“I’m relentless. I will always do my best to do the right thing.”
Amer Zureikat, MD, felt a connection to medicine on multiple levels starting in his earliest days. His father was a cardiologist, and his younger sister had cerebral palsy. As a child, he traveled all over with his family as they searched for treatments for his sister.
“The majority of our lives early on were kind of roaming the continents trying to find a source of treatment or cure for a disease that is a chronic disease,” Dr. Zureikat says. “That really left a lasting legacy on me.”
Dr. Zureikat carries on that legacy today, although in a different field.
He became a surgeon, specializing in cancers and diseases of the pancreas, stomach, liver, and duodenum. He is an expert in the robotic Whipple procedure for pancreatic cancer and diseases. He performed his first Whipple the day after his son was born.
“It was like a light-bulb moment,” Dr. Zureikat says. “I knew I had to be a cancer surgeon. I knew I had to be a pancreatic cancer surgeon.”
Surgery provides an opportunity to provide hope and results to patients facing the most difficult diseases, Dr. Zureikat says. Surgical teams can cure patients or improve their quality of life.
He can remember many experiences of curing a person’s disease and how it felt.
“You feel like we’ve accomplished a major feat,” Dr. Zureikat says. “That five to 10 minutes when you get a handshake or a hug, it’s a phenomenal feeling. I cannot describe it.”
Dr. Zureikat and his team are driven to do everything they can to help patients in need.
“We have to achieve the mission,” he says. “And to that, I’m relentless. I will always do my best to do the right thing and extend someone’s life or give them a better quality of life.”
At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means working tirelessly to get the best results.
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