Education with an Edge

Brett C. Sheridan, MD (left) and STS Secretary Joseph F. Sabik III, MD (right) help plan the adult cardiac educational sessions.

Sessions feature innovative research, cutting-edge videos, and lively debates

If you want to stay at the forefront of what’s new in cardiothoracic surgery, mark your calendar now for the STS 54th Annual Meeting to be held Saturday, January 27, through Wednesday, January 31, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“The meeting will be an unparalleled educational experience,” said STS President Richard L. Prager, MD. “This is an opportunity to meet colleagues and friends from around the world, hear new ideas and concepts, and learn from each other.”

This meeting promises to be more edgy. “For example, instead of having several sessions consisting only of scientific abstracts, we encouraged our program committee to incorporate not only the very best abstracts—of which there were many—but also lively debates and surgical videos,” said Himanshu Patel, MD, Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting.

Hot Topics in Each Subspecialty

All cardiothoracic surgery team members will find educational programming relevant to their everyday practices. Three “How To” video sessions will be held on Sunday—one for each subspecialty. These dynamic sessions will feature video presentations on common cardiothoracic surgical procedures, with speakers offering unique insights. Other sessions on Sunday include the Practice Management Summit, the STS/AATS Critical Care Symposium, and the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Symposium.

On Monday and Tuesday, sessions for adult cardiac surgery will cover arrhythmia/atrial fibrillation, ischemic disease, mitral and tricuspid valves, and more.

“Cardiothoracic surgery is moving at a rapid clip. Some of our operations are moving from large, open procedures to small, minimally invasive, transcatheter, and other less invasive procedures to improve the health of our patients,” said STS Secretary Joseph F. Sabik III, MD. “It’s a very exciting time to be in heart surgery, and we’ll explore all of these topics at the meeting.”

The general thoracic surgery sessions will feature presentations on robotic surgery, esophageal disease, lung cancer, and more. Monday’s “Lung Cancer I” session will tackle the current opioid epidemic in the United States. It also will present an abstract on factors associated with new persistent opioid use after lung resection and an invited talk on the thoracic surgeon’s role in addressing the issue.

“For the first time, we’ll have a session on Tuesday dedicated to health services research and database analyses,” said David Tom Cooke, MD, a member of the Workforce on Annual Meeting. “We’ll also have sessions highlighting innovative clinical general thoracic surgery research, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and lung transplantation.”

Congenital heart surgeons can expect a mix of scientific abstracts, invited talks, debates, and videos covering disease processes in both children and adults.

“We’re going to have sessions on management of Ebstein anomaly from the newborn to the adult, complex two-ventricle repairs in patients with heterotaxy syndrome, and systemic atrioventricular valve repair in children with congenital heart disease,” said James S. Tweddell, MD, a member of the Workforce on Annual Meeting.

Improving Diversity

A new session on Monday will tackle diversity and inclusion in cardiothoracic surgery. Speakers will discuss how a diverse cardiothoracic surgery workforce can improve patient outcomes by increasing cultural competency and mitigating unconscious provider bias.

“The session will enable you to best interact with your communities and provide care for your patients in a culturally competent manner,” said Dr. Cooke, who also chairs the Special Ad Hoc Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.

Other new offerings include a collaborative session with the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, STS University courses on peroral endoscopic myotomy and minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery, and a session explaining how physician documentation drives reimbursement.

View the Advance Program and register for the meeting at

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

STS 54th Annual Meeting: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 26.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has been approved by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion to award 31.7 Category I CEUs for this activity.