Newswise – CHICAGO (January 30, 2022) – Cardiothoracic surgeon John H. Calhoon, MD, of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center (UT Health) at San Antonio, has been elected president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons during the 58th virtual edition of the Reunion organization today.

“To be elected by one’s peers is as flattering an honor as one can receive,” said Dr. Calhoon. “This is an exceptional opportunity to work with STS surgeons and team leaders to make strategic decisions and actions to hopefully improve the Society and our specialty.

With a father who was a heart surgeon, Dr. Calhoon was blessed to spend much of his teenage years in and around operating rooms. This life-shaping experience “grabbed” him for him, he said. Plus, being a medical student in Houston during the days of world-renowned surgeons Michael E. DeBakey, MD, and Denton A. Cooley, MD, and doing clinical rotations with E. Stanley Crawford, MD, made him more inspired to pursue a career in cardiothoracic surgery.

Early in his career, Dr. Calhoon was also trained by cardiothoracic superstars like J. Kent Trinkle, MD, and Frederick L. Grover, MD. “Probably the biggest influence was my time with Dr. Trinkle and Dr. Grover – both played huge roles in my development,” he said.

Dr. Calhoon received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, before completing residencies in general surgery and thoracic surgery at UT Health in San Antonio. He then served as Chief Resident in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts under Aldo R. Castañeda, MD, John E. Mayer Jr., MD, and Richard A. Jonas, MD. Subsequently, he returned to UT Health in San Antonio, where he has practiced ever since. Dr. Calhoon is currently the founding chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UT Health in San Antonio, as well as Professor and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Long School of Medicine.

Over the years, the specialty has progressed and is “very different” than when Dr. Calhoon began his career. He explained that cardiothoracic surgery will continue to evolve, so much so that “there will probably come a day when the specialty that I have practiced will be nothing like the cardiothoracic surgery that young people learn”. His advice is to adapt and innovate in this area which he describes as “intoxicating with unparalleled ups and downs”.

With interests and expertise in complex adult and congenital cardiac surgery, heart and lung transplantation, and improving patient care and surgeon education, Dr. Calhoon has authored or co-authored more of 250 peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts and book chapters. He has also participated in hundreds of presentations on these topics.

A member of the STS since 1992, Dr. Calhoon has served on numerous management bodies of the Company; more recently, he was first vice-president. Dr. Calhoon has also served as Workforce Chair on the Education and Member Services Council Board of Directors and Deputy Head on the Board, as well as Workforce Chair during of the annual meeting. Additionally, he has served as a member of the Workforce on Critical Care, Workforce on E-Learning and Educational Innovation, Workforce on Health Policy, Reform, and Advocacy, and PAC Advisory Board.

Dr. Calhoon has held prominent leadership positions in other cardiothoracic surgery organizations, including the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, Thoracic Surgery Directors Association, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and Thoracic Surgery Foundation, the charitable arm from STS.

“Being selected by peers to lead a number of chest organizations has been extremely rewarding,” said Dr. Calhoon. “There’s nothing more rewarding than having people you respect come to you for help or advice.”

As President of STS, Dr. Calhoon said he is committed to continuing some of the goals of his predecessors, such as improving the world-renowned STS National Database and the relationship between cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists, while better aligning the two specialties on treatment. cardiovascular diseases. It is also important to address Medicare reimbursement challenges and advance other advocacy priorities aimed at promoting the specialty and its patients.

“We should all do our best to improve ourselves, whether in health, knowledge, professionalism or skills, we will pay attention to it. There is no doubt that a few sand traps will again be thrown into our fairways of life this year, so we will work together to cross them, over them and around them, ”said Dr Calhoon.

Dr. Calhoon and his wife Sarah Lucero, who is a retired news anchor, have four children. He enjoys spending time in his workshop – working with metal, welding and making wooden objects. In fact, Dr. Calhoon made most of the furniture in their home. An avid golfer, Dr. Calhoon credits his grandfather and professional golfer and trainer Harvey Penick with his love of the game. “Mr. Penick taught me so much more than golf, just as golf taught me so much about life. “, did he declare.

Thomas E. MacGillivray, MD, of Houston, Texas, as first vice president, and Jennifer C. Romano, MD, MS, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as second vice president were also elected at the annual meeting.


For more information, contact Jennifer Bagley, Senior Media Relations Manager, at 312-202-5865 or [email protected].

Founded in 1964, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a nonprofit organization representing more than 7,700 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for heart, lung, and esophageal surgeries. , as well as other surgical interventions in the chest. The mission of the Society is to advance the delivery by cardiothoracic surgeons of the highest quality patient care through collaboration, education, research and advocacy.