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What is the future of cardio-thoracic surgery?

Cardio-thoracic surgery is a steadily-evolving field with many faces to help shape it along the way. Today, we are pleased to welcome Roberto Lorusso as one of the new Editors-in-Chief of Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (MMCTS). We got to know Dr. Lorusso during an interview and discovered how he came to specialise in cardio-thoracic surgery, how he sees this field in the future, and what he has in store for the Manual.

What encouraged you to pursue a career in the field of cardio-thoracic surgery?

Since the beginning of my professional career, the combination of both clinical and research activities greatly appealed to me. During my PhD I worked at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), situated in the Netherlands, and then later on at the Catholic University, Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven, Belgium. My experience at both of these institutions allowed me to appreciate and understand both the academic and scientific approach to cardio-thoracic surgery. My past positions as Scientific Secretary of the Italian Society of Cardiac Surgery and then as Director of the EACTS School, and currently as Chair of Euro-ELSO (the European branch of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization) made me realise how professionals, juniors or seniors, still rely on the combination of high-quality education and scientific information.

MMCTS contributes to this by aspiring to be a major reference for professionals, providing them with the most updated and highest standard of care material for daily practice and academic purposes. MMCTS is a tool which provides researchers with an archive of basic to most recent surgical proposals and digital material, in a highly scientific, respected, and peer-reviewed environment.

Particularly, the user will find that the service provided by the EACTS publishing family of the EJCTS-ICVTS-MMCTS acts as a complementary tool to their research.

Roberto Lorusso, the new Editor-in-Chief of Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Authors own photograph.
Roberto Lorusso, the new Editor-in-Chief of Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Author’s own photograph.

What do you think are the challenges being faced in this field today?

Technological advancement in multimedia communications has allowed easier and immediate accessibility to medical educational materials and documents. However, the ease of availability, such as web-documents, does not monitor content or guarantee a high-standard quality in material.

MMCTS is authored and peer-reviewed by highly qualified and respected professionals within the field, and this can assure readers of quality and reliability of the articles.

MMCTS acts as an immediate help and tool for any kind of research, from archive-based, to new innovative research proposals.

How do you see cardio-thoracic surgery developing in the future?

It is obvious that there are many current challenges taking place in our profession. Issues such as minimal invasiveness, cardiocirculatory or respiratory support in acute failure, therapies for chronic dysfunction, regenerative therapies, new valves, percutaneous approaches, and others, are already a reality and will continue to play a greater critical role in our practice.

It is a priority for us to protect well-established and proven research, as well as consider new proposals. We achieve this through thorough analysis and verification of sources and expert peer-review of the research.

I believe it is crucial for both scientific and professional revision within this field, and by doing this we minimise the risk of mistakes. The MMCTS Editorial Board and wide body of reviewers, always strive to ensure reliability and protection for users.

What are you most looking forward to about being the Editor-in-Chief of MMCTS?

This is at the same time a remarkable challenge but also an intriguing task. I am admirable of what EACTS has been able to build up in terms of professional contribution and support to our profession. Numerous tools and opportunities are provided to all of our colleagues, whether it is figures of progress or updates, gathering and sharing experiences, producing new results, or contributing innovative proposals. We must be the guardians of what has been achieved, particularly thanks to the work of Professor Marko Turina.

There are many key factors that will ensure the success of our service in the future: by distributing the acquired knowledge, making it available in the best quality and format we can, and at the same time always acting as a united body with EACTS Council and Domains, EJCTS, and ICVTS. This will be the key for successful and fruitful service from our side.

How do you see the Manual developing in the future?

MMCTS has several challenging tasks. It must remain highly educational and provide fundamental information. Additionally it is important for us to be progressive and remain open-minded towards new therapies, interventions, and surgical solutions.

We must be aware of the availability of multimedia communications in our field, and we must combine this with quality, innovation, education, and professional scrutiny. The most important factor will be to provide users with new innovative proposals, whilst retaining the high-quality and reliability of the standard of the product.

What do you think readers will take away from the Manual?

MMCTS provides a high level of professionalism in terms of education, continual updates and contact with highly respected peers. It also offers solutions for complex and difficult cases, recommendations from high-rank scientific organizations and several other insights provided by new sections of MMCTS.

MMCTS strives to become a daily partner for professional practice, and a meaningful reliable tool for enhancing training and education.

Featured image credit: “Heart-lung machine in a cardiac surgery.” by Jerry Hecht. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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