Duke Cancer Institute member Betty Tong, MD, MHS, MSME, BME, has won the inaugural “Extraordinary Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Award” established by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and Women in Thoracic Surgery (WTS).
The award celebrates those who have achieved excellence and innovation in clinical practice and who demonstrate integrity, leadership, mentorship, creativity, and advocacy on behalf of the specialty, patient population, or fellow surgeons and trainees.
Tong, an active member of both WTS (where she serves as co-chair of membership) and the Association of Women Surgeons, is an associate professor in the tenure track of the Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Section of General Thoracic Surgery.
She's an accomplished clinical surgeon with a strong focus on complex thoracic oncology and minimally invasive thoracic surgery and has clinical expertise in lung and esophageal cancer surgery as well as mesothelioma.
In addition to her own busy clinical practice at Duke, Tong operates one day each week at the Durham VA Medical Center with the residents on the General Thoracic Surgery service there.
Tong has served on the Duke Institutional Review Board (IRB) for more than a decade and has more than 120 peer-reviewed publications to her name; about 40 of which were published in the last two years.
“This tremendous honor recognizes the outstanding achievements of women thoracic surgeons in our specialty,” said Edward Chen, MD, FACS, FAHA, division chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery, in the Duke Department of Surgery. “We are truly blessed and privileged to have Dr. Tong on our faculty at Duke.”
Tong was presented with the award at a celebratory breakfast held during the Jan. 21-23 Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ Annual Meeting in San Diego. Leah M. Backhus, MD, MPH (Stanford University) and Jennifer L. Ellis, MD, MBA (NYU Langone Health) also received the award.