Faculty Profiles

Felix Fernandez

Felix G. Fernandez, MD

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

Chief, Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center

Quality Officer, General Thoracic Surgery, Emory Healthcare

Telephone: 404.778.7973

Email: felix.fernandez@emoryhealthcare.org

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

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 2009


Dr. Fernandez earned his MD with highest distinction from Wayne State University School of Medicine, did a research fellowship focused on translational transplant immunology at the Department of Surgery of Washington University School of Medicine, and completed his general surgery residency and cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He specializes in thoracic oncology and lung transplantation, and is affiliated with both the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and the Emory Transplant Center. In 2010, Dr. Fernandez established a minimally invasive thoracic surgery program at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and was an essential contributor to Emory reaching its 300th lung transplant milestone in September 2010.

Dr. Fernandez's research interests include outcomes in thoracic oncology and quality improvement. In 2014, the Graham Foundation of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) named Dr. Fernandez a Cardiothoracic Surgical Investigator for 2014-2015. The Foundation will provide support for his pilot study to integrate patient reported outcomes data (PROs) into Emory's General Thoracic Surgery Database of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). That same year, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) awarded Dr. Fernandez an RO1 grant for a study that seeks to identify which patients are at risk for reduced long-term survival following lung cancer surgery and the most advantageous surgical strategies for these patients.

In 2015, Dr. Fernandez began co-directing an effort with Dr. Alessandro Brunelli from St. James's University Hospital in Leeds, England, to link lung cancer surgery outcomes data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery Database and the European Society of Thoracic Surgery (ESTS) Database. STS and ESTS standardized the definitions and terminology used across their respective databases, and are now examining patterns of care and outcomes for lung cancer surgery. This collaborative effort could foster clinical research collaboration across the continents and disseminate important findings faster.


View Dr. Fernandez's publications in PubMed.


  • Atlanta VA Medical Center

  • Emory University Hospital Midtown

  • Emory University Hospital

  • Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

  • Grady Memorial Hospital


  • MD, Wayne State Univeristy, Class of 2000

  • General Surgery Residency, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, 2000-2002

  • Research Fellowship, Department of Surgery, Washington University, 2002-2004

  • General Surgery Residency, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, 2004-2007

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, 2007-2009

Current Organizational Memberships

  • American College of Surgeons: Fellow

  • American College of Chest Physicians

  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery

  • Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology/American College of Surgeons Oncology Group

  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI): Advisory Panel on Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons: Task Force on Longitudinal Follow-up and Linked Registries, General Thoracic Surgery Database Task Force, Workforce on National Databases, Public Reporting Task Force, Workforce on Research Development, Workforce on Evidence Based Surgery, Outcomes Task Force, Participant User File Program Task Force

  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group

  • Southern Thoracic Surgical Association

  • Surgical Outcomes Club

Current Editorial Boards

  • Editorial Board, Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Honors and Awards

  • Resident Traveling Fellowship Grant, American Association of Thoracic Surgery, 2008

  • Best Scientific Poster, Clinical Congress, American College of Surgeons, 2014

  • Richard E. Clark Paper in General Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) 51st Annual Meeting, 2015

  • Richard E. Clark Paper in General Thoracic Surgery, STS 52nd Annual Meeting, 2016

  • Richard E. Clark Paper in General Thoracic Surgery, STS 53rd Annual Meeting, 2017

  • J. Maxwell Chamberlain Paper in General Thoracic Surgery, STS 53rd Annual Meeting, 2017

  • Atlanta's Top Doctors, Atlanta Magazine, 2019

Clinical Interests

  • Minimally invasive treatment of thoracic malignancies

  • Lung transplantation

Research Interests

  • Evaluating epidemiology, treatment outcomes, and costs associated with thoracic malignancies, particularly early stage lung cancer in high operative risk patients

  • Risk stratification and adjustment

  • Decision-making for procedural interventions

  • Integrating clinical endpoints with cost and quality perspectives