2021-2022 Board of Directors

Front Row (L-R): Cathy Minehan, Carl Backer, MD, James Fann, MD, Stephen Yang, MD (Exam Chair) Joseph Dearani, MD (Vice Chair)
Joe B. Putnam, Jr., MD (Chair), David Fullerton, MD (Executive Director), Michael Mack, MD, Ara Vaporciyan, MD, Jennifer Romano, MD
Back Row (L-R):  Michael Moulton, MD, Joseph Coselli, MD, Jessica Donington, MD, Adil Husain, MD, Malcolm DeCamp, MD, John Mitchell, MD
Ashraf Mansour, MD, Thoralf Sundt, MD, Christine Lau, MD, David Cooke, MD, Jennifer Lawton, MD

History of the Board

The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) first discussed the certification of thoracic surgeons at its 1936 meeting in Rochester, Minnesota, but based on the consensus, no need for certification existed at that time. As a result of the rapid growth and importance of thoracic surgery as a specialty during the succeeding years, the need for a specialty board in thoracic surgery became apparent.  Recognizing that a large part of its membership wanted such a board, the AATS President reappointed the original committee in 1945 to study the matter.  The committee's report at the 1946 AATS meeting, which was held in Detroit, prompted a recommendation that a Board of Thoracic Surgery be formed in affiliation with the American Board of Surgery. An AATS committee was appointed to confer with a similar committee appointed by the American Board of Surgery. The necessary steps with the Advisory Board of Medical Specialties were accomplished, and the committee's report was submitted and adopted unanimously at the AATS meeting held in St. Louis in May 1947. Through negotiations, a plan of organization was worked out and approved by the American Board of Surgery and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery at their respective meetings in Quebec in 1948. The organization of the Board of Thoracic Surgery was structured in accordance with provisions of the plan, and the first, organizational meeting was held in Detroit on October 2, 1948.

On January 1, 1971, the Board of Thoracic Surgery became a primary board and changed its named to the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. It is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which encompasses 24 specialties with primary Boards. The purpose of these specialty Boards is to certify physicians who have completed an ACGME-approved residency in a specialty and, through their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs, promote lifelong learning and practice improvement. These processes has been instituted in the public interest.

For more information on the Board's history, click here.