Alumni News

Alumni Spotlight: William McMaster '02

Hammond has long been known for the palpable beat of what has come to be known as the heart of Hammond. This heart of Hammond is the tie that binds us as members of a broader school community. 
William McMaster ’02, however, has taken the beat to a whole new level … one that extends far past our gates. Assistant Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Cardiac Surgeon at Nashville’s VA Medical Center, William is also one of four surgeons who perform adult heart transplants at Vanderbilt.  And while he was voted “Best Dressed” his senior year in high school, today he finds himself most comfortable in scrubs.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, William earned a degree in genetics and a medical doctorate from MUSC. A match in general surgery landed him a residency at VUMC in Nashville, where he teaches aspiring surgeons and has made a name for himself as a cardiac surgeon. His areas of expertise include adult heart surgery, heart transplantation, heart rhythm surgery, mechanical circulatory support (heart-lung machine), and minimally invasive valve replacement surgery. 
As part of the cardiothoracic surgery team, he regularly travels to surgery centers across the US to expand organ transplant technology. Vanderbilt was featured in a docuseries on Discovery+ that details the journey of transplant recipients and their medical and surgical teams. William, along with his surgical and medical colleagues, and others are followed through the exciting and stressful days that surround receiving an organ transplant. 
William’s hard work, dedication to success, and big heart are qualities that represent Hammond beyond our gates. He is proud of his Hammond education and often references this foundation that enabled his later success. When not teaching or caring for patients, his remaining time is spent with his wife, Emily Andrews McMaster ’03, and two children, Sara Dargan (2 years), and Will (4 months).
The heart of Hammond, indeed.