WTS will continue to monitor the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its impact on our organizational activities, and – most important – the impact on our members and staff. Our top priority is the health and safety of our members and staff. Please continue to check the WTS website at

WTS Unconscious Bias Educational Session videos from the STS 55th Annual Meeting in San Diego, now available! Watch featured presentations from Drs. Jessica Donington, DuyKhanh Ceppa, Jane Yanagawa and Robert S.D. Higgins. Experience more of the exceptional content that was presented during the 2019 STS Annual Meeting from the comfort of your home or office. Learn how at

Past Events:

2020 STS WTS Events 

The WTS Membership Meeting & Reception on Monday, January 27 at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans was a great success! Thank you to Medtronic and Ethicon for sponsoring this event! 

Check out our online photo album for more photos from the event.

2019 STS WTS Events

The WTS Membership Meeting & Reception on Monday, January 28 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina had record breaking attendance and it is incredible how we have grown over the last several years. Thank you to Medtronic for sponsoring this event!

We were also pleased to offer a special WTS Educational Session on Sunday afternoon, featuring Drs. Jessica Donington, Mimi Ceppa, Jane Yanagawa and Robert Higgins. In this session, presenters addressed the need to recognize and define unconscious and implicit bias in our actions and provided tools to avoid the negative influence it may have on our actions and interactions with others. The lecture was captured in the format of a TED talk and the video will be posted on at a later date.

2018 STS WTS Events

Our Thoracic Surgery Membership Meeting & Reception on Monday, January 29 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina was a great success! Thank you to Ethicon for generously sponsoring this event. WTS is grateful for their continued support!

We were also delighted to offer WTS Educational Session on Monday afternoon from 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM, formerly held as an Early Riser Session. Drs. Shanda Blackmon and David Cooke discussed important aspects relevant to the successful introduction and implementation of new technologies in cardiothoracic surgery.

Thanks to Ethicon and all who joined us at the 2017 AATS WTS Networking Reception!
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Boston, MA

WTS Reception at the STS  Monday, January 23, 2017
from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Americas Ballroom AB
Hilton Americas Houston 

Featured speaker: Elizabeth Travis PhD


WTS gratefully thanks Ethicon Inc’s suport of the 2017 WTS Meeting and Reception



Women thoracic surgeons and women thoracic surgeons in training


Parallel Session: Early Riser 1; Career Transitions: How to Prepare for Life After the OR
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
George R. Brown Convention Center
Room 351 DEF

Featured Speakers: Mary Brandt, MD, Mark Katlic, MD, Leslie Kohman, MD, Valerie Williams, MD

30th Anniversary Women in Thoracic Surgery and Johns Hopkins Department of Surgery Symposium
Sunday May 15, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Center Club, 100 Light St. #16, Baltimore, MD

Speakers included:
Dr. Bob Higgins, Director, Department of Surgery and Surgeon – in – Chief, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Dr. Diana Gray, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
Radiology, Washington University
Dr. Valerie Rusch, Vice Chair for Clinical Research, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering

30th Anniversary Celebration of Women in Thoracic Surgery: Innovations and Contributions of WTS and STS Members
Monday, January 25, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center, Room 123, Phoenix, AZ
(STS Annual Meeting Parallel Session. Register and learn more about the STS Annual Meeting at

WTS 30th Anniversary Reception
Monday, January 25, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Valley of the Sun Ballroom DE, Sheraton Grand Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
Open event – all are welcome to attend. Nora Burgess, MD will be the guest speaker.

WTS Early Riser Session: Patient-Centered Care and Research
Phoenix Convention Center, Room 123, Phoenix, AZ
Tuesday, January 26, 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
(STS Annual Meeting Session. Register and learn more about the STS Annual Meeting at

Thanks to all who attended the Women in Thoracic Surgery Networking Reception during the AATS Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 26 at the Washington State Convention Center, Room 304 in Seattle, WA. This event featured a fantastic talk by Linda W. Martin, MD, MPH as the invited speaker. Dr. Martin will gave a talk on her experience as the 2014 WTS/TSFRE Carolyn Reed Traveling Fellowship Recipient.  Enjoy some photos from this event!

Linda Martin

Linda Martin

WTS reception

WTS reception

WTS reception

WTS reception


WTS reception

WTS reception

Thanks to all who attended the WTS 2015 Annual Meeting and Reception in January in San Diego.  Dr. Diane M. Simeone, MD was our WTS 2015 Annual Membership Meeting & Reception guest speaker. Dr. Simeone’s talk, titled, “Women and Leadership in Academic Surgery: Challenges and the Path Forward,” discussed the issue of second generation gender bias for women in surgery, and interventions that may be used at the individual, departmental and institutional level to help women achieve their full potential in academic surgery.

Dr. Diane Simeone is the Lazar J. Greenfield Endowed Professor of Surgery and Physiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center. She is the Director of the GI Oncology Program for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the co-PI of the University of Michigan SPORE Grant in GI Malignancies. Dr. Simeone’s principal clinical interest is in the management of pancreatic neoplasms. She is the Director of the University of Michigan Pancreatic Cancer Center and Translational Oncology Program. Professor Simeone has multiple NIH grants investigating the molecular mechanisms important in the development and progression of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and her laboratory was the first to identify pancreatic cancer stem cells. She also leads several studies focused on developing an early detection blood test for pancreatic cancer. She has served as President of both the Society of University Surgeons and the American Pancreatic Association. Dr. Simeone serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, National Pancreas Foundation, and the NCI Pancreatic Cancer Task Force. Dr. Simeone is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

WTS’s Spring 2014 Networking Reception took place Sunday, April 27 at the InterContinental Toronto Centre in conjunction with the AATS Annual Meeting. Thanks to everyone who attended! A special thanks to guest speaker, Dr. Ebithal Mersal, for delivering her talk, “Surgery From the Eyes of a Libyan Female Surgeon.” Save the date for the 2015 WTS Networking Reception, which will be held on April 26 in conjunction with the AATS Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA.

 WTS held its Annual Membership Meeting & Reception on Monday, January 27, 2014 in Orlando, FL in conjunction with the STS 50th Annual Meeting. Over 100 WTS members and friends were in attendance. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Guest speaker, Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, delivered a talk to attendees about social media and medicine. Continue reading for further information about our featured speaker and his talk, The Public Physician – The emerging role of the physician in a connected, always-on world.

The world of medicine is changing quickly.  The flow of information and the democratization of media has created a shift in the way doctors engage with one another and with their patients.  Yet few understand what’s at stake for our institutions.  Fewer understand the public physician or how to leverage her new role as publisher, creator and public thinker.

In a provocative presentation centered on the move of the provider from a silo’d existence into the wide-open world of networked intelligence, The Public Physician will focus on the pitfalls and opportunities associated with the physician’s digital presence.

Confronted with the challenge to reignite the relationships that once defined the medical profession, The Public Physician will offer education, motivation as well as a compelling argument for a doctor’s moral obligation to create and converse.  Stories of personal transition will be used as a means of illustrating the power of a public presence.  Dr. Vartabedian will offer the audience a timely and provocative view of the medical profession and its imperative to change.

The WTS Early Riser Session was held in conjunction with the STS 50th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in Orlando, FL. The course, titled Global Surgical Volunteerism, educated attendees on short-term surgical volunteer opportunities that exist for cardiothoracic surgeons. Guest speakers included Emily Farkas, MD; Kathleen Fenton, MD; and Virginia Litle, MD.

View slide presentations from the 2014 WTS Early Riser Session:

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this session, the participants will be able to:

  • Delineate what short-term surgical volunteer opportunities exist for cardiothoracic surgeons;
  • Understand the global need for cardiothoracic surgeons in developing countries;
  • Identify how to select a volunteer opportunity;
  • Identify the optimal time in one’s career for surgical volunteering; and
  • Delineate the benchmarks of a rewarding volunteer experience.

Course Description:
The poorest third of the world population has access to less than five percent of global surgical care (2). Global partnerships between academic general surgery programs and hospitals in developing countries are increasing. Opportunities for cardiothoracic surgeons to address cardiothoracic disease however may be specifically limited by the complexity and expense of the surgery and perioperative care. Are there opportunities for cardiothoracic surgeons to volunteer their clinical experience or to teach internationally in developing countries? The volunteer experience may be a brief session or part of a retirement plan or a second career. Information about the global needs and the realities of operating in a country with limited resources may not be readily available to cardiothoracic surgeons. Three surgeons who have had diverse involvement in all three cardiothoracic subspecialties will provide their perspective on short- and long-term cardiothoracic surgery experiences.  This session will provide attendees with an appreciation of the global need for surgeons. Attendees will also gain guidance on how to volunteer and how to start a clinical program abroad.

 WTS’s Spring 2013 Networking Reception took place Sunday, May 5 at the Hilton Minneapolis in conjunction with the AATS Annual Meeting. Thanks to everyone who attended! View photos of the event on WTS’s Facebook page.

WTS held its 2013 Membership Meeting & Reception on January 28 in Los Angeles. Thank you to everyone who attended!

Guest speaker, Debra A. DaRosa, PhD presented an excellent talk titled “Ultimate Multi-Tasking:  Teaching and Assessing in the OR”. View photos from the 2013 WTS Membership Meeting & Reception.Thanks to Covidien for making the 2013 WTS Reception possible!

The 2013 WTS Early Riser Session was held in conjunction with the STS Annual Meeting in Los Angeles on January 29. The session, “Innovative Opportunities for Alternative Research and Funding,” featured presentations by Drs. Virginia Litle and Jennifer Lawton.

View slide presentations from the 2013 WTS Early Riser Session:

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this session, the participants will be able to:

  • Understand that less traditional opportunities exist for doing research;
  • Identify funding options through philanthropy and industry;
  • Discuss the new national Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI); and
  • Delineate the benchmarks of a successful clinical research program.

Course Description:
A successful research program can be a rewarding aspect of a surgical career. Research traditionally is a basic science effort and can be limited by time and funding. Other research opportunities do exist outside of the laboratory and are available to academic and nonacademic surgeons. Funding is available through philanthropy and carefully from industry sources. The new PCORI was established as part of the Affordable Care Act to improve health care delivery and outcomes and will fund a wide variety of clinical projects. This session will provide attendees, both in academics and private practice, with tools for pursuing research support from non-NIH sources. Attendees will also gain guidance on how to start and continue a clinical research program.


Meetings of Interest

Society of Thoracic Surgeons 51st Annual Meeting
January 24-28, 2015
San Diego, CA

AATS 95th Annual Meeting
April 25-29, 2015
Seattle, WA

WTSA 41 st Annual Meeting
June 24-27, 2015
Whistler, British Columbia

STSA 62nd Annual Meeting
November 4-7, 2015
Orlando, FL