Sumeet K. Asrani, MD, MSc
Liver Consultants of Texas
What inspired you to choose hepatology?
Consciously or subconsciously, many of us choose a field of medicine influenced by illnesses faced by our families. My decision to choose hepatology was likely swayed by such personal experiences.
What is your professional area of focus? (research, educator, clinician, a combination, etc.)
I have the privilege of being both a clinician as well as having support to pursue clinical research in the changing epidemiology of liver disease, impact of renal dysfunction in cirrhosis as well as outcomes after liver transplantation.
What moment(s) in your career have you been most proud of? (an achievement, award, research, etc.)
From a career standpoint, the pivot was being accepted into the research track during fellowship at Mayo Clinic. Somehow, I convinced Vijay Shah and Greg Gores to let me switch from the clinical track to the research track with one poster to my name! That opportunity laid the foundation for my current work in liver disease.
Did you have a mentor(s)? How was mentorship impactful for your career? Are you a mentor?
I have truly been blessed by the constant encouragement and support of mentors from day 1. During residency, Kevin Korenblat and Fasiha Kanwal helped spark my interest in hepatology and research. During fellowship, the Mayo pentad (Ray Kim, Patrick Kamath, Jay Talwalkar, Vijay Shah and Greg Gores) solidified by career path. Here, at Baylor Dallas wonderful mentors such as James Trotter, Ranjeeta Bahirwani and Greg McKenna continuously help me refine my interests. Now the network of friends and colleagues (Marina Serper, Lisa Vanwagner, Elliot Tapper, Andres Duarte-Rojo, Scott Biggins, Mitra Nadim, Josh Levitksy, Mamatha Bhat, Allison Kwong and the list goes on and on) continue to inspire and teach me on a daily basis. These folks are phenomenal! I currently help several of our residents and fellows with their research projects. The most awesome experience is when they get their first abstract accepted, their first podium presentation, or their first paper accepted. It is truly a joy being in the audience and watching them shine.
What are some of the challenges facing hepatologists today? How do you think some of these issues can be addressed?
We don’t have the time to slow down. We put pressure on ourselves to be good at everything. Everyone has a gift, whether its teaching or patient care or research. We need to focus our energy and passion on what we enjoy.
What’s a piece of advice (career or personal) you’ve received that has been helpful for you?
- Surround yourself with wonderful colleagues and support each other.
- In order to be an expert, you have to first pretend to be an expert. Everyone starts somewhere.
- There is no "research emergency." Family first.
Why is your AASLD membership important to you?
AASLD membership is the glue binding almost all the friends and colleagues that I interact with on an almost daily basis. It offers layers of interactions (SIG membership, committee memberships, journal editorial boards) that truly enhances professional growth and reminds us of why we chose to pursue hepatology in the first place.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I enjoy running, hiking and biking. I am training for my first marathon, so wish me luck! Music is also a big part of our lives. I am learning jazz drumming so that I can hopefully audition for our kids’ garage band. And also coming up with brilliant dad jokes.
Dr. Asrani works at Liver Consultants of Texas in Dallas, Texas.