Icelandic Surgeon in Leading Nordic Position Skip to content

Icelandic Surgeon in Leading Nordic Position

Dr. Tómas Guðbjartsson, cardiologist and pulmonary surgeon at Landspítali National University Hospital, has been elected president of the Scandinavian Association of Thoracic Surgery, according to Vísir.

A press release from Landspítali states that all cardiology and pulmonary specialists in the Nordic countries are members of the association and that its role is to organize educational and scientific work related to the specialty. This is the first time in the 66-year history of the association that an Icelander is chosen the head it.

Tómas graduated from the University of Iceland in 1991 and then specialized in general surgery, as well as cardiac and pulmonary surgery, in Sweden, in addition to studying cardiac surgery at Harvard University. He has worked as professor and researcher and has published almost 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, most of them in the area of cardiac and pulmonary surgery. Furthermore, Tómas chairs the Association of Professors at Landspítali and is on the editorial board of Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and Læknablaðið.

Tómas made history in June, 2011, when he took part in the world’s first synthetic trachea transplant, implanting a synthetic windpipe into a 36-year-old cancer patient. The surgery took place at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and was done by a team of surgeons, led by Professor Paolo Macchiarini from Italy. The recipient died in January, 2014. The Swedish attorney general launched an investigation into Dr. Macchiarini’s work, but in August of this year, the Italian doctor was cleared of charges of scientific misconduct, according to The New York Times.

In 2014, Tómas was voted Person of the Year by listeners of Rás 2 radio station, after he and his team saved the life of a man who had been stabbed in the heart.

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