Nicholas Onaca, MD
LifeGift Organ Donation Center
Dr. Onaca was born and raised in Romania. He attended medical school at Carol Davilla University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania before completing his general surgery residency at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, where he also spent 18 months in the military.
Who was your earliest professional influence?
Prof. Dan Gavriliu, abdominal surgeon renown especially for esophageal surgery, who overcame enormous adversity (persecuted for originating from the wrong family in Communist Romania), eventually recognized in the end for his unwavering professional excellence.
What are you most proud of personally and professionally?
My overall teaching activity. Also, having published two classic papers in transplantation.
What is your favorite pastime or hobby?
The study of movement, whether it is trail running / ultramarathon running, skiing, or dancing (socially and in shows)
If not transplant, what?
I wanted to be a colorectal surgeon before I discovered transplantation. An alternative would have been vascular surgery. Ultimately, transplant surgeons are vascular surgeons.
What was the best piece of advice you have received?
My ski instructor said: “when you start going down a steep slope, first thing is to relax”. It applies to any high wire act in transplant surgery and in life in general.
What is your favorite drink?
A good cup of coffee.
What's your favorite movie?