Prof. Blair Marshall: creating value for everyone should be one of main goals for the thoracic association
Meet the Professor

Prof. Blair Marshall: creating value for everyone should be one of main goals for the thoracic association

Received: 03 November 2016; Accepted: 11 November 2016; Published: 25 November 2016.

doi: 10.21037/amj.2016.11.01

Founded in July, 2016, the Asia Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ASTS) recently gathered numerous experts from different international thoracic associations, like American Association of Thoracic Surgeons (AATS), Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (EACTS), International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons (CATS), etc, together to have an active and aspiring discussion and sharing about the better development of ASTS. During this time, the Editorial Office of AME Medical Journal (AMJ) seized the opportunity to have an interview with Prof. Blair Marshall, member of many international thoracic associations (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Picture with Prof. Marshall.

During the interview, Prof. Marshall shared with us her precious advice about the development of ASTS—one of the first things any newly forming society should do is develop a well constructed mission statement. As the society goes forward, there will be many opportunities and a quick reference to the mission statement is crucial to keeping a society focused and on track.

Concerning one of the challenges, language among members of ASTS, Prof. Marshall emphasized the importance of the application of technology.

When talking about how an association encourages it member to contribute, Prof. Marshall mentioned two main reasons from the point of a surgeon’s view—one is that thoracic surgeons enjoy learning; another is that many young trainees need to proceed through their career. Thus, contribution to the association comes naturally. Prof. Marshall also shared with us her experience about helping a Chinese female thoracic trainee.

As for consideration when joining thoracic associations, Prof. Marshall thought that the relative value one obtained get being a part of an association would be an important consideration.

As a female thoracic surgeon, Prof. Marshall openly told us her love of thoracic surgery and gave advice to other young female thoracic surgeons—to get support and mentorship.

At the end of the interview, Prof. Marshall also shared her way of updating herself with the latest progress in the thoracic field—attending conferences and connection to the journals (paper copy from the journal and reviewing).

For more details, just click following video (Figure 2)!

Figure 2 Interview with Prof. Marshall (1). Available online:

Interview questions:

  • Today we discussed much about the development of ASTS, including its challenge, for example, the language, journal, etc. Here would you like to tell us what do you think about the challenges ASTS faces and what would be your advice?
  • Language from different members will be different. Do you think language will be a challenge to standardize in ASTS?
  • We know that you’re in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ Council. STS has held an important role in the thoracic field. Here would you like to tell us what do you think is the reason or important factor that STS stands for long time and have an important role in the thoracic world among so many associations?
  • We know that doctors are always busy. Then in your opinion, how should a society encourage its member to contribute to the society?
  • Many organizations are now established in the thoracic field now. Then what would be your consideration when you’re thinking about joining an association?
  • Female thoracic surgeons are a few. Then, in a female’s perspective, what do you love about surgery?
  • What would be your advice to our young female surgeons?
  • Have you ever consider what would you be if you’re not a surgeon?
  • What will you do in your spare time to update yourself with the latest progress in the thoracic world?

Expert Introduction:

Blair Marshall, MD, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, USA.

Prof. Marshall currently is Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Professor of Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She served as a member of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ Council on Quality, Research & Patient Safety’s Workforce on Patient Safety and Communications. Prof. Marshall also is a member of the Lung Cancer Alliance’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board.

Prof. Marshall received her B.A. from Brown University in 1987 and graduated from Georgetown Medical School in 1991, where she also completed a general surgery residency. During this time, she was the recipient of the Hugh Hussey.

Award for excellence in medical student teaching and the “Outstanding Chief Resident” award. She was a research fellow at the Harvard School of Medicine under Dr. Judah Folkman and received a young investigators’ award for her work on the purification of an angiogenesis inhibitor. Prof. Marshall also completed a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania (1998–2000), in addition to a general thoracic fellowship there from 2000–2001. Prof. Marshall has served as a faculty member at Georgetown Medical School, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Harvard University Medical School. While at Penn, Prof. Marshall was an investigator on a number of trails for non-small cell lung cancer and pleural malignancies, including gene therapy and tumor vaccination trials.

Prof. Marshall is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.




Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. Gao S. Interview with Prof. Marshall. Asvide 2016;3:453. Available online:

(Science Editor: Skylar Gao, AMJ,

doi: 10.21037/amj.2016.11.01
Cite this article as: Gao S. Prof. Blair Marshall: creating value for everyone should be one of main goals for the thoracic association. AME Med J 2016;1:2.