Newswise — Orlando – Douglas J. Mathisen, MD was awarded a Distinguished Service Award by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons on Monday evening at the Society’s 50th Annual Meeting.

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

“Dr. Mathisen exemplifies a career dedicated to selfless service and a commitment to leadership in cardiothoracic surgery that has made a positive impact on our specialty for more than three decades,” said STS President Douglas E. Wood, MD. “There is perhaps no person who is more respected or admired for his integrity, hard work, and dedication to the improvement of this Society, the specialty of cardiothoracic surgery, and the care of patients with cardiothoracic disease. There is no surgeon, past or present, more deserving of this award.”

Dr. Mathisen currently heads the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he is also the Program Director for Cardiothoracic Surgery. In addition, he is the Hermes C. Grillo Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

He has held significant leadership positions with virtually every major organization in cardiothoracic surgery. Dr. Mathisen was the 2010-2011 STS President and continues to serve the Society as a member of the Finance and Nominating Committees. He also is a Deputy Editor for The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the official journal of STS and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association.

Dr. Mathisen currently chairs the Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education. He previously served as a Director for both The American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, as a Councilor for the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and as President of the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, most recently being named a 2013 Honorary Member of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons and one of Boston’s “Top Doctors” by Boston Magazine in 2012 and 2013.

“All members should take inspiration from someone like Doug and the recognition he receives, not only from STS, but also from across our field, for the breadth and extent of his contributions,” said Dr. Wood. “While we may not each achieve the level of service or make as large an impact on the specialty as he has, each of us should be inspired by him to see what is possible. It should encourage us to take on any task that improves our specialty or our community rather than ourselves, and to do it with enthusiasm, and do it well.”

Dr. Mathisen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign. He completed his medical degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was a member of the national medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha.

He has been an STS member since 1987.


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.

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