The Mooss family. Cindy and Aryan Mooss, MD, pictured on the right.
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Former Creighton faculty member and cardiologist Aryan Mooss, MD, and his wife, Cindy Mooss, have made a significant gift to establish the Dr. Aryan Mooss Family Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund assists students enrolled in the School of Medicine, with a preference extended to students of underrepresented ethnic minorities. The scholarship recognizes Dr. Mooss’ 43-year career at Creighton, training fellows and serving as the inaugural chair of the August H. Bergman, MD, Endowed Chair in Cardiology.
The Moosses’ son, Eric Mooss, BS’02, also contributed to the fund.
“Supporting this scholarship is a great way for my father to give back to a place that gave him so much,” Eric says. “It’s a way both to honor him and support an institution that means a ton to our entire family.”
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For 40-plus years, Dr. Aryan Mooss mentored Creighton cardiology fellows. He pushed them and prodded them and (when necessary) scared them into being the best doctors they could be.
Over the years, his wife has heard many versions of the same story …
“His fellows would say they were terrified of him at first,” says Cindy Mooss. “He was so strict. He expected so much of them. But by the time they were done with their fellowships, he was their favorite person.”
CHI cardiologist Ann Narmi, MD’03, says that “it was a silent scariness with Dr. Mooss. He would never yell or lose his temper. But that look of disappointment, it just crushed you. Then it made you better at your job.”
Other former fellows …
Madhu Reddy, MD: “I owe a lot to Dr. Mooss’ mentorship. Some people in your life teach you things. But the best mentors teach you how to learn.”
Jacob Koruth, MD: “Dr. Mooss is a different kind of mentor. I’ve encountered many rigorous clinicians who never take ‘no’ for an answer and want the most perfect response for everything, but he is more introspective, and he really cares about everyone.”
Janardhana Gorthi, MD: “Dr. Mooss inspired me and a lot of residents and fellows to go into cardiology. He never settled for anything that’s average. He expected excellence and that helped us all get to where we are now.”
Narmi: “He pushed us the same way he pushes himself. He taught you to be a hard worker and to hold on to your intellectual curiosity. He taught you to have the utmost respect for your patients and to never give up trying to help them.”
If a patient came to the clinic with chest pain that didn’t prove to be cardiac, Mooss wouldn’t stop there. He and his fellows would figure out what was wrong.
“He would tell us, ‘The patient deserves to know why they feel this way,’” Narmi says. “He taught us to think that way, too. Because of him, many cardiologists now push themselves further and serve their patients better.”
Mooss mentored more than 150 fellows all told — many who stayed in the area. By his estimate, he trained two in three of the cardiologists working in the CHI system today.
He says he never accepted anything less than excellence from his fellows. The stakes were just too high not to. And if he was a little scary, well, it served a purpose.
It was deeply rewarding, he says now, to watch his fellows interact with patients, to see them “learn how to make connections and create confidence,” to know that he was sending great Creighton doctors out into the world.
Mooss’ journey to Creighton was a long one. (And not figuratively; we’re talking mileage.)
He came to America from India. He remembers the trip well: Mumbai to Beirut to Paris to London to New York to Detroit. From there, just $10 in his pocket, he took a Greyhound to Toledo, then a cab to the hospital to start his residency — 3 a.m., middle of winter, 1971. First time he’d seen snow. First time he’d seen Ohio.
Dr. Mooss got a few hours of sleep, then he got to work.
In 1975, he took a job at Creighton, where he remained the rest of his career. For Aryan and Cindy, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year, Creighton ended up being the nexus of everything: their marriage, their family, their work and the heart of Aryan’s American experience.
“All my goals were realized,” Dr. Mooss says. “I got to be a good clinician, a good teacher, a good researcher. Creighton was supportive of me all the way, and my Creighton loyalty is strong and unwavering.”
That Creighton pride proved strong for Aryan and Cindy’s children — Eric Mooss, BS’02, and Angela Mooss Ferguson, BA’04.
Eric says that his father’s passion for his work and for the University were inspiring to grow up with. The seed of that passion, he says, was planted long ago, about 9,000 miles east of Omaha.
In India’s coastal state of Kerala, the Moosses are the first family of physicians, renowned there for their medical care for generations.
“A long time ago in India’s feudal system,” Eric says, “the Mooss family were established as the physicians for the governing. So, my dad’s a doctor. And his dad was. And his dad, and his dad and his dad and so on. All doctors.”
(Eric is not a doctor, but he is the president of the Bryan Physician Network.)
Here’s a bit of family lore …
“In America,” Eric says, “Mooss is pronounced ‘moss,’ but in India it’s pronounced ‘moose,’ and translates as ‘the king’s physician.’”
And the name fits. His whole career, Dr. Aryan Mooss has treated every patient like royalty. And taught multiple generations of doctors to do the same.