Calhoon is vice chair of American Board of Thoracic Surgery

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 11, 2009) — John H. Calhoon, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon, educator and researcher who has saved thousands of lives—including those of week-old infants—at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is the new vice chair and chair-elect of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

From 2011 to 2013 he will lead the board, which certifies cardiothoracic surgeons nationwide and protects the public by establishing and maintaining high standards in the field.

Dr. Calhoon, who joined the Health Science Center faculty in 1989, was mentored by South Texas transplant surgery pioneers J. Kent Trinkle, M.D., and Frederick Grover, M.D. Dr. Calhoon was named head of cardiothoracic surgery in 1994, succeeding Dr. Trinkle. He occupies the Calhoon President’s Council Chair for Excellence in Surgery, which was established in his family’s honor by Health Science Center supporters who are members of the President’s Council.

He leads surgical teams performing pediatric and adult heart and lung transplants, congenital heart defect repairs and many other types of operations at the Health Science Center’s affiliated teaching hospitals. These include University Hospital, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care hospitals and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division.

He sees patients of UT Medicine San Antonio, the School of Medicine’s multispecialty physician practice.

Dr. Calhoon leads a division conducting research of chronic rejection of donor lungs, minimally invasive cardiac surgery and many other topics. The division also trains the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons. Under Dr. Calhoon’s consistent guidance, the mission of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program at the Health Science Center is “to become the best place in the world to train a cardiothoracic surgeon.”

A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Calhoon earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in 1981. He completed residencies in surgery and cardiothoracic surgery—serving as chief resident in both—at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and in 1988 was chief resident in cardiothoracic surgery at Harvard Medical School. Board certified in surgery and cardiothoracic surgery, he has been listed in “Best Doctors in America” multiple times.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

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