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Eric E. Roselli

Member Spotlight

Cleveland Clinic

Adult Cardiac

Member Since: 2012


Eric E. Roselli, MD is Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery and Surgical Director of the Aorta Center at Cleveland Clinic. He is on the teaching faculty at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and has a dual appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Roselli is an active member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He has served as a chairman and member of the program committee for multiple national and international meetings, and co-authored practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with cardiovascular diseases. He has won several teaching awards and developed the Tall Rounds® graduate education program and podcast.

He is recognized as a thought leader in cardiac and aortic surgery including aortic valve repair, endovascular and hybrid repair of aneurysm and dissection, reoperations, cardiac tumors, and device development. He performs about 300 operations annually and regularly presents his work at conferences worldwide. He has published over 300 papers and book chapters and is actively involved in both clinical outcomes and translational research. He currently serves as the principal investigator and co-investigator for several device trials and holds several patents for novel devices to treat complex cardiovascular and aortic disease.

What Does the AATS Mean to You:

The mission of AATS is to promote scholarship, innovation, and leadership. To me, it means sharing all of those things amongst people I respect and the friendships that are created from those shared values.

My First Experience with AATS:

I believe my first meeting was the 2004 meeting in Toronto and the whole thing was both overwhelming and inspiring at the same time.

Why I became an AATS member:

Initially for the academic promise and later because of the camaraderie.

The most impactful presentation I have seen at an AATS meeting:

Bruce Lytle's 87th presidential address in Washington, DC in 2007. He talked about how one of the greatest things about our discipline is the people who chose to do what we do. This observation has continued to be one of the most relevant statements about why the AATS is important to me.

The first presentation I gave is:

My first national / international presentation was at the Heart Valve Society meeting in Vancouver in 2005 where I presented an analysis about the modes of failure of bioprosthetic valves. I was shocked by a standing room only crowd, and then Professor Magdi Yacoub who was in the front row stood up to ask some questions. His comments were insightful and the questions were educational. I was blown away.

Not long after, I gave my first presentation at the AATS on Roy Greenberg's initial work with branched endografts for treating the thoracoabdominal aorta. The main discussant was then president-elect Craig Miller. Not surprisingly, he was tough and direct, but his comments and questions were also insightful and educational. Again, I was inspired.

I am always so excited for the opportunity to see one of my students or residents hold their own on the podium at AATS.

The first paper I had published is:

My first real paper was entitled: Atrial fibrillation complicating lung cancer resection, and was published in the JTCVS in 2005. Sid Murthy and Gene Blackstone and I wrote every sentence together. In fact, my wife's water broke at 29 weeks gestation with our first child while we were in a late night writing session! It is still frequently cited today.

I plan on becoming more involved in the organization through:

I hope to continue to participate on program committees, educational events, several of the task forces I have been involved with, fundraising, and recruiting other talented people to join our esteemed group.

Advice for Trainees:

Take full ownership of every patient you take care of and then learn to forgive yourself, because this work is humbling."

My career in CT Surgery was inspired by:

I know it sounds a little corny or cliché, but it really happened organically with so many seemingly random influences that kept pointing me in this direction.

I was first inspired by my grandmother to be a physician. Her educational opportunities were so limited, but she dreamed of studying medicine her whole life. She instilled in me the idea that medicine was the pinnacle of aspirations. My immigrant father worked hard to give me the opportunity to realize our shared dream.

Along the way, I had no idea what I would do, but my grandfather was saved by Mark Orringer while I was in high school. In med school I was initially fascinated by the cardiac physiology lessons and later was one of the only students to rotate through CTS as an elective. Looking to make some extra money, I started doing research in a thrombosis lab on platelets and aprotinin with Jawed Fareed and Roque Pifarre. I matched in general surgery at the Cleveland Clinic not realizing it was the place to be for heart care. As an intern my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and Tom Rice saved him - a couple of times. I finally figured it out as a 3rd year GS resident after rotating with Nick Smedira and Pat McCarthy that this was where I was supposed to be. Then as a CT surgery resident working with Toby Cosgrove, Bruce Lytle and so many others, I figured out that this was what I was supposed to do.

A significant case/patient interaction that impacted my career is:

There are so many amazingly good and sometimes bad patient stories that we would have to sit down with a drink by a fire or find some time at an AATS meeting to discuss them.

The biggest impact my mentor had on my career is:

I've had many mentors and they all shared the principle of wanting to be the best they could be, and creating a team that was the best in the world at what they were doing for their patients. I have tried to live up to those same driving principles.

The topic most important to advancing the field of CT Surgery is:

Life-long continuing education because it keeps advancing so fast.

The most pressing issues impacting CT surgery are:

The increasingly complex care that is required in our field demands that we all stay up to speed to deliver quality cutting edge care. This rapid evolution and the increasing cost of care will likely continue to drive us toward more centralized and team-based delivery of CTS care.

Advice for Trainees:

Take full ownership of every patient you take care of and then learn to forgive yourself, because this work is humbling.