Thomas Spray

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Thomas L. Spray
Thomas Spray.jpg
Thomas L. Spray
Born(1948-08-28)August 28, 1948
Education Oak Ridge High School (Tennessee), Haverford College , Duke University, NHLBI
Years active1973-2018
Medical career
FieldCardiothoracic Surgery
Institutions Washington University in St. Louis, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Thomas L. Spray was Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Mortimer J. Buckley, Jr. MD Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Professor of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [1] He retired in 2018. [2]


Early life

Spray was born in Rochester, MN on August 28, 1948. [3] The family moved to Oak Ridge, TN, where he completed high school. [4] He was inspired by his father's orthopedic surgery practice to follow a career in medicine, [5] being particularly impressed by his experiences accompanying his father on a medical mission trip to Algeria. [4] He attended college at Haverford College majoring in Molecular Biology, receiving departmental honors.


After medical school at Duke University, he was a resident in general surgery at Duke University Medical Center. As part of his residency, he took two years for specialty training in cardiac pathology at the NHLBI. After completing training in cardiac surgery at Duke University Medical Center, he was appointed an assistant professor at Washington University School of Medicine, where he rose to a full professorship. In 1994, he was recruited to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, [1] where he served until 2018.

In 2009, Spray was elected the 89th president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. [6]


Spray was one of the early adopters of ECMO. [3] He was among the first to use intraoperative echocardiography to guide repair of congenital heart disease. [3] He has become an expert and advocate for the Ross procedure. [1] [3] He has performed over 10,000 operations in his over 20-year career. [3]


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  1. 1 2 3 "Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Thomas L. Spray, MD". Jan 12, 2018.
  2. Albert, Benita (Jan 28, 2019). "Pioneer in kids' heart surgery from OR". Oak Ridger. Oak Ridge, TN. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Tweddell, James (Oct 2016). "". The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 152 (4): 945–949. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2016.06.019 . PMID   27449354.
  4. 1 2 Albert, Benita (Jan 3, 2019). "Historically Speaking: Leader in medical field recalls growing up in Oak Ridge". Oak Ridger. Oak Ridge, TN. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  5. Thomas L. Spray, MD (May 2009). Presidential Address (webcast). Boston: American Academy for Thoracic Surgery. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. "AATS: Past Presidents". Jan 12, 2018.
  7. "William W.L Glenn Lecture". Jan 16, 2018.
  8. "CHOP News May 10, 2017". Jan 16, 2018.
  9. Dateline NBC: Saving a Broken Heart (TV). Dateline/NBC. August 22, 2003. Retrieved 16 January 2018.