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Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum Scholarship


Susan Moffat-Bruce, MD, PhD, MBA, previous scholarship award recipient.

The Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum (the Forum) is the joint entity of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) that is responsible for ethics education in cardiothoracic (CT) surgery. It was created in 2000 and its membership now comprises the members of the STS Standards and Ethics Committee, the AATS Ethics Committee, and a few at-large members.

The Forum has sponsored over 50 ethics sessions at CT surgery meetings and its members have published over 400 papers on ethics topics since 2000. The Forum has also engaged in a number of other activities, such as creating ethics-related questions for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery qualifying examination and the TSDA In-Training Examination, as well as developing CT surgery policies for adoption by the AATS and the STS.

Kathleen Fenton, MD, previous scholarship award recipient.

The future leadership of the Forum and ethics education will fall to early- and mid-career CT surgeons, many of whom harbor great interest in ethics but lack experience in the field, as few surgeons have background and training in bioethics. To provide opportunities for intellectual development and preparation for leadership roles in CT ethics, the Forum, supported by the STS and the AATS, offers scholarships in amounts up to $10,000 for interested CT surgeons to obtain formal education and training in biomedical ethics through any of several programs offered by leading ethics centers in North America, for example, Georgetown UniversityColumbia UniversityMontefiore Einstein Center for BioethicsYale University, University of WashingtonUniversity of Chicago, and Baylor College of Medicine, among others. For those who live in Boston, the part-time Fellowship in Bioethics at the Center for Bioethics of Harvard University is also available.

Scholarship Application Guidelines

Jennifer Ellis, MD, MBA, previous scholarship award recipient.

Awards are made to CT surgeons or trainees who are interested in biomedical ethics and show promise of providing leadership for the continuing development and flourishing of ethics education for CT surgery. Successful applications require candidates to:

  • be members of the STS or the AATS, or be trainees in a CT training program or committed to CT surgery while in another surgery training program;
  • identify a specific educational program that will advance their ethics knowledge and skills in preparation for participation and leadership in CT ethics programs;
  • provide a curriculum vitae or résumé that displays evidence of scholarly activity and leadership roles;
  • submit a proposed plan of study (no longer than 500 words) that clearly states the educational insights and benefits that the scholarship will provide for their professional careers and for CT surgery as a specialty.

Past recipients are expected to recruit similarly qualified applicants from among their colleagues.

The deadline for applications for the 2018-2019 academic year (August 2018-August 2019) is September 30, 2018. 

Questions regarding Ethics Forum Scholarships should be directed to Robert M. Sade, MD at

Previous Scholarship Award Recipients

Name (alphabetical)Home InstitutionAward YearStudy Program
Jennifer Ellis, MD, MBAMedStar Heart Institute
Washington Hospital Center
2014Georgetown University Intensive Bioethics Course
John Entwistle, MD, PhDJefferson University Hospital2014

Georgetown University Intensive Bioethics Course

Kathleen Fenton, MDInternational Children's Heart; Foundation, Wm Novick Global Cardiac Alliance2014Albany University Masters in Bioethics Degree Program
Leslie Kohman, MDUpstate Medical University, Syracuse2015Georgetown University Intensive Bioethics Course
John Mayer, MDBoston Children's Hospital, Harvard University2017Fellowship in Bioethics at the Center for Bioethics of Harvard University
Susan Moffat-Bruce, MD, PhD, MBAOhio State University Medical Center2016Georgetown University Intensive Bioethics Course
Kristen Sell-Dottin, MDUniversity of Louisville2017University of Washington School of Medicine - Advanced Training in Healthcare Ethics
Richard Whyte, MD, MBA, MS (Hon)Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University2016Fellowship in Bioethics at the Center for Bioethics of Harvard University