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Ehsan Benrashid, MD received his training in vascular and endovascular surgery through attending medical school at  University of Virginia Medical School, a Surgical Research Fellowship and General Surgery Residency Duke University Department of Surgery, and Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Fellowship at Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital. 

He specializes in aortic disease, peripheral arterial disease, aortic and peripheral aneurysms, cerebrovascular disease including using of TCAR, dialysis access, vascular reconstructions for oncologic procedures.


What brought you to the Department of Surgery at UNC?

UNC has a national reputation as a collaborative, forward-thinking and “envelope-pushing” Division of Vascular Surgery and Department of Surgery so when the opportunity to develop a career, and not just a practice, arose I had to take the chance and decided to leave my prior “hybridemic” private/academic role in Southeast Tennessee. With a reputation for collaboration and a team-based approach to patient care amongst all medical specialties (not just surgical), service to the state and region at large, research capabilities, and a focus on not just the educational mission of the university, but of furthering and improving this mission, UNC was the perfect long-term fit! Additionally, my family has lived in this wonderful state for over 20 years!

What inspired you to become a doctor/surgeon? Or Why do you do what you do?

I wanted to become a physician to help improve the lives of the individuals in my community and region, and surgical practice allows for tangible results in this regard. I was fortunate enough during my medical training to work with vascular surgeons that taught and showed me that our profession is one that by necessity allows us to become intertwined with patients and their families through not only the trust they place in us to work in/on their blood vessels, but the longitudinal care we provide whether it be after interventions for aneurysmal disease, PAD, or helping create and maintain dialysis access. It is this trust and bond with patients that makes me proud to call myself a vascular surgeon.

How did you decide to pursue your current specialty? Has it met your expectations?

As mentioned, during medical school I was really fortunate to have been mentored by some of the thought leaders in the field who were providing both advanced endovascular and open surgical care to patients. This was strengthened during my general surgery residency and I was exposed more to the trust and bond vascular surgeons have with patients met both in the elective/outpatient and urgent/emergent settings. It was the skillset of operating everywhere in the human body, rigor and technical skill required of the profession, with the overarching theme of vascular surgeons remaining interested and vocal in the application of endovascular care, and not ceding this aspect of their field to other specialties, that drove my passion for the field.

If you could pick the brain of someone alive or dead, who would it be?

That is a great question! I think that from a learning and personal development standpoint talking to Nelson Mandela would be fascinating to discuss his views on perseverance, embracing change, leadership, the 1995 Rugby World cup, and humanity.

Also, on a personal level, I think that hanging out with Larry David (co-creator of Seinfeld and creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm) would make for a fun day given his oftentimes uncredited contributions to popular culture and comedy. And now retired professional soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, mostly because he is my favorite player of all time.

What profession did you want to be when you were a kid?

Sadly enough, physician!

What is one thing you wish your patients or coworkers knew about you before they meet you?

That before patients have met me I have dedicated significant time to reviewing their clinical information and imaging, and that I want our visit to be an educational one in which they are provided not only the relevant information to make personal healthcare decisions, but one in which they understand how much I cherish them placing trust in me to provide them with said information and be their provider of vascular care for the many years to come, whether or not it requires an intervention now or down the line!

What are the failures you most cherish? What did you learn from them?

I think that while I cannot name one particular failure that has most motivated me, I do not in general have much trepidation about upcoming unknown failures as they are means by which we continue to strive for what’s best for patient care in a team-based approach

If you give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Take the time to cherish the individuals and settings that surround you…and call your parents more!

What do you do when you aren’t working?

Spending time with my wife and our German shepherd, mountain and road biking, watching F1 and soccer, reading science fiction

How would you describe yourself in one word?


What’s your superpower? 

My personal superpower is being extremely organized. If I could have an actual cool superpower it would be to fly, because – why not?

Is there anything else you’d like colleagues, patients/loved ones, etc. to know?

That UNC Vascular is dedicated to the comfort and care of all patients in our region and that we have a host of talented and well-qualified vascular surgeons whom work together in a collaborative and team-based approach to continue to provide excellent care across the spectrum of vascular diseases.

Read more about Dr. Benrashid by visiting his UNC Surgery faculty profile.