Joseph Lamelas, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, performs more than 600 open heart procedures annually and is continuously pioneering new minimally invasive valve procedures. He has trained more than 400 surgeons from the United States and globally in minimally invasive cardiac surgery techniques.
He happily credits his experiences as a fellow in cardiac surgery at Maimonides from 1988 to 1990 with giving him the tools to succeed. “I received a great deal of exposure at Maimonides, gained a solid foundation for becoming a good surgeon, and came to appreciate that I needed to continually learn,” he recalls, adding, “I am particularly grateful for having learned the obsessive nature of managing a surgical patient. You have to be thorough. You cannot miss anything.”
During the second year of his general surgery residency, Dr. Lamelas met Joseph Cunningham, MD, then Chair of Surgery at Maimonides, an event that he says changed his life. “Dr. Cunningham approached me after my rotation and offered me a position in the Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship program when my residency was completed,” he says. “I was so pleased because this was my dream and he was making it possible for me to pursue it. I’ll always be grateful.”