Mentorship is an important component to success for many up-and-coming cardiothoracic surgeons. For established surgeons, being a good mentor is equally as important. Vinay Badhwar, MD (West Virginia University) moderates a discussion that includes Shanda H. Blackmon, MD, MPH (Mayo Clinic), Melanie A. Edwards, MD (Saint Louis University), and David D. Odell, MD, MMSc (Northwestern University) talking about how mentorship is critical to the future of the specialty and what STS is doing to promote mentorship for early career surgeons.

In this episode of The Same Surgeon, Different Light, podcast host Dr. Thomas Varghese explores the opportunities, the rewards, the sacrifice, and the struggles in life as a cardiothoracic surgeon with Dr. Mimi Ceppa, a thoracic surgeon at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Ceppa shares her family's journey as immigrants from Vietnam to Canada, the expectations placed on her to become a doctor, what it takes to get into medical school, and how she balances her career with her personal life. No doubt, it's a "can't miss" episode. 

43 min.
national minority health month

April is National Minority Health Month, a time and opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of improving the health of racial and ethnic minority communities and reducing health disparities. While our patient population in the US is rapidly diversifying, our specialty of cardiothoracic surgery remains one of the least diverse specialties in terms of gender and race.

5 min read
STS Workforce on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

In this episode of Same Surgeon, Different Light, Dr. Thomas Varghese talks with Dr. Richard Ohye, the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children's Hospital Congenital Heart Center, about finding his niche and superpower in cardiothoracic surgery, and how his career has evolved over the years. "When I rotated on pediatrics, it was another level of everything perfect. It was art. This is what I wanted to do. I found my niche," said Dr. Ohye. 

50 mins.
women's history month

Cardiothoracic surgery has historically been dominated by men. Yet the narrative of women in the specialty is one of groundbreaking achievements, perseverance, and resilience. 

4 min read
Jennifer C. Romano, MD, MS
Jennifer C. Romano, MD, MS, was elected president of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons today at STS 2024 during the Society’s Business Meeting.
Jan 28, 2024
executive coach

Physicians undergo extensive technical training to develop the required expertise for the responsible care of patients. Cardiothoracic surgery training is narrow and deep and rarely addresses skills necessary for effective communication, the cultivation of self-awareness, listening, and what it takes to build high-performing teams. Dr. Frank Rosinia and Dr.

8 min read
Dr. Dawn Hui and Dr. Frank Rosinia
Hear groundbreaking research and insight into the healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness.
1 hr

On November 2, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule. Despite vocal opposition from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and many others in the physician community, this rule finalizes a greater than 3% reduction to physician reimbursement beginning January 1, 2024.

When adjusted for inflation, Medicare physician payments have declined by 26% since 2001. This latest reduction is the most recent example of a trend that is unsustainable and impacts patient access to care. These cuts are due to the implementation of the flawed complexity add-on code G2211, combined with expiring temporary relief previously enacted by Congress. The final rule also contains a few positive developments. CMS agreed with STS’s concerns that raising the required threshold to avoid a penalty in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) from 75 to 82 points was inappropriate at this time because the MIPS program has been largely paused since 2019 due the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS also approved several new intraoperative cardiac ultrasound CPT codes (76987–76989) at higher levels than in the proposed rule, which will be available to cardiothoracic surgeons next year.

Fortunately, the Senate Finance Committee recently released a draft legislative proposal that seeks to extend relief payments for physicians that are slated to expire this year. If enacted, this would help counteract a portion of the cuts slated for 2023. STS will continue to urge Congress to halt this unsustainable cut and to enact policies such as H.R. 2474, the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, which would provide an annual automatic inflation update for physician payments going forward. Help us maintain adequate Medicare reimbursements by contacting your lawmakers now!

Learn more about STS’s advocacy efforts focused on the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Nov 3, 2023
2 min read
Learn how you communicate with others can be interpreted in many ways and gain a better understanding of yourself and others.
1 hr