It was an interesting conversation to say the least—not the kind you hear every day. A patient and family’s life was about to be changed, new hope was being harvested, and two doctors, colleagues and the best of friends, were discussing their plan of action.
Dr. Christopher Mutrie, a thoracic surgeon at Baptist Medical Group, and Dr. John Craig, a cardiovascular surgeon, also with BMG, had just learned a donor heart was now available for one of their patients. Going straight into the rhythm of teamwork formed when they were both cardiothoracic surgery fellows, Mutrie made preparations to harvest the heart, a process that involves making sure the heart is the right size for the recipient and functions well. And afterward Craig would perform the delicate process of implanting the heart.
The two surgeons have been practicing together since 2013. However, their bond goes back to 110- hour weeks spent together in the operating room at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, during their respective cardiothoracic surgery fellowships. Working together afterward was a natural fit, according to Mutrie, who cites his friendship with Craig as the chief reason he moved to Memphis to practice and emphasizes that partnering with Craig allows their practice to have a far reaching effect and is deeply gratifying. Craig, also naming their strong friendship as a key to their successful partnership, adds that he and Mutrie being philosophically aligned is another critical factor to their success.
Craig, a native Memphian who completed his general surgery residency and vascular surgery fellowship at The University of Tennessee College of Medicine, decided while in high school medicine would be a good fit for him because it combined his love of science and working with people. Before attending medical school, he volunteered in the emergency department at Baptist Memphis, where he did everything from changing sheets to taking patients to CAT scans.
Mutrie, a native of the Boston area, attended Harvard University and has known since high school he wanted to be a physician. He points to a summer in college spent working with a thoracic surgeon as the deciding factor in his decision to become a thoracic surgeon. After attending medical school at Columbia University in New York, Mutrie completed an internship and residency at Emory University in Atlanta.
His wife is a pediatrician who also trained at Emory and worked at Massachusetts General.
Craig and Mutrie are well-rounded in their interests outside work. Craig is the proud father of four children, including nine-month-old twins, and spends what little free time he has with family and competing in triathlons. Mutrie enjoys spending time with his wife, Lauren, as well as running and rowing.
Both doctors, with their complimentary skill sets and personalities, are poised for much future success and are an asset to the growing BMG, the area’s largest not-for-profit physician group practice that boasts more than 500 providers representing 43 specialties in West Tennessee, East Arkansas and North Mississippi.