theGrio’s 100: the Moss brothers, operating on passion

Dr. Vance Moss (left) and Dr. Vincent Moss (right) in Iraq in 2008.

Dr. Vance Moss (left) and Dr. Vincent Moss (right) in Iraq in 2008.

Who are Drs. Vincent and Vance Moss?

Drs. Vincent and Vance Moss, 41, are twin surgeons who share a passion for helping others. This passion can be traced as far back as their years in the Boy Scouts of America, during which they both earned the highest honor of Eagle Scout — an honor each considers one of their biggest accomplishments.

After attending Pennsylvania State University for undergrad and Temple University for medical school, Vincent went on to become a urologist and kidney transplant surgeon, while Vance became a cardiothoracic — heart and lung — surgeon.

In addition to serving in the United States Army Reserves Medical Corps, they currently run a joint surgical practice in New Jersey.

Why are they on theGrio’s 100?

After hearing stories told by soliders returning from Afghanistan about the lack of surgical and medical care given to the civilians — including children — the Moss brothers decided to act. They arranged medical missions to Kabul through a non-profit medical group, Northwest Medical Team International.

Vance recalls one unforgettable experience: “I performed surgery on an Afghanistan elder in the middle of a rural, war torn village in Afghanistan. During the surgery, his bodyguards had AK-47 assault rifles in the operating room to protect him.”

Despite being warned that these were dangerous, “suicide missions,” Vince and Vance continued, and managed to care for over 6,000 civilians, performing surgery on 2,000 of them.

Vince’s unforgettable moment is the first time he and Vance ever performed surgery together. It happened to be on a badly wounded child in a small Afghanistan village.

The key to their success was the ability to relate to those who live in the village and, ultimately, win their trust. This trust allowed them to negotiate access to areas that were blocked by the Taliban.

In addition to the missions, the brothers have also served active duty tours in Operation Enduring Freedom.

What’s next for the Moss brothers?

The Maryland-natives would like to co-author a book about their experiences.