One Surgeon + One Patient: A Harrowing Story of the Unthinkable

January 16, 2024 | 8:30 PM EDT | 5:30 PM PDT

To attend this event, come back to this page closer to the event start time and the join link will be available.

Please join Dr. Kovach as he moderates an interview with a patient and his surgeon interview.

This broadcast will tell Captain Pete Dern’s story—a brave and noble firefighter—and what transpired surrounding the heroic events that took place in March of 2015. He will discuss his ongoing recovery and how his encouragement inspires and helps those facing dealing with extreme hardship.

Captain Dern and Dr. Fathi will walk us through that fateful day that would change their lives forever, and how Dr. Fathi’s compassion and skill made such an impact on Captain Dern’s ongoing recovery. Together they became a testament to the world that the surgeon and patient relationship is truly a gift. Years later, Captain Dern continues to make a difference in countless lives with the support of his family and through his charity.

Interviewee and Patient:

Pete Dern, Fresno Fire Captain
Pete Dern, Fresno Fire Captain


Amir H. Fathi, MD, MBA, FACS
Amir H. Fathi, MD, MBA, FACS
Medical Director, Clovis Cancer Institute
Chairman for oncology advisory council for Community Medical Centers
Clinical associate professor of surgery at UCSF, Fresno Medical Education Program
Board certified general surgeon, Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland
Fellowship trained, hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery, Medical college of Wisconsin


Stephen J. Kovach III, MD, FACS
Stephen J. Kovach III, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery
Associate Professor of Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA