Dr. Szentpetery Retires; VCU Professor Helped Start VA Transplant Program

Dr. Szabolcs SzentpeteryThe staff of the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center held a retirement reception last year for cardiac surgeon and VCU professor Dr. Szabolcs Szentpetery.

He was joined by his family, including his daughter, Dr. Eva Smith, a resident in the anesthesiology department at the VCU Medical Center. Dr. Szentpetery was the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at McGuire, which has a collaborative program with VCU.

He graduated from the Medical University of Budapest in 1963. After moving to the U.S. to continue his medical training, he served two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Army and received a medical Bronze Star. He completed an internship, a general surgical residency, a research fellow in cardiac surgery, and a cardiothoracic fellowship at VCU, where he was later appointed the Richard R. Lower Professor of Surgery.

“Dr. Szentpetery was responsible for building the cardiothoracic surgical program at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA and led the creation of the first independent heart transplant program for the VA Health System,” says Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan, Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at VCU. “He is a master surgeon and an outstanding clinician. Above all he is a true gentleman and a colleague who is always ready to lend a hand.”