Happy Arab American Heritage Month! This month, we celebrate the rich culture, history, and contributions of Arab Americans to our Society and the field of transplant. Let's take this opportunity to learn about ASTS Past President and Arab American transplant surgeon, Marwan Abouljoud, MD, CPE, FACS.
Why did you decide to pursue transplant?
I was a PGY3 surgical resident. I intended to be a plastic surgeon, then I got the transplant bug when I saw the magic happen to dying patients. The rest is history.
Who has been your biggest influence?
Not one person in particular. In transplant it was the patient's story of survival and gratitude and the donor and families and their stories of generosity and kindness. Though I have to admit for my surgical skills in transplant, Dr. Klintmalm takes the top spot (though my formative years came from many worthy Individuals), Dr. Arnold Diethelm (Gil) was a classic leader with remarkable orientation to efficiency and my mentor Dr. Rick Dow (past chair at Dartmouth) who asked me questions and steered me to find the answers.
What does being an Arab American in transplant mean to you?
It is the new me! I am an arab at heart. I've lived in many countries growing up, and experienced great times and political turmoil. Becoming an American was a deliberate choice and not by birth. The fusion of my roots and upbringing with ideals and principles of American society and life make for a remarkable combination, a position of privilege and empowerment with a sense of gratitude and tremendous satisfaction. No going back!
Arab Americans are a significant minority in the USA but not well recognized or understood. We are immigrants from the MENA region and bring a rich cultural heritage, insatiable quest for knowledge and growth, while enriching the American heritage. Let's all be proud, join hands and celebrate the inspiring mosaic that is America.
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