Black History Month Banner Program Honoree: Dr. Cedric Sheffield

Dr. Cedric Sheffield was born number 7 in a farm family of 12 children in DeFuniak Springs. Dr. Sheffield, grew up impressed by his parents’ self-sufficiency, having grown up on a farm where they raised everything they needed. Beginning around age 14 he worked for the rodeo, where he honed his horsemanship and seriously considered becoming a farmer.

Choosing anatomy over agriculture, Dr. Sheffield went on to graduate from Florida State University where he received his undergraduate degree in chemistry. He then continued his education receiving his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Sheffield proceeded his studies postgraduate with an internship at Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals in general surgery, and a residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Sheffield ended his postgraduate medical training with a fellowship in thoracic surgery/transplantation at Cleveland Clinic Ohio, where he received the Bryan Award for Clinical Excellence in 1999.

In 2014, Dr. Sheffield joined Cleveland Clinic Florida in the department of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. Prior to that, he helped make Tampa General Hospital the busiest transplant center in Florida, fourth busiest in the US.

It’s been over 25 years since he performed the first lung transplant procedure, yet he had seriously considered agriculture over anatomy. Had he chosen planting, he might not have been among the first artificial heart implantation specialists trained specifically in heart failure surgery.

More than 300 people received new hearts, more than 150 have taken a breath with transplanted lungs, because of Dr. Sheffield’s skill as a cardiothroracic surgeon.

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