The Horace G. Smithy Lectureship honors Dr. Smithy, a pioneer in the early days of cardiac surgery.
2019 Horace G. Smithy Lecture
October 1, 2019
Emile Holman Professor, and Professor, by courtesy, of Cardiothoracic Surgery and of Bioengineering
Co-director, Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign
Recent Past Speakers (Note: 2018 lecture was cancelled due to hurricane)
|2018||W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr. M.D.||Innovators and Innovation in Cardiac Surgery: Past, Present, and Future|
|2017||David R. Jones, M.D.||Current Management of Stage III(N2) NSCLC|
|2015||Vaughn A. Starnes, M.D.||Opening Doors: A Surgeon’s Journey Over Thresholds|
|2014||Martin Elliott, M.D.||10 Commandments for Safety in the Operating Room|
|2013||Shafique Keshavjee, M.D.
||The Future of Transplantation: Personalized Medicine for the Organ|
|2012||Lawrence H. Cohn, M.D.||How to be a Safe and Effective Surgeon|
|2011||Leonard Lee Bailey, M.D.||Evolution of Infant Heart Transplantation|
|2010||G. Alexander Patterson, M.D.||Tribal Leadership in Surgery|
On January 30, 1948, Dr. Smithy was a young Assistant Professor of Surgery at MUSC who made medical history by successfully removing scar tissue from a heart valve of a young, incapacitated girl who had been given but a brief time to live.
The technique employed by the 34-year old Horace G. Smithy was based upon two years of exhaustive research experimentation. Dr. Smithy’s research included the design of a new instrument, known as a valvulotome, to cut scar tissue blocking heart valves of rheumatic fever victims. He subsequently operated upon six additional patients, four of whom survived.
Tragically, Dr. Smithy himself had valvular heart disease as a result of rheumatic fever during childhood, and his condition began rapidly deteriorating and Dr. Smithy died on October 28, 1948. However, from his pioneering efforts, enormous progress has been made. Today, reliable prosthetic heart valves are widely available and surgery for valvular heart disease is standardized and carries a very low risk in most individuals.