A cardiac surgeon inspired me to pursue medicine when he saved my dad’s life.
My father suffered a heart attack just before my eighteenth birthday. I had watched him struggle with kidney disease for years, but I never feared losing him until the day before his cardiac bypass surgery. He was ashen. When I hugged him goodbye, he seemed so frail that I worried he would slip away in my arms.
Instead, he returned home a week later with new vessels shunting blood flow to his heart. His recovery astounded me. As he clutched a pillow to his chest and laughed at Seinfeld episodes, I marveled at the palpable, altruistic way in which his physicians had helped us. They had returned a dying father to his family. I yearned to do the same for others.