Constance M. Mobley, MD, PhD, FACS Marwan Abouljoud, MED, FACS, CPE, MMM
Houston Methodist Hospital Henry Ford Health System
Dr. Mobley: Dr. Constance M. Mobley earned her MD and PhD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2003. She completed her General Surgery residency and fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at the University of Michigan. Subsequently, she went on to complete a fellowship in Abdominal Multi-Organ Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. In 2014, Dr. Mobley joined the staff of Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX and is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Mobley is a board-certified surgeon in surgical critical care, and transplant surgery. She is currently the Medical Director of the Surgical & Liver ICU and Program Director for the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. She serves as an active member on several hospital committees and professional societies and is a current member of the Legislative and Regulatory Committee.
Dr. Mobley’s areas of special interests include management of the critically ill liver failure patient, methodology to improve liver transplant success in high MELD patients, and management of cirrhotic cardiomyopathy and post-transplant cardiomyopathy. She is actively involved in several clinical research trials spanning transplant immunology, liver disease, and support devices to both prolong donor organ utility, and bridge to liver transplant.
Dr. Abouljoud: Marwan Abouljoud is the Director of the Transplant Institute and Hepatobiliary Surgery and is the Benson Ford Chair in Transplantation at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
He is the recipient of the Henry Ford Medical Group (HFMG) Dr. Fred Whitehouse Distinguished Career Award and has previously served as Chief Medical Officer for HFMG. He is past Chair of the Board of Governors for the HFMG. Dr. Abouljoud cofounded the Physician Leadership Institute (PLI) in addition to creating several other physician development programs.
Dr. Abouljoud serves on the American Board of Surgery and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons as current president. He has served many leadership roles with ASTS, AST, and UNOS.
Dr. Abouljoud completed medical School at the American University of Beirut, surgical residency at the University of Michigan and Henry Ford Hospital. Transplant surgery fellowship was at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and Baylor University in Dallas. He joined the faculty at Henry Ford Hospital in 1994 where he remains on staff.
Areas of interest include liver cancer, living donor liver transplantation, resilience, mindful practices, and leadership development. Within ASTS he has interests in education, business practices, diversity, wellness and public policy.
Who was your earliest professional influence?
Dr. Mobley: Dr. John Tarpley the Surgery Program Director at Vanderbilt University. As a medical student he was the first attending who recognized my interest in surgery and supported it. He was not only an excellent surgeon, but a great teacher and truly a kind soul. He exemplified the surgeon as healer.
During residency at Michigan Dr. Shawn Pelletier and Dr. Kenneth Woodside were the fellows when I was an intern and PGY5, respectively. They were the biggest influences in my decision to pursue transplant, despite an eventful DCD donor that landed me with a few stitches. Sorry, I cannot divulge more… Vegas rules.
Dr. Abouljoud: There are so many remarkable individuals who helped shape my career and choices until the current day and deserve mention; though I will focus on early years. Dr. Rick Dow (vascular and transplant surgeon) was a great mentor and steered me back to Henry Ford Hospital after my training. He was masterful at asking questions and helping you find your own answers. My early interest was in plastic surgery. I spent a year with Dr. Stephen Mathes at UCSF and he was an interesting person who always asked “why not.” He believed in potential and was always excited about moving forward and innovating. He influenced my early interest in plastic surgery and helped me secure a fellowship. Subsequently, having worked with Dr. Jeremiah Turcotte, I gradually veered into transplantation surgery. He was a thoughtful leader and a consummate professional. This interest further galvanized after working with Drs. Anthony Monaco and Roger Jenkins at Deaconess. Hence, I changed path to transplantation surgery and never looked back.
What are you most proud of personally/professionally?
Dr. Mobley: Hands down I am blessed with the best the family ever - my parents along with four built-in besties (my four sisters).
Professionally I am most proud of my work since joining Houston Methodist. We have a fantastic team and they are truly my extended family. Under the direction of Dr. A. Osama Gaber and Dr. R. Mark Ghobrial, we have built a tremendous transplant division and I am proud to have been an integral part of that. I have been able to combine my critical care training with transplant surgery to oversee the care of some of the most critically ill patients. The gratitude from the patients and families is humbling and drives me to push harder on their behalf.
Dr. Abouljoud: Professionally: Having the opportunity to build a solid and comprehensive transplant institute with support from a great institution, amazing partners and supportive and engaged staff. Serving the ASTS in the various capacities starting with Business Practice, then Education and the TACC and currently as President.
Personally: Having a loving and supportive family. My wife Mary and the children deserve an associate degree in transplantation, as they lived through the personal growth, and pains, that come with a career in transplantation surgery.
What is your favorite pastime/hobby?
Dr. Mobley: Shopping and fashion. One of the best parts of living in LA, and purposefully close to Beverly Hills, was window shopping on Rodeo Drive.
Dr. Abouljoud: In the winter skiing is number 1, great memories with the kids. In the summer, love golf (just got my new Cobras-age adjusted), being on the water (sailing or fishing), and shooting clay every now and then (just got a new Caesar Guerini 12 gauge).
If not transplant surgery, then what?
Dr. Mobley: Fashion designer, which explains my hobby. After high school my plan was to go to NYC then Italy and join the house of Versace. Throughout college I continued to draw and design, but ultimately fashion succumbed to science and surgery. So, I would still be sewing something just not in the operating theatre.
Dr. Abouljoud: In medicine, I still like plastic and reconstructive surgery and especially composite allograft work and re-implantation. I trained in microsurgery early on for that reason. I enjoy organizational development and behavioral management and always wondered how it would have played out if this field was indeed open in the 1980s.
What was the best piece of advice you have received?
Dr. Mobley: The piece of advice given to me by my mom is to be kind, be honest and be grateful. This really does take you a long way and having gratitude for even the small things keeps life in perspective.
One of the best pieces of professional advice was given to me by my PhD advisor, Dr. Linda Sealy. She told me “the right time is now." She forced me to stop chasing perfection, and to move out of my comfort zone. Too often women tend to hold back and wait until everything is perfect. I learned that most times you are more prepared than you think and will be successful if you just go for it.
Dr. Abouljoud: Always pursue your passion. And when you do, give it all you got. Now I would add: just remember the complete portfolio, do not leave family behind and make them part of that passion.
What’s your favorite drink?
Dr. Mobley: Lemonade, but not too sweet. I don’t care for pop (that’s Midwestern for soda). I find the tartness of the lemons very refreshing. But I should drink more water.
Dr. Abouljoud: MaCallan Highland single malt. Have not had one I did not savor.
What’s your favorite movie?
Dr. Mobley: O Captain, My Captain…. Dead Poets Society. So much inspiration… encouragement to create your own path, to challenge the status quo, to make your life extraordinary. A lesson in how to be fearless. Carpe diem!
Dr. Abouljoud: I am a terrible movie junkie. I ran the movie club in high school and had my 16mm Bell and Howell projector. I do not have one favorite movie, though movies that I really enjoyed include Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, One Flew over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Life of Pi, Ordinary People, The Last Mohican, Rain Man, Sleepless in Seattle, and When Harry Met Sally. Of course, I am always open for a Harrison Ford or James Bond thriller or even a Sci Fi, as long as there is popcorn and a cold beer.