Department History

Since 1955 the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has grown to become an independent specialty surgical department that provides education and treatment for diseases of the thorax, including the lungs, esophagus, mediastinum, chest wall, as well as acquired and congenital diseases of the heart and thoracic cavity. The phases of this transformation in these programs reflect advances in knowledge and skill in these fields and the growth of the hospital in contributing to these facets of surgical resident education and patient care.

The recent revolution of Thoracic Surgery reflect the values and goals of the University in rapidly changing times to accommodate the needs of our patients and students, as well as the interest and ability of the faculty and chair in Thoracic Surgery at Vanderbilt.

Reporter Story: "Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery to Split" - Effective January 1, 2004, the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was reconfigured as the Department of Thoracic Surgery and the Department of Cardiac Surgery through the efforts of Dean Steven G. Gabbe, M.D., School of Medicine, upon the recommendation of R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., Professor and Chair, Section of Surgical Sciences, and the approval of the Executive Faculty of the School of Medicine, and Board of Trustees of Vanderbilt University. Joe B. Putnam, Jr., MD, FACS was selected as the first Chair, Department of Thoracic Surgery.

Previous Department Chairmen