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Thomas Varghese Jr., MD, Thoracic Surgery, Salt Lake City, UT, University of Utah Health


Thoracic Surgery Salt Lake City, UT

Adult General Thoracic Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery

Head - Section of General Thoracic Surgery, Associate Professor - Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine

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  • I am a board certified General Thoracic Surgeon specializing in benign and malignant disease of the lungs, esophagus, chest wall and mediastinum; and minimally invasive applications for general thoracic surgery. My research interests include systems-based interventions for the uptake of research findings into healthcare (implementation science); the use of social media in public health initiatives; and health services research.

    I received my medical degree from Government Medical College-Trivandrum, University of Kerala, and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from Northwestern University. I did my General Surgery Residency at Northwestern University, a research fellowship in Organ Transplantation at Northwestern University, and a Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan.

    I was recruited to be the Head of General Thoracic Surgery at the University of Utah in 2015, after serving for 8 years on faculty at the University of Washington. While at UW, I helped create the Strong for Surgery program (, aimed at optimizing patient's health before elective surgery. The program is active at 50 clinical sites (205 surgical teams) in WA and OR, with plans to expand nationally in partnership with the American College of Surgeons.

Education & Training

  • University of Michigan Health System
    University of Michigan Health SystemFellowship, Thoracic Surgery, 2005 - 2007
  • McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University
    McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern UniversityResidency, Surgery, 1998 - 2005
  • University of Kerala Medical College
    University of Kerala Medical CollegeClass of 1996

Certifications & Licensure

  • UT State Medical License
    UT State Medical License 2015 - 2024
  • WA State Medical License
    WA State Medical License 2007 - 2020
  • MI State Medical License
    MI State Medical License 2005 - 2009
  • IL State Medical License
    IL State Medical License 2001 - 2008
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery

Awards, Honors, & Recognition

  • Top Doctors Award Seattle Met Magazine, 2012, 2014
  • Fellow (FACS) American College of Surgeons

Publications & Presentations


Press Mentions

  • Is Surgery Needed to Treat Lung Cancer?
    Is Surgery Needed to Treat Lung Cancer?February 28th, 2016
  • Physician Calls Lung Cancer a 'Silent Epidemic' in Utah
    Physician Calls Lung Cancer a 'Silent Epidemic' in UtahAugust 6th, 2018
  • Clinical Education: Is Coaching the New Way?
    Clinical Education: Is Coaching the New Way?November 26th, 2017
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Grant Support

  • Strong for Surgery - Development of an Opioid Minimization Quality InitiativePacira Pharmaceuticals2014–2015
  • Strong for Surgery - CERTAIN: Expanding the Strong for Surgery Nutrition Checklist across Surgical Practices - an Education and Process Improvement Project and Public Health CampaignNestle Healthcare Institute2013–2015
  • Strong for Surgery - CERTAIn Clinician Network: Optimizing Patient Health Prior to Spine SurgeryLife Sciences Discovery Fund2013–2015
  • Strong for Surgery: An Innovative Approach to Comprehensive Standardization of the Pre-Surgical PatientUW Medicine Patient Safety Innovation Program2013–2014
  • Strong for Surgery - Development of an innovative electronic health platform to improve preoperative patient preparationUW Department of Surgery Research Reinvestment Fund2013–2014
  • Chest Drainage Procedures Simulation Program for Distributive Learning, Individual Healthcare and Team TrainingDepartment of Defense/US Army Medical Research and Material Command2011–2014
  • Surgical Disparities in Lung, Prostate, Breast and Colorectal Cancer in American Indians (AI) and Alaska Natives (AN)National Cancer Institute2010–2014


  • Member, STS Council on Education and Member Services Operating Board 2014 - Present
  • Member, STS University Program Taskforce 2014 - Present
  • Member, STS Workforce on Evidence-Based Surgery 2013 - 2015
  • Member, STS Workforce on Clinical Education 2013 - 2015
  • Member, General Thoracic Surgery Subcommittee, Western Thoracic Surgical Association Annual Meeting Workforce 2013 - 2015
  • Member, Washington State Department of Health, Public Health-Healthcare Delivery Partnership Workgroup 2013 - 2015
  • Member, Washington State Choosing Wisely Implementation Taskforce 2013 - 2015
  • Chair, Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Workforce on Annual Meeting 2013 - 2014
  • Member, Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education (JCTSE) Integrated 6-year (I-6) Program Assessment of Resident Training Committee 2012 - 2015
  • Member, STS Annual Meeting Workforce 2012 - 2014
  • Member, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Thoracic Surgery Milestones Committee 2011 - 2015
  • Chair, JCTSE I-6 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Fundamentals of Surgery Committee 2011 - 2014
  • Member, STS Workforce on Research and Clinical Trials 2010 - 2011
  • Member, JCTSE Simulation Committee 2009 - 2015
  • Member, STS Workforce on Esophageal Cancer 2009 - 2013
  • Chair, General Thoracic Surgery Subcommittee, Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSDA) In-Training Exam Committee

Research History

  • InvestigatorUniversity of Utah - Health Services Research Group2015 - Present
  • InvestigatorUniversity of Washington - Surgical Outcomes Research Center2007 - 2015
  • Core Faculty MemberUniversity of Washington - Institute for Simulation & Interprofessional Studies2007 - 2015
  • Research FellowDivision of Organ Transplantation, Northwestern University2001 - 2003
  • Research AssociateDivision of Organ Transplantation, Northwestern University1997 - 1998

Professional Memberships

Hospital Affiliations