Patrick S. Kamath, MD, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Clinician Educator/Mentor Award. He is Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, a Mayo Clinic Distinguished Educator and an AGA Distinguished Educator. His major research area has been identifying patients at risk for mortality in cirrhosis and other liver diseases. Dr. Kamath played a key role in developing the Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) which is used worldwide as a prognostic score for liver disease and in allocation of organs for liver transplantation.
He has also authored more than 200 publications including contributions to the New England Journal of Medicine, Gastroenterology, HEPATOLOGY, and Nature Genetics. He has received 10 Teacher of the Year awards from Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education and four from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in his more than two decades of teaching. In 2016, he received the Lifetime Teaching Award for Excellence from the Department of Medicine at Mayo. He recently shared with The Liver Meeting® Today the greatest influences on his career in hepatology.
LMT: Who is the person who has had the greatest impact on your career?
Dr. Kamath: Dr. Sidney Phillips was my mentor when I first came to Mayo on a research fellowship. He is the best mentor I have ever had. Sid Phillips taught me how to communicate clearly and write better. He has made me a better teacher.
LMT: What is the one thing that has had the greatest impact on your career? How did this influence or affect your career/life?
Dr. Kamath: My family. My parents were of modest means. They lived a frugal life to give me and my brothers a better life than they had. My wife and two daughters have always been supportive. They help me keep everything I do in perspective.
LMT: Where is the place that has had the greatest impact on your career? How has this place influenced you?
Dr. Kamath: Definitely the Mayo Clinic where I have been given opportunities I never ever dreamed I would have. The GI division chairs Nick LaRusso, Keith Lindor, Greg Gores and Vijay Shah have been very supportive of my efforts and have opened many doors for me. I work with many talented colleagues whom I learn from every day and whom I genuinely respect.
LMT: Why liver?
Dr. Kamath:Liver disease is common in India where I came from. People in the West will assume that viral hepatitis is the major liver disease in India. In fact, it is alcohol-related liver disease, which accounts for nearly one half of liver-related deaths worldwide. This has led to my interest in end-stage liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease. With time, I have also developed an interest in vascular diseases of the liver, polycystic liver disease, and liver disease secondary to congenital heart disease.
Dr. Kamath will be recognized on Monday at 9:30 am in Hall D of Moscone North/South.