The STS Annual Meeting William A. Baumgartner, MD, and Douglas J. Mathisen, MD Division of Cardiac Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, and General Thoracic Surgical Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts


he evolution of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Annual Meeting has been nothing short of spectacular. Its current richness and breadth of specialtyspecific content uses multiple teaching formats to provide state-of-the-art education for surgeons, residents, allied health care professionals, and students.

The First Meeting The first STS Annual Meeting was held January 25-27, 1965, at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in Saint Louis. The meeting and administrative functions were scheduled Sunday through Wednesday, which essentially is the same today. Twenty-six scientific papers were presented in 1965; 12 presentations were on topics dealing with adult cardiac diseases, 12 on general thoracic diseases, and one each relating to congenital heart disease and transplantation. F. Mason Sones, Jr, MD, a pioneer in angiography and a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, was the guest lecturer and spoke on “Coronary Arteriography.” The registration fee was $10 with no fee for residents or fellows, who were required to provide a letter of endorsement from their program director. There were 19 exhibitors listed in the program. The STS Business Session for members was held on Tuesday from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM, and the President’s Mixer was held on Tuesday evening. Attendance included 411 cardiothoracic surgeons. Paul C. Samson, MD, the first STS President, presided (Table 1).

Meeting Growth The initial meeting attendance of 411 has more than quintupled over the past 5 decades. In 2013, total meeting attendance was 4,683, which included a professional attendance of 2,281: 1,107 Active and International Members, 53 Associate Members, 466 non-member physicians, 280 non-member allied health professionals, 184 Candidate and Pre-Candidate Members, 167 nonmember residents, and 24 non-member medical students. Figure 1 shows the increase in overall meeting attendance from 1965 to 2013, while Figure 2 shows that the membership numbers were increasing

Address correspondence to Dr Baumgartner, Division of Cardiac Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N Wolfe St, Blalock 618, Baltimore, MD 21287-4618; e-mail: [email protected]

Ó 2014 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Published by Elsevier Inc

commensurately over the first 50 years with over 6,800 members in the Society by late 2013.

Scientific Sessions Early Annual Meeting programs (1965–1989) generally had between 35 and 50 scientific presentations each. In the very early years, the majority related to general thoracic surgery. In time, presentation topics became more evenly split between thoracic and cardiac surgery with several additional ones related to congenital heart disease. Over the ensuing years, abstract submissions increased (Fig 3) with an increasing number of presentations related to surgery of the aorta, transplantation, and mechanical assist devices. More recently, some sessions have been devoted to cardiothoracic surgical education and critical care.

Meeting Content by Decade First Decade (1965–1974) Ethical issues were first discussed at the 1969 Annual Meeting in San Diego, and Surgical Motion Pictures were introduced into the program that year. Also at the 1969 meeting, the first Distinguished Service Award was presented to John D. Steele, MD (Table 2). At the 1973 Annual Meeting in Houston, a panel session titled “How Can Quality Control Best Be Built Into Health Care Delivery?” was moderated by pioneering cardiac surgeon C. Rollins Hanlon, MD, Director of the American College of Surgeons. Today’s major emphasis by STS on quality, as exemplified by the STS National Database, was clearly predated by the prescient decision of the Program Committee to select this topic for discussion more than 40 years ago.

Second Decade (1975–1984) At the 1975 Annual Meeting in Montreal, Henry J. Heimlich, MD, reported on “Food-Choking and Drowning Deaths Prevented by External Subdiaphragmatic Compression: Physiological Basis.” Also in 1975, Claude M. Grondin, MD, Lucien Campeau, MD, and colleagues analyzed the patency of coronary artery bypass grafts at 1 year, reporting no difference between internal mammary artery and saphenous vein grafts. By the mid-1970s, there was increased awareness about the value of attendee input regarding program content. The first Program Evaluation form was included in the program for the 1976 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, as was the first “Guidelines for Ethical Relations Ann Thorac Surg 2014;97:S9–S15  0003-4975/$36.00




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Table 1. STS Presidential Addresses–The First Fifty Years Paul C. Samson*

1966–1967 1967–1968

Thomas H. Burford* Donald L. Paulson*


Lyman A. Brewer, III*


Donald B. Effler*

1970–1971 1971–1972

Will C. Sealy* Robert G. Ellison*

1972–1973 1973–1974

Benson B. Roe* Earle B. Kay*


Herbert E. Sloan*

1975–1976 1976–1977 1977–1978 1978–1979

Ralph D. Alley* Thomas B. Ferguson* F. Henry Ellis, Jr* Harold V. Liddle*

1979–1980 1980–1981 1981–1982 1982–1983 1983–1984

Paul C. Adkins* Jay L. Ankeney Anthony R.C. Dobell Hassan Najafi Harold C. Urschel, Jr*

1984–1985 1985–1986 1986–1987 1987–1988 1988–1989 1989–1991 1991–1992 1992–1993 1993–1994 1994–1995 1995–1996 1996–1997

George J. Magovern, Sr* Albert Starr Charles R. Hatcher, Jr Hermes C. Grillo* George G. Lindesmith* W. Gerald Rainer Robert W. Jamplis* Vincent L. Gott Denton A. Cooley Benson R. Wilcox* John R. Benfield Robert L. Replogle

1997–1998 1998–1999 1999–2000

George C. Kaiser Richard P. Anderson* Nicholas T. Kouchoukos


Jack M. Matloff


Mark B. Orringer


William A. Baumgartner

2003–2004 2004–2005

Robert A. Guyton Peter C. Pairolero

A New Specialty Surgical Society: La Raison d’Etre No official presidential address given A Philosophy of Treatment for Bronchogenic Carcinoma Wounds of the Chest in War and Peace: 1943–1968 The Compleat Thoracic-Cardiovascular Surgeon: His Special Training Residents and Residencies Significant Events in the History of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Whither in Maturity? I. Professional Standards Review Organizations and Their Implications for Physicians; II. Thromboembolism on Mitral Valve Prosthesis The Breeding and Feeding of Thoracic Surgeons The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Guilds, Boards, and Hobgoblins Caritas Chirurgi Impasse at the Crossroads: Evolution or Regulation Accentuating the Positive Assurance The Human Touch A Fascinating Journey Life Is Short And the Art Long The Occasion Instant The Experiment Perilous The Decision Difficult How Shall We Then Practice? The Thoracic Surgical Industrial Complex There Is Life Outside the Operating Room Notes on the Windpipe Philosophy 1 Profiles of Leadership in Thoracic Surgery If Not the Art, Why the Science? And It Happened During Our Lifetime ... Fifty Years of Cardiovascular Surgery A Half-Dead Thing...? Metamorphosis The Way Things Were—The Ways Things Ought to Be Paranoia or Reality? Thoracic Surgery at Century’s End Cardiothoracic Surgery in the New Millennium: Challenges and Opportunities in a Time of Paradox The Practice of Medicine in the Year 2010: Revisited in 2001 Unity and Participation: Embracing Counterintuitive Survival Skills Cardiothoracic Surgery: A Specialty in Transition—Good to Great? Quo Vadimus? Quality, Safety, and Transparency: A Rising Tide Floats All Boats ˇ


Ann Thorac Surg 1965;1:1–2

Ann Thorac Surg 1968;5:289–299 Ann Thorac Surg 1969;7:387–408 Ann Thorac Surg 1970;10:1–8 Ann Thorac Surg 1971;12:561–573 Ann Thorac Surg 1972;14:577–604 Ann Thorac Surg 1973;15:553–564 Ann Thorac Surg 1974;18:105–121

Ann Thorac Surg 1975;20:371–386 Ann Ann Ann Ann

Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac

Surg Surg Surg Surg

1976;22:407–414 1977;24:6–18 1978;26:6–10 1979;28:7–13

Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann

Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac

Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg

1980;30:5–12 1981;32:222–229 1982;34:1–5 1983;36:1–9 1984;38:1–14

Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann Ann

Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac Thorac

Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg Surg

1985;40:103–112 1986;42:124–133 1988;45:117–121 1989;47:9–26 1990;49:7–13 1991;51:877–881 1992;53:743–749 1993;55:1057–1064 1994;57:1059–1063 1995;59:1047–1055 1996;61:1045–1050 1997;63:923–929

Ann Thorac Surg 1998;65:1201–1206 Ann Thorac Surg 1999;67:897–902 Ann Thorac Surg 2000;69:1303–1311

Ann Thorac Surg 2001;72:1105–1112 Ann Thorac Surg 2002;74:3–12 Ann Thorac Surg 2003;75:1685–1692 Ann Thorac Surg 2004;78:391–398 Ann Thorac Surg 2005;80:387–395 (Continued)

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Table 1. Continued 2005–2006

Sidney Levitsky


Frederick L. Grover


John E. Mayer, Jr


W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr


Gordon F. Murray

2010–2011 2011–2012

Douglas J. Mathisen Michael J. Mack


Jeffrey B. Rich

Navigating the New “Flat World” of Cardiothoracic Surgery The Bright Future of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Era of Changing Health Care Delivery: An Update Is There a Role for the Medical Profession in Solving the Problems of the American Health Care System? The Road Less Traveled: Pioneers and Pioneering “Though Medicine Can Be Learned, It Cannot Be Taught”—The First 100 Years: Flexnerian Competency 2010 It Is the Journey, Not the Destination If This Were My Last Speech, What Would I Say? The Passions and Actions of Our Lives: Changing the World Around Us

Ann Thorac Surg 2007;83:361–369 Ann Thorac Surg 2008;85:8–24

Ann Thorac Surg 2009;87:1655–1661

Ann Thorac Surg 2011;91:993–1000 Ann Thorac Surg 2010;90:1–10

Ann Thorac Surg 2012;93:1404–1415 Ann Thorac Surg 2012;94:1044–1052 In press

* Deceased.

with Communications Media.” At this time, activities for spouses and guests of attendees were added to the Social Program. “Guidelines for Data Reporting and Nomenclature” were published for the first time in the program for the 1978 Annual Meeting in Orlando. At the 1978 Annual Meeting, Breakfast Sessions and Workshops were introduced; John Relland, MD, and Alain Carpentier, MD, PhD, presented their early experience with mitral valve repair, and Hermes C. Grillo, MD, presented “Tracheal Tumors: Surgical Management.” Also in 1978, Francis T. Thomas, MD, and Szabolcs S. Szentpetery, MD, working with Richard Lower, MD, at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, were the first to report on “Long Distance Transportation of Human Hearts for Transplantation.” In 1979, Marko Turina, MD, and Andreas R. Gruentzig, MD, reported on the “Role of the Surgeon in Percutaneous Transluminal Dilatation of Coronary Stenosis.” In 1980, John E. Mayer, Jr, MD, William G. Lindsay, MD, and Demetre M. Nicoloff, MD, PhD, presented the

“Effect of Aspirin and Persantine on Patency of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts.” This study, one of the first prospective randomized trials in cardiac surgery, documented the salutary effects of these agents on vein graft patency. The first J. Maxwell Chamberlain Memorial Paper was presented in 1981 at the Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The Chamberlain Paper designation, awarded by the Program Committee for best paper, was given to Dr Joseph F. Teply for “Ultimate Prognosis after Valve Replacement: An Assessment at Twenty Years.” The designation was eventually expanded to include the best papers in adult cardiac surgery, general thoracic surgery, and congenital heart surgery. At the 1983 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the program book was dedicated to Dr Samson, the Society’s first President, who had died the previous year. Tributes were offered by Robert G. Ellison, MD, and David J. Dugan, MD. At the same meeting, Levi Watkins, Jr, MD, Michel Mirowski, MD, and colleagues presented “Treatment of Malignant Ventricular

Fig 1. Growth in attendance at STS Annual Meeting 1965–2013.

Annual Meeting Attendees

7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 1965
















Fig 2. Increase in STS membership 1965–2013.

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STS Membership

6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 1965



Tachyarrhythmias with Combined Endocardial Resection and Implantation of the Automatic Defibrillator.” The study included the initial 12 patients who received this device. Internationally known business executive and future US presidential candidate H. Ross Perot spoke at the 1984 Annual Meeting in San Antonio. A guest of STS President Harold C. Urschel, Jr, MD, Perot’s talk was titled “On Wings of Eagles.” The first Postgraduate Program for Women, organized by Dr Urschel’s wife Betsey, was held that same year. She continued organizing the program, later called the Spouse Postgraduate Program, through the 2013 Annual Meeting and was presented the STS Distinguished Service Award in 2008.

Third Decade (1985–1994) Awareness of health policy issues increased in the 1980s. During the Postgraduate Course held at the 1985 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, the invited lecturer was policy expert Randolph B. Fenninger, JD, who spoke on “The 99th

Fig 3. Number of Scientific abstracts presented at the STS Annual Meeting 1965–2014.











Congress: What’s in Store for Medicine?” Later in the week, a presentation by one of the early practitioners of health care law, James E. Ludlam, JD, asked “Is a New Malpractice Crisis Coming? Problems Facing the Physician and the Hospital.” The health care delivery theme was continued at the 1987 Annual Meeting in Toronto. Johns Hopkins Health System President Robert M. Heyssel, MD, spoke during the Postgraduate Program on “The Impact of a Competitive Health System on the University Hospital.” The first Herbert Sloan Lecture, titled “Lung Transplantation,” was given at the 1988 Annual Meeting in New Orleans by Joel D. Cooper, MD (Table 3). STS celebrated its 25th anniversary at the 1989 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Significant presentations on the technical and scientific advances in cardiac and general thoracic surgery during the previous 25 years were given by John W. Kirklin, MD, and David B. Skinner, MD, respectively. Also in 1989, parallel sessions were introduced. These sessions initially involved only 1 day of the meeting, but were later increased to 2 days.

# Abstracts 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1965












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Table 2. Distinguished Service Award Recipients 1969 1970 1972 1975 1977 1981 1991 1998

– – – – – – – –

1999 – 2000 – 2001 –

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

– – – – –

2007 – 2008 – 2010 – 2011 – 2012 – 2013 –

John D. Steele Paul C. Samson Lyman A. Brewer III Robert G. Ellison Ralph D. Alley Herbert E. Sloan Thomas B. Ferguson W. Gerald Rainer Harold C. Urschel, Jr Jack M. Matloff Robert L. Replogle Timothy J. Gardner Sidney Levitsky George E. Miller Richard G. Sanderson Benson R. Wilcox Richard P. Anderson Nicholas T. Kouchoukos Gordon F. Murray Mark B. Orringer Fred H. Edwards Peter K. Smith Betsey Bradley Urschel Jeffrey B. Rich John E. Mayer, Jr Frederick L. Grover L. Henry Edmunds, Jr Robert M. Sade Michael J. Mack Carolyn E. Reed (posthumously)

Unlike most STS Annual Meetings, the 1988–1990 meetings were held in September. The switch back to the January/February timetable led to an Interim Meeting in Chicago because the 1990 meeting was held 5 months before the 1991 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The first STS National Database presentation, a significant event offering initial results from the first 50,000 cases and an introduction to the software, was given in 1990. At the 1991 Annual Meeting, the first Ralph Alley Lecture, “The Future of American Thoracic Surgery,” was given by Harry Schwartz, PhD, a columnist for American Medical News (Table 4). With rising attention to resident education, the first Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSDA) Award was given at the 1992 Annual Meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, to the resident whose paper was judged to be the best among all resident submissions. In 2010 this Table 3. Herbert E. Sloan Lecturers 1988 1992 1995 1996

– – – –

Joel D. Cooper Mark V. Braimbridge Robert H. Anderson Philippe G. Dartevelle




Table 4. Ralph S. Alley Lecturers 1991 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

– – – – – –

Harry Schwartz Yasuharu Imai Vincent L. Gott Miles F. Shore Hans G. Borst William R. Brody

award was renamed in honor of the recently deceased Past President of the Society, Benson R. Wilcox, and is still given at the STS Annual Meeting. Recognizing the role of the program director in residency programs, TSDA presented a companion award to the resident’s program director. Also new in 1992 were the How I Do It technical sessions. Poster presentations were introduced at the 1993 Annual Meeting in San Antonio as another part of the scientific program.

Fourth Decade (1995-2004) The popular Meet the Experts program was initiated in 1995 at the Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, California, and took place on Tuesday morning at the same time as the How I Do It sessions. By the 1997 Annual Meeting in San Diego, the STS National Database had become so robust that data managers began holding a separate program at the Annual Meeting. This gathering later became an annual standalone conference, Advances in Quality and Outcomes: A Data Managers Meeting. At the 2000 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the first Earl Bakken Award for Scientific Achievement was presented to Gerald Buckberg, MD (Table 5). The first Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture was given at the 2001 Annual Meeting in New Orleans by Senator William H. Frist, Sr, MD (R-TN), a cardiothoracic surgeon and STS member. His lecture was titled “White Hats and White Coats: Why Physicians are Uniquely Qualified for Public Table 5. Earl Bakken Award Recipients 2000 2001 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Gerald D. Buckberg Rene G. Favaloro W. Dudley Johnson Hermes C. Grillo Denton R. Cooley Richard D. Weisel Randall B. Griepp Vincent L. Gott Joel D. Cooper William A. Baumgartner James J. Cox Mark B. Orringer Philippe Menasche Sidney Levitsky D. Craig Miller




Table 6. Thomas B. Ferguson Lecturers 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

William H. Frist Shukri F. Khuri David A. Kessler Donald J. Palmisano James P. Bagian David P. Taggart William H. Frist Elizabeth O. Teisberg Bruce E. Keogh Jeffrey B. Rich Atul Gawande Jeffrey E. Shuren Mark B. McClellan

Service.” Dr Frist returned as the Ferguson Lecturer in 2007 (Table 6). The first Socrates Award was given in 2001 by the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association to Mark Stout, MD. This award, still given every year, recognizes an outstanding teacher and mentor of cardiothoracic surgical residents. Nominations for this prestigious recognition are made by residents (Table 7). After approximately a year and a half of planning in conjunction with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the first STS/AATS Tech-Con sessions were added to the 2002 STS Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale. Tech-Con activities were held on the Saturday and Sunday preceding the formal scientific sessions. This unique format provided a platform for surgeons with special expertise to present their innovative techniques and concepts. These presentations were followed by informal discussions. The initial program focused on cardiac surgery, and parallel sessions in general thoracic surgery were subsequently added. At the 2003 Annual Meeting in San Diego, former Food & Drug Administration Commissioner David A. Kessler, MD, JD, gave the Ferguson Lecture, titled “A Question of Intent: The Tobacco Wars,” and the Workforce on Practice Education invited U.S. Health & Human Services

Table 7. Socrates Award Recipients 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Mark J. Stout Mark B. Orringer William A. Baumgartner Bruce W. Lytle Edward D. Verrier John A. Elefteriades Richard C. Daly and Valerie W. Rusch Patrick M. McCarthy Robert A. Guyton William A. Baumgartner Lyle D. Joyce George L. Hicks, Jr Carolyn E. Reed (posthumously)

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Table 8. C. Walton Lillehei Lecturers 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

– – – – –

Doris A. Taylor William A. Neal Joseph P. Vacanti Friedrich W. Mohr Carolyn M. Clancy

Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, JD, to present a special lecture.

Fifth Decade (2005-2014) As noted, the quality of the Annual Meeting scientific content has been significantly enhanced over the years via new educational formats. One relatively new and immensely successful program was initiated at the 2005 Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida. The inaugural STS University offered 2 didactic courses, 7 wet labs, and a series of video demonstrations and live surgical procedures. At the 2014 Annual Meeting in Orlando, the Society’s 50th Anniversary meeting, STS U will offer 11 wet labs and other hands-on learning opportunities, along with didactic instructions that can be accessed online in video format before, during, and after the Annual Meeting. The first C. Walton Lillehei Lecture was given at the 2009 Annual Meeting in San Francisco by Doris A. Taylor, PhD (Table 8). Her presentation, “Bioartificial Heart: New Uses for Old Cells,” examined how overcoming the lack of donor organs and tackling the immunologic consequences of allotransplantation could greatly improve the outlook for patients in the 21st century. The first Richard E. Clark Paper was given at the 2010 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale to highlight important research based on STS National Database data and quickly became an integral part of the scientific program. The designation honors Dr Clark for his significant contributions to the Database’s development. Three Clark Papers are now presented annually, one for each of the three component databases: the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, the General Thoracic Surgery Database, and the Congenital Heart Surgery Database. The 2011 Annual Meeting in San Diego was the backdrop for the first STS President’s Award, an award which recognizes a resident or young investigator for submitting the best scientific abstract to the Annual Meeting program (Table 9). Michael A. Ko, MD, received the award for “MicroRNA Expression Profiling of Esophageal Cancer Pre- and Post-Induction Chemoradiotherapy.” Presentation of papers under the title of Late-Breaking Clinical Trials occurred first at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale. Patient Safety, a recurring topic at Table 9. President’s Award Recipients 2011 – Michael A. Ko 2012 – Mark J. Russo 2013 – Matthew L. Williams

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previous Annual Meetings, was prominently featured in the symposium, “Teamwork in CT Surgery Is More Important Than Ever.” Also in 2012, American College of Cardiology President David R. Holmes, MD, delivered a special presentation exploring cross-specialty collaboration between cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists. Over the years, a number of programs have been offered in conjunction with other professional societies, including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Symposia on government affairs, advocacy, ethics, coding, and critical care have also been held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.

The Postgraduate Course The Annual Postgraduate Course merits special emphasis. The first course was given prior to the 1967 Annual Meeting in Kansas City and consisted of multiple presentations related to a general topic, such as postoperative pulmonary problems or aorto-coronary vein grafts. As the course evolved over the next decade, content was organized into general thoracic and cardiac sections and included topics such as cardiac valve surgery, lung cancer, pulmonary insufficiency, and pacemakers. General themes such as current surgical management of ischemic heart disease and esophageal disease were also discussed. In the early years, invited speakers included Dr Sones, who spoke on coronary angiography, Charles Dubost, MD, who addressed the scientific and ethical problems surrounding organ transplantation, Lyman A. Brewer III, MD, who discussed wounds of the chest during war and peace (1943–1968), Donald B. Effler, MD, who spoke about the training of the complete thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, and Dr Ellison, who offered insight into significant events in STS history.

Business Meeting The first Annual Meeting for Members, also known as the Business Meeting, was conducted on Tuesday afternoon at the inaugural Annual Meeting. A year later, the Business Meeting was moved to Monday afternoon after the scientific sessions, where it continues to be held today. The Business Meeting provides the annual forum at which the Society’s members learn about the organization’s recent activities and current finances, elect STS officers and directors, admit new Active and International Members to the organization, and amend STS Bylaws as appropriate.

Resident Participation Cardiothoracic surgery residents have attended the Annual Meeting since its inception and have been encouraged to participate in all activities. When the




Thoracic Surgery Residents Association (TSRA) was established in 1997, TSRA members were asked to serve on many of the Society’s governance bodies. In addition TSRA leaders organize educational sessions for residents at the Annual Meeting and participate in a luncheon session chaired by STS members with a particular interest in resident education. Recognizing that these residents are the future of the specialty, the STS Looking to the Future Scholarship Program was established in 2006. This program provides scholarships for general surgery residents who have expressed an interest in cardiothoracic surgery to attend the Annual Meeting. It has proven to be very popular and fruitful, and was expanded in 2011 to include medical students.

Exhibitors STS has been extremely fortunate over the years to attract large numbers of exhibitors to the Annual Meeting. In addition to defraying the costs of the meeting for the attendees, exhibitors provide innovative and state-of-theart technology for examination and evaluation. Some of these technologies are showcased by cardiothoracic surgeons who participated in their development and evaluation. The number of exhibitors has grown substantially over the last 50 years, from 19 at the 1965 Annual Meeting to more than 150 at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. This brief tour down STS Annual Meeting memory lane provides a glimpse at the remarkable developments that have occurred over the last 50 years in medical education. From the early didactic sessions in the first few decades to debates, panel discussions, audience interaction, special lectures, and wet labs, today’s cardiothoracic surgeon can easily find the type of educational content that suits his or her style at the STS Annual Meeting. The Society has played a major role in advancing the specialty of cardiothoracic surgery and the quality of patient care, with many of these advances occurring during tumultuous times for the medical profession. While this chapter serves to document some of the educational milestones, what cannot be easily documented, however, are the innumerable personal interactions and exchanges of individual experiences among the attendees that also occur during the Annual Meeting. It’s a camaraderie that nurtures the specialty. The hallway conversations, the shared ideas, the connections with former mentors and co-residents, the introductions to other members—all of these and many other interactions are as much a part of the Annual Meeting as are the formal educational activities. They are also an important part of the history of the STS Annual Meeting. One can only imagine what the next 50-year tour down memory lane will reveal.

The STS Annual Meeting.

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