Jessica Donington, MD

Thoracic Surgery, Surgery | More

Professor of Surgery Chief, Section of Thoracic Surgery

UChicago Faculty Physicians hold faculty positions with the University of Chicago and provide care for patients on the academic health system’s main campus in Hyde Park and in care centers throughout the Chicago region.


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, MSCR, 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 HMO (specialists only)
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • BCBS Blue Precision HMO (specialists only)
  • BCBS HMO (HMOI) (specialists only)
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • CountyCare *see insurance page
  • Aetna Better Health *see insurance page
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan PPO
  • United Choice Plus POS/PPO
  • United Options (PPO)
  • United Select (HMO & EPO) (specialists only)
  • United W500 Emergent Wrap
  • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO
  • BCBS Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Choice PPO
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Choice PFFS
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Plus HMO
  • United Choice HMO (specialists only)
  • University of Chicago Health Plan (UCHP)
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

  • Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery

Languages Spoken

  • English

Understanding Lung Cancer

Physicians Christine Bestvina, MD, Jessica Donington, MD, and patient Kathy Tentinger joined us for a candid conversation on lung cancer
Watch Video