About Us

The American Association for Thoracic Surgery is an international organization of over 1,400 of the world's foremost cardiothoracic surgeons representing 42 countries. Founded in 1917, its members have a proven record of distinction within the specialty and have made significant contributions to the care and treatment of cardiothoracic disease throughout the world.

Science and Education

The Association's commitment to science, education and research is demonstrated by its Annual Meeting, and the publication of its four official journals, the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Annual. These scientific publications are augmented by a series of sponsored and co-sponsored educational symposia and courses around the globe.


The support of cutting edge research is demonstrated each year by the annual awarding of two year scholarships to North American surgeons in their first three years of an academic appointment who are committed to pursuing an academic career in cardiothoracic surgery. Thirty four awards have been granted since 1985 with funding provided through the AATS Foundation. Since 1998 the Association has sponsored a poster competition at its Annual Meeting recognizing the scientific contributions of residents in CT surgical training programs throughout North America.

Additionally selected first and second year medical students are offered scholarships each summer to enable them to work in the cardiothoracic surgery department of their medical school with an AATS member.

Since 1951, the AATS has awarded an Annual Evarts A. Graham Memorial Traveling Fellowship to 60 young international surgeons representing 30 countries to support study within North America to broaden their overall training and increase international contacts.


In 2008 the AATS Leadership Academy was formed to provide a forum for those members of the association aspiring to be Division Chiefs or Department Chairs. Annually since its inception, the Academy has provided a one-on-one attendee to faculty ratio experience for those who will become the leaders of the specialty during the coming years and provides a venue to discuss the administrative, interpersonal, and mentoring skills necessary to serve in a leadership position within their institution and the surgical community at large.

Mission and Values

The mission of the AATS has evolved since its founding a 100 years ago to its present goal to Promote Scholarship, Innovation, and Leadership in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Its leadership and its members aspire to emulate the motto: "A Century of Modeling Excellence" while holding to the AATS core values of Leadership, Education, Research and Innovation, Excellence in Patient Care, and Mentoring.