“My advice to young women is to be honest with yourself along every step of your journey. This is a very demanding profession and there will be peaks and valleys. Each path is unique for everyone and there is no one size fits all. Find the group of patients that you want to work with who will inspire you to become a better doctor and will give you hope in the face of adversity. And pay it forward to young women who are learning about the field and questioning their own choices. Cardiac surgery is an amazing and rewarding profession and I am proud to be part of this community.”
Melissa Levack MD, is an Assistant Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University. She received her Doctor of Medicine at Emory, and she completed her general surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and her Cardiothoracic surgical training at the Cleveland Clinic. She is early in her career, yet already well-recognized as a leading force in our specialty. She is a great role model, who has been recognized by all members of the multidisciplinary care team for her leadership abilities.
As highlighted in her anonymous nomination from a scrub nurse:“I had the great pleasure of scrubbing-in and assisting Dr. Levack as a Scrub Nurse during her Cardiothoracic Surgery residency (including her chief year in 2017) at Cleveland Clinic. She really represents that amazing combination of ‘compassionate bedside manner’, ‘technical skill’,‘operative leadership’, and ‘high-pressure poise’ that sets an example for all current and future cardiac surgeons, regardless of gender. Additionally, her manner of teaching junior residents and really explaining both the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of certain operative technique during complex cases was very unique. She commanded a high level of respect through strong discipline, demonstrated expertise and end-to-end follow-up.”