To stimulate an interest in cardiothoracic research, Cary Akins, MD, of MGH Cardiac Surgery, and Douglas Mathisen, MD, of MGH Thoracic Surgery, have spearheaded an effort to establish the Willard M. Daggett Cardiothoracic Research Scholarship. A $10,000 scholarship will be awarded each year to a resident committed to cardiothoracic research during his or her general surgery residency. The aim of this scholarship is not only to encourage residents to pursue cardiothoracic research, but also to motivate them to consider careers in cardiothoracic surgery.
It is quite fitting for Willard "Bill" M. Daggett, MD, (left) to be the central focus of the scholarship. During his 50-year MGH career, Daggett has mentored hundreds of trainees and established the Laboratory of Surgical Cardiovascular Physiologic Research. Within his lab, Daggett fostered an inquiry-driven approach in a collegial, nonjudgmental setting that allowed trainees to develop personally and professionally.
Daggett's creative philosophy paved the way toward pivotal discoveries that led to the design of new surgical techniques in heart transplantation and complex cardiac surgical repairs. As one previous trainee says, "Bill's influence on those who have passed through the MGH is huge, and the number of young men and women who owe him a great debt are many." Daggett is humbled and energized by the intent of the new scholarship program, and the Cardiothoracic Division leadership looks forward to carrying on Daggett's tradition of inspiring trainees.
Efforts are underway to create an endowed fund that will sustain the new Willard M. Daggett Cardiothoracic Research Scholarship into the future. For more information, contact Melissa King of the Development Office at (617) 643-0466 or