Expert in Robotic Surgery Leads Thoracic Surgery Division at UTHSC

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Dr. Thomas Ng

Thomas Ng, MD, FRCS(C), FACS, came to Memphis earlier this year to build the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Ng was recruited to UTHSC’s College of Medicine by David Shibata, MD, FACS, FASCRS, chair of the Department of Surgery, to be a key player in the development of the university’s comprehensive, multidisciplinary cancer program. A specialist in minimally invasive and robotic thoracic surgery, Dr. Ng serves as the Eastridge Cole Professor and chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery.

He is building the division on several fronts in line with the university’s blueprint for its evolving cancer program

“A big part of the job is to take excellent care of patients,” Dr. Ng said. “The other parts of the job include teaching the students and residents about thoracic surgery, and also to reestablish a robust research component.”

Dr. Ng comes to UTHSC after almost 19 years at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended the University of Toronto for his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and chemistry, and medical school at Queen’s University School of Medicine in Ontario. He completed his residency in general surgery at Brown University, and fellowships in critical care medicine at the University of Toronto and thoracic surgery at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Ng said he was attracted to UTHSC by the excellent surgery program established by Dr. Shibata, and by the opportunity to lead a developing division that will have a major impact locally, statewide, and beyond. He said his goal is “to establish a comprehensive academic thoracic surgery program to serve the patients of the Memphis region.”

His vision involves a focus on non-cardiac, thoracic surgery using minimally invasive surgical techniques, including precision robotic surgery that generally allows for faster recovery for patients. The division will care for patients with benign, malignant thoracic and esophageal diseases, with a special interest and expertise in lung cancer, esophageal cancer, benign esophageal pathologies, chest wall tumors, and pleural diseases.

He plans to develop a multidisciplinary thoracic team to include medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonary doctors, radiologists, pathologists, as well as several thoracic surgeons like himself. He also envisions developing a lung nodule screening program in the community that could help identify lung cancers in early stages.

Dr. Shibata said the university is extremely fortunate to have been able to recruit Dr. Ng. “He is a nationally recognized surgeon and researcher in the field and is a consummate multiple award-winning educator,” Dr. Shibata said. “We look forward to him being an important part of our community.