Board of Directors


David R. Jones, MD

Vice Chair
Thoralf M. Sundt, III, MD

Chair Emeritus 
Fred A. Crawford, Jr., MD

Secretary – Treasurer
Cindy VerColen

David A. Fullerton, MD

Shaf Keshavjee, MD

Alec Patterson, MD

Emile A. Bacha, MD

AATS Leadership Academy
Friday, May 3, 2019, Toronto, Canada

The 2019 AATS Leadership Academy is an intensive, didactic, and interactive program for up to 20 surgeons who have concluded residency and been in an academic appointment for no more than four years or will be finishing their residency in 2019 and starting an academic appointment upon its conclusion.


Continuing Medical Education (CME) Accreditation
The American Association for Thoracic Surgery is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure Policy
To demonstrate compliance with requirements of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), it is the policy of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery to have any individual who is in the position to control or influence the content of an educational activity (i.e. planners, faculty, authors, committee members, content reviewers and staff) disclose to AATS all relevant financial relationships prior to the activity. 
These requirements are designed to ensure that accredited continuing medical education (CME) provide a safe place for learning – independent of commercial interests and commercial influence- and that educational content and recommendations involving clinical medicine are evidenced-based, objective, balanced, and scientifically rigorous. For further information on the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards of Commercial Support, please visit


  • To provide participants with the administrative, interpersonal, and mentoring skills necessary to serve successfully as an academic cardiothoracic surgeon
  • To provide an opportunity for participants to interact with well known cardiothoracic surgical leaders who might subsequently serve as personal mentors.


  • Eligibility - In order to be considered for this year's Leadership Academy applicants must be either:
    • An Active North American surgeon, currently serving as a junior faculty member. Candidates must be in an academic appointment for no more than four years. 
    • A resident with intentions of completing their residency in 2019 and starting an academic appointment upon its conclusion.
  • Displays evidence of academic and leadership accomplishments.
  • Quality of their letters of support outlining the applicants benefits of participation in the program. 
  • Personal statement outlining future career goals.


Academy faculty will consist of well-known leaders in cardiothoracic surgery as well as invited guest speakers. As in previous years, the program will maintain close to a 1:1 ratio to ensure mentorship opportunities are readily available to all.  


Applications are currently being accepted and will close December 14, 2018. 


Why should I apply?
Regardless of the size or location of an institution, the core non-technical skills associated with serving in a leadership position remain the same. This program aims to help those interested in acquiring or refining that skill set in an informal setting where faculty presentations and open forum discussion generate ideas that can be implemented upon returning to your institution. 

What makes the program unique/valuable?
In addition to being one of the more intimate sessions in cardiothoracic surgery to gain insights into non-technical skills development, the Leadership Academy Committee has taken pride in providing attendees with a focused networking opportunity to build long-term professional relationships. An important part of this is a 1:1 ratio of attendees to faculty with mandatory attendance and active participation required of everyone.

Is this open to international applicants?
Yes, a limited number of highly qualified international applicants may be accepted to attend. 

How do I apply?

Applications can be submitted through the AATS website. When submitting an application, you will be asked to provide attachments such as a CV, Statement of Career Goals, Narrative of what you hope to gain from the program, and two letters of support including one from your Chief of Surgery. 


Deadline: December 14, 2018