Featured Thoracic Surgeons: Monthly Features

Today’s Women in CT Surgery

Here we will feature women who represent the wide breadth of practicing thoracic surgeons in our field today.  We look forward to highlighting new women on a monthly basis, showing the great strides in patient care, research, humanitarian work, patient advocacy, and leadership being accomplished by women in our field.  We take pride in showcasing the fantastic women in CT Surgery, setting phenomenal examples both in and out of the operating room.

This month’s featured surgeons:

Dr. Leora B. Balsam

Leora B. Balsam, MD

“Cardiac surgery is teamwork. When a patient says thanks to me for making a new chapter in life possible, I know they are saying thanks to so many others who had a part in their successful outcome. I am fortunate to work in a setting where professionals from so many disciplines rally behind a common cause. With complicated patients, this can really make a difference, because it takes so much more than a technical operation to get these patients back on their feet after surgery. When you think about how to build a fulfilling practice, having a team you can depend on is the key.”

Dr. Leora Balsam is an Associate Professor of Cardiac Surgery and Surgical Director of the Ventricular Assist Device program at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Balsam specializes in mechanical circulatory support, coronary artery revascularization, and heart valve repair and replacement. Dr. Balsam attended medical school at Harvard University, general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery residency at Stanford University.

As highlighted in her nomination by her patient, Dean Christianson:

“I first met Dr. Balsam on 4/8/2016 following a CT/A scan at NYU ER confirming my acute Type A Aortic Dissection. She saved my life by way of the ensuing open surgery and throughout a number of major AD related complications following. While Dr. Balsam has move from NYU to UMass, I am obviously a grateful, and living, believer in her wisdom and skill in the field of Cardio-Thoracic surgery.”

Jazz with Bill

Baltimore Oriole, photographed from our home office window

Dr. Balsam in the operating room


Dr. Karin P. Trujillo

Karin P. Trujillo, MD

“I love skiing, and traveling abroad and domestically. I speak 3 languages-Spanish is my first language, followed by English and French (although fluent when I was younger, I’d my French is pretty rusty at this point).

Dr. Karin P. Trujillo is an Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Associate Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery residency program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Trujillo specializes in thoracic surgical oncology, and diseases of the lung and esophagus. She completed her medical school at NYU School of Medicine, General Surgery residency at North Shore University Hospital and cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at NYU Medical Center.

As highlighted in her nomination by Dr. Helen Merritt-Genore:

“Dr. Karin Trujillo is a thoracic surgeon at UNMC. We have been partners the past 4.5 years. She is well respected by her colleagues and has been recognized year after year as an exemplary teacher by both residents and medical students. She is known for innovation and surgical skill, as well as mentorship and collegiality. She is presently the service line director for thoracic oncology and the associate program director of our traditional cardiothoracic surgery residency program.


For our full list of Past Features, click here.


If you’d like to submit a nomination for a surgeon feature, you can do so below or at this link.



Featured Surgeon Nomination Form

Please use this form to nominate women thoracic surgeons for a feature on the WTS website. Qualified nominees may be practicing surgeons in adult cardiac, congenital cardiac, or general thoracic surgery. Your nominations are greatly appreciated!
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