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7 Quick Questions: Meet Thoracic Surgeon Benjamin Kozower

Ever wonder what your doctor or health provider does outside the exam room? Our 7 Quick Questions series gives you a personal glimpse into the people of UVA.

Benjamin D. Kozower, MD, MPH, is a thoracic surgeon and associate professor of surgery and public health sciences.KozowerB

What did you want to be when you were little?

A doctor. My father and grandfather were physicians, and I used to make rounds with them when I was in grade school.

What’s your favorite place to travel?

We love to go to the mountains, rent a cabin and hike with our kids.

What’s one thing you always have in your fridge?

Milk. We have a 2- and 5-year-old, and it’s amazing how much milk we go through.

What’s the unhealthiest thing you eat?

I have a weakness for fried oysters.

What’s the most exciting thing/research happening in your field right now?

I am an outcomes and health services researcher, and our field has moved into patient-centered outcomes research. I have a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which is funded by the Affordable Care Act, to improve the effectiveness and patient centeredness of routine surveillance following lung cancer surgery. This project will incorporate a patient’s risk of recurrence and chance of survival with their functional status and desire to be followed long term.

Why thoracic and cardiovascular surgery?

My mother had lung cancer when I was in third grade. We are fortunate that it was found early, and she is still doing very well.

Who’s your inspiration/hero?

Dr. Alec Patterson; he trained me at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a master surgeon, wonderful person and tremendous leader. He developed the modern procedure used for lung transplantation.

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