James A. Magovern, MD
James A. Magovern, MD

The ECTSS honors the memory of our friend and past president Dr. James A. Magovern through the annual memorial lectureship and luncheon held at the Society’s annually meeting.

Dr. Magovern graduated from Shady Side Academy in 1972 and from Harvard University in 1976. He received his medical degree in 1980 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

He began his post-graduate training in general surgery at Johns Hopkins as an intern and junior resident. After several years in the lab, he continued his residency in general surgery at the College of Medicine at Pennsylvania State University where he also completed his fellowship and post-doctoral research in cardiothoracic surgery.

After several years at Penn State, Dr. Magovern shared his expertise and knowledge with others as a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Allegheny campus of Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Magovern trained more than 30 resident physicians in cardiothoracic surgery, authored more than 120 medical articles, 11 book chapters and 92 abstracts, and gave more than 100 oral presentations. In 2003, he was honored by AGH cardiothoracic surgery residents with a "best teacher" award.

In addition to being a busy clinician and teacher, Dr. Magovern was a noted researcher. He served as the principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant studying skeletal muscle to power ventricular assist devices in animal models. He participated in more than 20 national and regional medical trials and held 17 patents in devices related to cardiothoracic surgery.

Dr. Magovern held membership in a number of professional societies, including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society for Thoracic Surgeons, and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. He also served as president of the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society in 2000, when it was known as the Pennsylvania Association for Thoracic Surgery.

When he passed at the age of 52 from kidney cancer, he was the chief of cardiac surgery at Allegheny General Hospital where he also served as the director of cardiac surgery research at the hospital and was surgical director of the Gerald R. McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute at AGH.

His extraordinary legacy continues on through the ECTSS and the surgeons who serve the Society.


2021 Hartzell V. Schaff, MD
2019 G. Alexander Patterson, MD
2018 Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS
2017 Douglas E. Wood, MD, FACS, FRCSED
2016 John A. Elefteriades, MD
2015 Shaf Keshavjee, MD, MSc, FRCSC
2014 W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr., MD
2013 Jonathan B. Clark, MD
2012 William E. Cohn, MD
2011 L. Wiley Nifong, MD
2010 Ralph J. Damiano, Jr., MD
2009 Bartley P. Griffith, MD
2008 Benjamin C. Sun, MD
2007 William S. Pierce, MD

Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society

The ECTSS was founded in 1963 and was originally named the Pennsylvania Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Read more