Dallas Heart Surgeon Follows Heart in Military Service – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
For almost 3 decades, Dr Dan Meyer has operated and transplanted hearts. Recently, the cardiac surgeon with Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital-Dallas took another job as Lieutenant Commander Naval Reserve Dan Meyer.
“Sure, they wanted your age, and I just thought, ‘Why do I have to put this in,’” Meyer said of the forms he had to fill out to join the Naval Reserve. “Everyone knows I’m the oldest here!
Meyer is 63 years old.
“The oldest recruit in the Navy,” Meyer said with a smile. “So that’s my main distinction.”
He already has a distinguished career at Baylor University Medical Center-Dallas, operating and transplanting hearts and lungs for nearly 30 years. Meyer said he always wanted to do medical mission work, but there wasn’t a big market for it in his area of expertise.
“I kept saying I wanted to do this, and I thought before my career was over I didn’t want to say ‘I wish I had done that,'” Meyer said. “And that’s how I really started to get interested in the military, and more specifically the Navy.”
Meyer is a recent and longest-serving graduate of the US Navy Officer Development School. He was one of 80 new officers, most in his twenties and thirties.
“You run around, get yelled at all morning and all day,” Meyer said of the rigorous training. “But then I thought getting up at 4 in the morning, being screamed all day, is like my day job.”
Meyer also won the Honors Student Award upon graduation; which is based on academics, physical fitness and military dress.
“It is a great honor to be involved in the military. So many people have sacrificed themselves for what we have,” Meyer said, wiping away tears. “Someone as old as me can keep trying to give back.”
Meyer is based with the Marines at Camp Pendleton in Southern California and directs the Expeditionary Medical Center. He will visit quarterly and spend one weekend per month at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth.
Meyer retains his “day job” in cardiac surgery at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital-Dallas.