Membership Committee

Rosemary Kelly, M.D.

Leonard Girardi, M.D.
Adult Cardiac Sub-Group Leader

Abe DeAnda, Jr., M.D.

Clifford Barlow, M.D.

Mark Slaughter, M.D.

Ourania Preventza, M.D.

Stephen Yang, M.D.
General Thoracic Sub-Group Leader

Dan Kreisel, M.D.

Jessica Donington, M.D.

Virginia Little, M.D.

Walter Klepetko, M.D.

Jonathan Chen, M.D.
Congenital Sub-Group Leader

James Tweddell, M.D.

T-Y Hsia, M.D.

Emile A. Bacha, M.D.

Theirry Carrell, M.D.

Requirements for Membership

Membership in the AATS is an academic meritocracy in which the AATS Membership Committee will vet applicants based on the criteria and application requirements listed below. To apply for membership in the AATS, a current Active, Senior, or Honorary member must agree to be your primary sponsor by initiating your application on the AATS website. Should you have any questions, please contact for more information.  If you are currently a member of the AATS interested in sponsoring an applicant, please see Sponsorship Guidelines for more information.

Application Requirements

  • 3 Sponsors who are currently Active/Senior/Honorary members of the Association, but not on the Membership Committee;
  • 3 additional references who are currently Active/Senior/Honorary members of the Association but not on the Membership Committee;
  • Bibliography with evidence of significant contributions to thoracic surgical literature in national peer reviewed English language journals;
  • Three complete articles of significance;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • At least 3 years’ experience in cardiothoracic surgery practice post training;
  • List of AATS and other professional cardiothoracic meetings attending within the past 5 years;
  • If available, teaching awards and research grants received within the past 5 years.

Membership Criteria

The AATS Membership Committee considers applications based on how an applicant meets the following values and membership criteria.

AATS Values
  • Leadership: Demonstrating citizenship, integrity and professionalism.
  • Education: Disseminating knowledge and commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Research and Innovation: Advancing the field through the creation and application of new knowledge.
  • Excellence in Patient Care: Dedicating ourselves to the care of thoracic and cardiovascular patients.
  • Mentoring: Fostering the next generation of healthcare specialists for thoracic and cardiovascular patients.
Criteria for Membership
  • Academic Appointment: University affiliation is desirable. Appropriate academic appointment for experience and evidence of progress in academia over time is important although not essential.
  • Bibliography: For some candidates a bibliography is most reliable index of academic performance and potential.  The list of publications must be reviewed to assess the value of the publications in English language literature rather than relying only on the total number of publications.  In addition, evaluation of the individual’s contribution to the publication, as opposed to being an incidental co-author, is important.  One should consider how much of the bibliography is of a review nature or is repetitive. 
  • Professional Conduct: Evidence of scientific originality and demonstration of careful, honest reporting and accurate scientific analysis of data is important.  Discretion in relations with peers, patients and the public is a requirement.
  • Professional Memberships: Membership in other national or international organizations is encouraged although it is not essential.
  • Clinical Performance: Clinical performance may be assessed by review of the sponsor’s reference letter. Institutional longevity shall be considered by the Committee during their applicant reviews. 
  • Professional Stature: Evidence of leadership or medical innovation in cardiothoracic surgery including proficiency in teaching is desirable.  This may be manifest by awards documenting outstanding achievements, active involvement in his/her surgical practice and professional community, and the candidate’s innovative contributions to improve the care of the thoracic surgery patient. This may include, but is not limited to medical patents, devices, processes, and new technological advancements for patient care.
  • Sponsor Letters: The strength of the sponsor’s letter is important in evaluating candidates, however, confirmatory evidence of qualities, rather than emotional appeal, is expected.  The AATS is an academic meritocracy, so the sponsor’s contributions to the Association should add weight to the applicant’s support, but should not dominate the application process. When writing a letter of support, sponsors are urged to touch on the following qualifications: (1) Personal knowledge of candidate; (2) Academic appointments; (3) Academic prestige and grant support; (4) Clinical performance; (5) Professional conduct; (6) Professional memberships; (7) Professional stature on a local and national level (8) Grant support.
  • Grant Support: The candidate’s current and past grant support should be considered as evidence of academic productivity.