Faculty Profiles

Alan Pickens

Allan Pickens, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Program Director, Traditional Three-Year CT Surgery Residency, Integrated Six-Year CT Surgery Residency, Emory University School of Medicine

Director, Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, Emory Healthcare

Director, Thoracic Oncology, Emory Healthcare

Telephone: 404.686.2515

Email: apicke3@emory.edu

Certification: American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 2008


Dr. Pickens received his medical degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where he also completed his general surgery residency. He did his cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, completed a minimally invasive chest surgery fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and did an esophageal surgery fellowship at U-M. From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Pickens was an assistant professor at U-M, where he initiated and directed the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Program.

After arriving at Emory, Dr. Pickens was appointed to direct Emory Healthcare's minimally invasive thoracic surgery and thoracic oncology services, and implemented the MIS thoracic surgery program at Emory University Hospital Midtown. His specialties include lung transplantation, robotic thoracic surgery, and the minimally invasive removal of early stage lung cancers and esophageal cancers using such procedures as Video Assisted Thorascopic Surgery (VATS), a type of thoracic surgery performed using a special video camera that is introduced into the patient's chest via small incisions.


  • Emory University Hospital

  • Emory University Hospital Midtown

  • Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

  • The Emory Clinic


  • MD, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, Class of 1995

  • General Surgery Residency, University of Alabama Hospitals (UAB), Birmingham, AL, 1995-2002

  • Thoracic Surgery Residency, University of Michigan Hospitals (U of M), Ann Arbor, MI, 2002-2004

  • Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Residency, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, 2004

  • General Thoracic Surgery Fellowship, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor, MI, 2005

Current Organizational Memberships

  • American College of Chest Physicians

  • American Medical Association

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology

  • European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery

  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons: Thoracic Workforce

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, 2021 Woodruff Leadership Academy, Emory University School of Medicine

  • Atlanta's Top Doctors, Atlanta Magazine, 2016-2020

  • Recipient, Clinical Innovation Fund for Minimally Invasive Pulmonary Resections, University of Michigan, 2005

Clinical Interests

  • Lung cancer

  • Lung transplantation

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Minimally invasive thoracic surgery

Research Interests

  • Clinical and translational lung cancer research

  • Minimally invasive surgical technology