Kevin Xiao, MS 4, enjoys working with his hands. As an aspiring doctor, Xia found the idea of cardiothoracic surgery equally to his liking during his second-year human structure function class and spent time doing research and shadowing Keith Allen, M.D., a vascular surgeon at Saint Luke’s Hospital.
“The first time scrubbing in on an open heart procedure was nothing short of magical,” Xiao.
Xiao took that interest a step further earlier this year when the Society of Thoracic Surgeons awarded him a “2014 Looking to the Future Scholarship” to attend its national program in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 25-28.
The conference offered selected medical students an introduction into the field with presentations from current cardiothoracic surgeons on innovations in the field, misperceptions and stereotypes surrounding cardiothoracic surgery and the various training pathways to becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.
“I think one thing that was emphasized was to have a great attitude and work hard in every one of your clinical rotations. Cardiothoracic surgery is a field that is extremely demanding and hard working. There are very few integrated 6-year programs around the country right now and the match rate is less than 50% for those spots, so grades and Step 1 score are very important,” Xiao said.