We’re kicking off Donate Life Month by talking to George Mazariegos, MD, a pediatric liver transplant surgeon. Mazariegos works at both UVA Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. UVA’s partnership with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC helps kids get liver transplants closer to their homes.
Meet a Pediatric Liver Transplant Surgeon
1. Why did you become a doctor?
I remember wanting to be a doctor since I was a young child. Over time, that feeling has become a sense of calling: that I am where I am supposed to be. A favorite author of mine, Frederick Buechner, said this: “The place where God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
2. Why did you choose your specialty?
Transplantation is the intersection of both wonderful innovation and technique with tremendous need and opportunity to help people for a lifetime.
3. Where did you grow up?
My parents are from Mexico but met in Chicago in English school, and I grew up in Chicago. I went to Northwestern Medical School before moving for my residency in Michigan.
4. What’s the most exciting thing/research happening in your field right now?
As a colleague has said, the needs of our patients drive us in what we strive to improve. Progress in transplantation has made many strides but also shown that the challenges of keeping our transplanted organs healthy for a lifetime will require more knowledge and innovation.
Researching Liver Transplants?
Learn more about our partnership and pediatric liver transplants at UVA.
5. Who is your inspiration or hero?
Dr. Thomas Starzl is a hero to many of us. I was honored to work with him for several years. Over that time, he taught us many lessons, but none more important than technical excellence and accountability, a commitment to children not just for the transplant, but for their lifetime, and to embrace the challenge that comes with doing something once thought impossible.
6. Why is Donate Life Month important?
Donate Life raises awareness to the wonderful opportunity to help eliminate wait list mortality by registering to be a donor or investigating living donation. Every donor can impact so many lives.
7. How does the UVA/Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC partnership benefit patients?
Our UVA/Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC partnership benefits patients by bringing together our mutually internationally recognized expertise in a single focus and goal: the best outcome possible for every child we take care of.