About David Michael Shahian, MD

Current Positions


David Michael Shahian, MD, is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He trained in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed his fellowship in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Rush-Presbyterian–St. Luke’s Medical Center. For nearly a quarter century, Dr. Shahian was an attending cardiothoracic surgeon at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, most of that time serving as chair of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. He also served terms as president of the medical staff and member of the board of governors. Dr. Shahian is currently professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a senior surgeon in the MGH Department of Surgery and the Division of Cardiac Surgery.

Dr. Shahian has previously served as the inaugural chair of the Massachusetts Cardiac Care Quality Commission, which led development of the Massachusetts cardiac surgery public reporting system, and he also served as president of the Massachusetts Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Nationally, Dr. Shahian is chair of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Quality Measurement Task Force, in which capacity he has led development of dozens of National Quality Forum-endorsed performance measures and the risk models upon which they are based. He is past chair of the STS National Database Workforce, the STS Workforce on Quality, and the STS Council on Quality, Research and Patient Safety, in which roles he was responsible for all STS database, quality measurement and public reporting activities. Dr. Shahian co-led development of the STS national voluntary public reporting program, the most expansive of any healthcare professional society. In recognition of this and related quality activities, on behalf of STS he accepted the 2018 Eisenberg Award of the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum. In 2017, Dr. Shahian also received the STS Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in database and quality activities.

Dr. Shahian has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the National Quality Forum and the Board of the PCPI. He has published more than 340 peer-reviewed scientific articles and previously served as deputy editor of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Dr. Shahian has been a member of multiple CMS and NQF technical expert panels (TEP) related to quality measurement, most recently the CMS/Yale CORE group TEP for CMS Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings and the NQF Risk-Adjustment Guidance TEP.


Professional Education

  • BA, Harvard College
  • MD, Harvard Medical School
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center

Research & Publications

Recent Publications

  • Shahian DM. Commentary: Driving improvement. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020;159(5):1794-5
  • Nawata K, D'Agostino RS, Habib RH, Kumamaru H, Hirahara N, Miyata H, Motomura N, Takamoto S, Shahian DM, Grover FL. First Database Comparison Between the United States and Japan: Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020;109(4):1159-64
  • Swain JA, Rich JB, Mehaffey JH, Subramanian VA, Bilfinger TV, Shahian DM. Discussion. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020;160(2):431-2
  • Shahian DM. Invited Commentary. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020;109(5):1407-8
  • Shahian DM, Kozower BD, Fernandez FG, Badhwar V, O'Brien SM. The Use and Misuse of Indirectly Standardized, Risk-Adjusted Outcomes and Star Ratings. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020;109(5):1319-22
  • Broderick SR, Grau-Sepulveda M, Kosinski AS, Kurlansky PA, Shahian DM, Jacobs JP, Becker S, DeCamp MM, Seder CW, Grogan EL, Brown LM, Burfeind W, Magee M, Raymond DP, Puri V, Chang AC, Kozower BD. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Composite Score Rating for Pulmonary Resection for Lung Cancer. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020;109(3):848-55
  • Shahian DM, Liu X, Mort EA, Normand ST. The association of hospital teaching intensity with 30-day postdischarge heart failure readmission and mortality rates. Health Serv Res. 2020;55(2):259-72
  • Shahian D. Improving cardiac surgical quality: lessons from the Japanese experience. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29(7):531-5
  • Klarin D, Patel VI, Zhang S, Xian Y, Kosinski A, Yerokun B, Badhwar V, Thourani VH, Sundt TM, Shahian D, Melnitchouk S. Concomitant carotid endarterectomy and cardiac surgery does not decrease postoperative stroke rates. J Vasc Surg. 2020;72(2):589-96.e3
  • Mori M, Shahian DM, Huang C, Li SX, Normand ST, Geirsson A, Krumholz HM. Surgeons: Buyer beware-does "universal" risk prediction model apply to patients universally? J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020;160(1):176-9.e2

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