Valerie Rusch is one of the first women to become board certified as a thoracic surgeon. Dr. Rusch currently has many positions which include vice chair of clinical research within the department of surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer. She is also chair for the Miner Family Chair in Intrathoracic Cancers. Dr. Rusch also is professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. As a thoracic surgeon she specializes in the treatment of mesothelioma as well as other cancers of the lung, airway, esophagus, and mediastinum. Dr. Rusch obtained her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Her residency was done at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals. Her fellowship was done at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Rusch has had many accomplishments throughout her career. She serves as the chair of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, a regent member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Surgeons. She also is the chair of the Lung and Esophagus Task Force of the American Joint Commission on Cancer. Dr. Rusch also sits as chair of the mesothelioma subcommittee of IASLC (International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer) Staging Committee. She has also written many chapters on mesothelioma and lung cancers.
Dr. Rusch has been a prominent leader in the clinical trial field for treatment of mesothelioma. In 2007 she received the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education Socrates Award. Dr. Rusch has also been a recipient of The Nina Starr Braunwald Award. This award is for the lifetime contributions to the advancement of women in surgery. Dr. Valerie Rusch has also held 25 visiting professorships and has had over 300 speaking engagements at medical conferences. Her accomplishments are numerous and well deserved. A few other accomplishments would be chair of the American Board of Thoracic surgery, chair of the Lung and Esophagus Task Force of the American Joint Commission on Cancer and is currently the chair of the Mesothelioma subcommittee of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Staging Committee.