“Good job. Love you,” my father said, as he usually does when we finish a case together. And so ended a complex partial nephrectomy that my father and I performed just this past week. Without a doubt, the thing I look forward to most, and the time that I have cherished the most in my career as a young surgeon, is the opportunity to operate with my dad!
I am a urological surgeon, fellowship-trained in minimally invasive, robotic, and ablative urological surgery. I have been blessed with what I believe to be the most amazing opportunity: to operate with my dad, also a urologist. In fact, we are a family of surgeons. My father; my brother, Sina, an orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in sports medicine; and I are all Fellows of the American College of Surgeons—a bond that we are all quite proud to share!
As a young child, I could not imagine anything more amazing than being a surgeon. I remember hearing my dad’s stories around the dinner table at night, visiting him at work and sitting in the doctor’s lounges, and watching the interaction between him, his colleagues, and the world of surgery, and I imagined no other place that I wanted to be and nothing else that I wanted to do “when I grew up.” Interestingly, our parents never pressured us into medicine. In fact, they did quite the opposite. My mother, world-renowned breast pathologist Shahla Masood, MD, would always say, “if there is anything else that you could imagine doing other than medicine, do that. If you cannot imagine doing anything else, then pursue medicine.” Suffice it to say, both my brother and I could not imagine doing anything else.