feature the backstories of cardiothoracic surgeons from different backgrounds and in various career stages. These leaders and rising stars offer powerful, candid stories that are funny and fascinating, as well as heartbreaking and inspiring. 

See All Episodes

The Resilient Surgeon #BeYourBestSelf

The Resilient Surgeon

"The Resilient Surgeon" aims 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. In each episode, host Michael Maddaus, MD, talks to game changers in the high-performance and wellness space who share real-world strategies and evidence-based approaches for building and maintaining resiliency, reducing burnout, and achieving optimal performance.

See All Episodes