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The director of the National Institutes of Health knows you’re never off duty when you’re a doctor—even in court.

One unique aspect of jury service in the District of Columbia is the presence of the great and the good alongside the ordinary folks required to report to 500 Indiana Avenue. In recent years, sightings at the jurors lounge of the H. Carl Moultrie courthouse have included Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and onetime White House Chief of Staff John Podesta.

None of those Beltway celebs got picked. But yesterday, National Institutes of Health Director Anthony Fauci found his own way to be of service.

Anthony Fauci jury dutyFauci. Photograph via Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday afternoon, as a pool of about 50 potential jurors took turns being interviewed by a judge overseeing a gun-possession case, one of the people gathered in the courtroom fell ill—and the man who oversees national research into HIV, Ebola and Zika hurried to her aid. When the session reconvened, Superior Court Judge Steven Berk announced, with some bemusement, that a world-famous doctor had attended to the stricken woman.

Given a chance to brag about having combined his duty as a citizen and a doctor, Fauci demurred. Contacted at his office after non-selected jurors had been sent home, he cited doctor-patient confidentiality and declined further comment.

Still, consider that next time you contemplate filing an I’m-too-important-for-this answer to a jury summons.

Assistant Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and freelanced for PoPVille and DCist. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.

Editor

Michael Schaffer has been editor of Washingtonian since 2014. A former editor of Washington City Paper and editorial director of The New Republic, Michael is also the author of One Nation Under Dog, a 2009 book about America’s obsession with pets. A DC native, he currently lives in Chevy Chase DC with his wife and their two daughters.