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Dr. Robert Montgomery talks
about why he is a transplant
surgeon.Watch the video
Featuring Robert Montgomery, Professor of Surgery, Chief of Division of Transplantation, Director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center
Describe what you do.
My name is Robert Montgomery and I’m a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and I’m the Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center.
What do you do what you do?
Transplantation is dramatic. You take a person who’s extremely ill and in many cases someone who is going to die - in some cases very soon - and you put a healthy organ into them and it just transforms them.
Has transplant affected you personally?
So I have a brother who had a heart transplant. So transplantation has personally affected me and my family. And I think that’s given me a different perspective because I went through this whole process as a family member who was dealing with a strong possibility that my brother wasn’t going to receive a heart in time. He was extremely ill by the time he had his transplant. Now he’s twelve years out from his transplant and doing beautifully and he’s been able to see his children graduate from college and next week I’m going to his oldest son’s wedding – all these things that he wouldn’t have experienced. And so I’ve seen the miracle of transplantation from both sides: as a family member and of course, every day as a transplant surgeon.
What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
As a transplant surgeon, I get to follow my patients over a very long period of time and I get to be very involved in their lives. Generally speaking, before the transplant, they are very ill; their lives can be very chaotic. I get to know their families. I get to know them. And then I get to see that transformation, and I become a part of that process and often times a part of that family. I have a folder of hundreds of photographs from christenings and from weddings and of grandchildren and all of these life milestones that these people never thought that they would see. And they share them with me and we develop a very close bond, and it’s really an extraordinary thing. It’s really a great privilege to do what I do.