Newswise — Orlando – David A. Fullerton, MD, of Denver, was elected today as President of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons at the Society’s 50th Annual Meeting. He will be the first to lead the Society into its second half century.

“STS has been a preeminent medical society for many years,” said Dr. Fullerton. “It is truly a great honor to lead such a tremendous organization. Its influences span far beyond our own specialty, and I plan to continue that tradition during my tenure.”

Dr. Fullerton heads the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he is also a Professor of Surgery, holds the John T. M. Wright Endowed Chair in Heart Valve Surgery, and is the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgical Research and the Director of the University’s Thoracic Surgery Residency Program. In addition, he is the Cardiac Surgeon-in-Chief and Co-Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Intensive Care Unit for the University of Colorado Hospital.

Born in Texas, Dr. Fullerton received his undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, where he was a member of the national medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha.

After completing a residency in general surgery at the University of Washington, including 1 year of research in coronary physiology, he moved to the University of Colorado for a residency in thoracic surgery. Dr. Fullerton remained on the faculty at the University of Colorado for the next 6 years before being recruited to Northwestern University in Chicago as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program. After 7 years in Chicago, he was recruited to the University of Colorado in 2003.

A longtime STS member and volunteer, Dr. Fullerton served most recently as First Vice President on the STS Board of Directors. In 2013-2014, he also chaired the Workforce on Critical Care and served on the Executive Committee, the Workforce on Thoracic Surgery Resident Issues, and the Workforce on Research Development.

In addition, Dr. Fullerton has held prominent leadership positions in several other organizations, including The American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, and the Residency Review Committee-Thoracic Surgery. He is a past president of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of CTSNet, Inc. as well as the Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education, and is President of the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association.

“STS has always done a terrific job of bringing value to its membership, and I look forward to continuing that during my presidency,” said Dr. Fullerton. “I plan to build upon the Society’s strengths—the STS National Database and advocacy efforts—and add value for our members and our specialty.” Dr. Fullerton’s interests include all facets of cardiothoracic surgery and critical care. His clinical practice has an emphasis on structural heart disease.

He lives with his wife Christine in Denver. The couple has two sons, Patrick and Daniel.


Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 6,800 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.