Resident Profile: Dr. Elizabeth Stephens

Dr. Elizabeth Stephens

Elizabeth H. Stephens, MD, PhD
Cardiothoracic Surgery, PGY6
Columbia University

We are excited to feature Dr. Elizabeth H. Stephens as the first WTS Resident Profile.  Dr. Stephens is a force to be reckoned in CT Surgery, as highlighted in her nomination from Dr. Shanda Blackmon:

“Elizabeth Stephens is one of the hardest working surgeons I know. Having known her since medical school, I have seen her focus on a goal, work hard to achieve it, and surpass that goal. I have also seen her face adversity. Instead of becoming discouraged, she works even harder and becomes even more persistent. She is the real definition of Grit. Her skills, work ethic, compassion, knowledge, and innate sense of what is right along with her ability to stay humble are the factors that will make her a legendary surgeon. I have loved watching her navigate through her career and remain very proud”

–Dr. Shanda H. Blackmon

When asked about her experiences operating, Dr. Stephens shared the following:

“I feel it’s an incredible honor and privilege to have the opportunity to do what I do everyday.  To have a patient and his family entrust us to open his chest, put him on the bypass machine and perform life-saving repairs everyday is incredible.  Each time I see the heart beating in the chest there’s a moment of wonder — a pause while I take in the beauty and complexity of it all.  I hope that’s something that I never lose. I certainly never imagined I would do this as a career, but certain key mentors along the way I guess saw something in me and encouraged me to pursue it.  While the path has been far from easy, there’s nothing more rewarding and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Dr. Elizabeth Stephens surrounded by her parents and brother

Dr Stephens operating with Dr. Naka, photo courtesy of Tara Quinn