Jessica Donington, MD

Thoracic Surgery, Surgery | More

Professor of Surgery Chief, Section of Thoracic Radiology

A clinically integrated network of physicians and providers employed by UChicago Medicine who offer care in inpatient, community, ambulatory, acute care or extended care settings.


I'm Jessica Darlington. I'm a general thoracic surgeon, which means I'm a surgeon who specializes in procedures involving the lungs, the mediastinum, the esophagus, and the chest wall. I think I was always a science geek. And I had wanted to be a field biologist and things like that, and then I realized that I really liked people also. So medicine is a really nice way to combine a lot of science and your love of people at the same time.

So as a general thoracic surgeon, I treat many diseases of the chest, including the mediastinum, the esophagus, the chest wall. But I would say in general, I'm a lung cancer doctor. I operate primarily on lung cancers. Most of my research involves patients with lung cancer. That's the disease that I really get excited about and the population of patients I enjoy working with.

My philosophy of care-- I try to be very open with my patients. Lung cancer is a serious disease, and there are some big decisions that our patients have to make. So I really believe in trying to provide them all of the evidence, everything I know about treatment options so that they can make a good treatment decision for themselves. I try to not take away hopes for cure and yet still be optimistic about the diseases we treat.

I get to save people's lives. It's the most amazing and greatest thing I can do, especially with diseases like lung cancer and esophageal cancer, which are challenging diseases. The ability, as a surgeon, to actually cure people-- finding satisfaction at work is really easy for me.

Jessica S. Donington, MD, is an expert thoracic surgeon who treats the full spectrum of lung, esophageal and mediastinal conditions. Her focus is on the comprehensive and multidisciplinary care of benign and malignant chest diseases.

Dr. Donington specializes in lung cancer and treats people at all stages, providing a personalized approach to diagnosis and treatment using the latest technology and innovations, including minimally invasive and robotic surgery.

In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Donington is an avid researcher and respected leader in her field. Her research focus is in the discovery of novel biomarkers for early detection and treatment of lung cancer and clinical trials that incorporate surgery into multimodality care plans for locally advanced and metastatic lung cancer. Dr. Donington is a past president of Women in Thoracic Surgery and the New York Society for Thoracic Surgery and serves on the editorial boards for the Annals of Thoracic Surgery and the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Areas of Expertise

Medical Education

  • Rush University Medical College


  • Mayo Clinic; MedStar Georgetown University Hospital


  • Mayo Clinic; MedStar Georgetown University Hospital


  • National Cancer Institute

Memberships & Medical Societies

  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery
  • Society of University Surgeons
  • New York Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Western Thoracic Surgical Association
  • American College of Surgeons
  • General Thoracic Surgical Club
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Women in Thoracic Surgery
  • International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
  • American Society for Radiation Oncology
  • American Radium Society
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna PPO
  • BCBS Blue Precision HMO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • CountyCare
  • Coventry Health Plan PPO
  • Great West PPO
  • Illinicare*
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan PPO
  • United Choice / Choice Plus
  • United Options (PPO)
  • United Select (HMO & EPO)
  • United W500 Emergent Wrap
To Request an Appointment

Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM) - Hyde Park

Request an Appointment at Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM) - Hyde Park

UChicago Medicine Orland Park

Request an Appointment at UChicago Medicine Orland Park

To Refer a Patient

Refer a Patient

At a Glance

Practicing Since1994

Board Certifications

  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Surgery

Languages Spoken

  • English

Understanding Lung Cancer

Medical oncologist Christine Bestvina, MD, thoracic surgeon Jessica Donington, MD, and patient Kathy Tentinger joined us for a candid conversation on lung cancer screening, novel lung cancer treatment options and the latest clinical trials offered at UChicago Medicine.

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