Robert A. Guyton Honored for Leadership, Service to Cardiothoracic Surgery

Robert A. Guyton, MD

Robert A. Guyton, MD is the recipient of the STS 2016 Distinguished Service Award, presented Monday evening at the Annual Membership (Business) Meeting.

“This award recognizes Dr. Guyton’s tremendous contributions not only to STS but also to the entire specialty of cardiothoracic surgery,” said 2015-2016 STS President Mark S. Allen, MD. “Through his work with the American College of Cardiology (ACC), he has earned tremendous respect among our cardiology colleagues and has influenced all aspects of cardiac care.”

An STS member since 1986, Dr. Guyton has served the organization in many capacities, including 2003-2004 President and 1997-2002 Treasurer. He participated on the Operating Boards of the Council on Health Policy and Relationships and the Council on Education and Member Services. Dr. Guyton also chaired the Information Technology and Information Technology Liaison Committees, the Workforce on Media Relations and Communications, and the Nominating Committee.

“Dr. Guyton always maintains the highest standards of professional excellence and is a strong, dynamic leader,” said Dr. Allen.

During his time as STS President, the Society opened a dedicated office in Washington, DC. This was at a time when the medical profession was faced with sky-high professional liability insurance premiums while simultaneously threatened with a substantial cut in Medicare reimbursement. Dr. Guyton championed the Society’s participation in Doctors for Medical Liability Reform, a coalition formed to raise awareness about the need to reform the medical liability system. He also initiated a series of STS activities aimed at elevating the level of expert witness testimony in medical malpractice litigation.

Dr. Guyton graduated from the University of Mississippi and Harvard Medical School; he then completed an internship, residencies in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery, and a clinical fellowship in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

He joined Emory University in Atlanta in 1980, where he currently is the Distinguished Charles Ross Hatcher Jr. Professor of Surgery, Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Director of the Emory Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Training Program.

Throughout the years, Dr. Guyton has been involved in the creation and refinement of several cardiothoracic surgery techniques, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement. His commitment to patient care has led to strong collaborations with other physicians, especially cardiologists. He currently serves as ACC Treasurer and previously served a term as a member of the ACC Board of Trustees.

“Other STS members should learn how Dr. Guyton has been able to accomplish many goals with our cardiology colleagues with tactful and appropriate interactions. They should also seek to learn his methods of developing and implementing a plan with harmony and cooperation,” noted Dr. Allen.

Dr. Guyton was recognized for his commitment to resident education and mentorship through a 2009 Socrates Award from the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association. He also was a member of the Board of Directors for the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education.

A son of an internationally renowned physician and medical textbook author and brother to nine siblings, all of them physicians, Dr. Guyton currently resides in Atlanta with his wife, Beth.

The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1969, recognizes individuals who have made significant and far-reaching contributions to STS and the specialty.