With each transplant surgery Dr. Yaron Barac is born again.
“Seeing the heart start to beat or the lungs inflate and turn pink after transplant is like seeing the creation of the world every time … from scratch. It’s like the rise of the sun over the darkness of space. It’s a first breath-taking, heart-beating moment every time for me!” he says.
The 41-year-old Jerusalem native is a 2016-2017 APF Clinical Fellow in Duke University’s Heart Failure Program as well as aortic surgery in Durham, N.C. He specializes in heart and lung transplants and in implanting “technological solutions to heart failure, as well as in aortic surgery,” he says.
Before he left Israel he was an attending cardiothoracic surgeon at Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva (near Tel Aviv). There his experience with transplanting organs and surgically implanting assistive devices, including artificial hearts, was limited.
Barac says he works “300 percent of the time, with 200 percent devoted to clinical work and 100 percent devoted to research.” Since this is technically a clinical fellowship, he doesn’t have protected research time. “I just try to fit it in when I can.”