Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Surgeon, Transplant Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

“I enjoy transplant surgery because it’s multidisciplinary, technically challenging, and involves caring for the sickest patients.” 

Throughout much of her childhood, Amy Evenson, MD, dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. But when her high school friend’s mother died of cancer, Evenson realized she wanted to help people and decided to become a physician.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from The George Washington University, Evenson attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine, graduating magna cum laude. During her fourth year of medical school, Evenson did a one-month rotation at BIDMC in vascular surgery.

“I absolutely loved BIDMC, the great team dynamics, and extensive contact with faculty and decided I wanted to return there after graduation and train to become a surgeon,” says Evenson.

Excellent training

She was thrilled when, in 2000, she was matched with her top choice — the BIDMC General Surgery Residency Program. For the next seven years, Evenson progressively mastered the knowledge and complex skills needed to become a top-notch general surgeon. During that time, she also did a two-year research fellowship focused on basic research of sepsis and muscle metabolism. “I received excellent technical and research training from an outstanding faculty during my residency,” says Evenson.

Inspired, in part, by her mentors, Douglas Hanto, MD, PhD, and Scott Johnson, MD, Evenson decided to follow in their footsteps and become a transplant surgeon. After graduation, she did a two-year fellowship in transplantation surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. As soon as she was able, she returned to Boston and, in 2009, joined the Division of Transplant Surgery at BIDMC.

Transformative effects

Evenson loves her work on many levels. “I enjoy transplant surgery because it’s multidisciplinary, technically challenging, and involves caring for the sickest patients,” she says. She also finds it rewarding to follow patients for a long time before and following a transplant, and to witness the “transformative” effects of a successful transplantation. “There’s an immediate gratification that comes from seeing a kidney transplant patient come off dialysis,” she says.

Today, in addition to a busy clinical schedule that entails treating current and former transplant patients and adults with hepatobiliary disorders, Evenson teaches trainees at all levels and serves as director of BIDMC’s Transplant Fellowship Program. She also conducts clinical outcomes research focused on decision-making in transplantation — for example, determining which organs should be transplanted into which patients to achieve the best possible outcomes.

To acquire the knowledge to do that research more rigorously, Evenson recently started working on a master’s degree at the Harvard School of Public Health, a part-time, two-year program that she somehow finds time to fit into her already packed schedule.

But Evenson is not all work and no play. A new mom, she loves to ski, run, and participate in marathons. And when time allows, she enjoys baking and often brings in homemade chocolate chip cookies to share with her appreciative colleagues.