Dorry Segev, MD PhD
Transplant surgery is a beautiful balance between helping people one at a time in the operating room, helping people thousands at a time through changes in policy and patient care, and mentoring the next generation to do the same. An example of this has been the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, a congressional bill that I conceived of, drafted, and advocated for several years ago. In 2010, we watched HIV+ patients dying on our waiting list while throwing away HIV+ organs because of a restriction in the National Organ Transplant Act; we wrote a paper in AJT estimating the size of the potential HIV+ donor pool and the impact it would have on our field; we worked with the NY Times to get this on the front page, to give it legitimacy with congressional staffers; we worked for 3 years on the Hill (with a particular shout-out to my mentee Dr. Brian Boyarsky for countless hours of work, and to members of AST, ASTS, UNOS, AOPO, and many other organizations for their support) to get a bill introduced and passed; we performed the first HIV-to-HIV transplants in the country; and then we worked with the NIH to fund a national trial to help HIV+ patients across the country (with another particular shout-out to my mentee and now co-PI Dr. Christine Durand for her outstanding leadership and insights). I can’t think of a more rewarding experience, full-circle from a problem that affected our patients to a policy solution that we were able to directly apply to our patients, with dozens of opportunities for mentorship along the way.
I met my wife and collaborator Dr. Sommer Gentry at the American Lindy Hop Championships, where we won 5th place in the American Showcase acrobatic swing dance competition for several years thereafter, until we focused our efforts on building the swing dance community (which is still thriving) in Baltimore.