Local physicians discuss the field of cardiology
By: LaNeta Crighton
In the magazine this month, we profile various local cardiologists. They share the rest of their story online.
Paul H. Dillahunt, II, M.D.
Chief of Cardiology, Baptist Medical Center
Professional Challenges: My dad and brother were both physicians, and I grew up working in my dad’s office. Now the relationship with patients has become more strained. The logistics of medicine mean we do more and more in less and less time. Computerized medical records have also been a big challenge in the last year or two. It can make medicine less personal. I try to find ways around that like positioning the computer where the patient and I can both work on it together. We have to continue to find creative solutions.
The Next Five Years: I’m hoping even more things can be done less invasively. Statins have decreased heart attacks, and we may see improvements in that area. I also hope Americans will embrace the idea of taking care of their own health. I’m a big fan of cardiac rehab, and it’s never been more popular. Better awareness is the first step.
Mark Mostovych, M.D.
Chief, Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery, St. Vincent’s
Most Rewarding Part of My Profession: Taking someone on death’s doorstep and helping them walk out of the hospital in a few days. Also seeing the gratitude in a family’s eyes and hearing it in their voices when you give them back their loved one.
Biggest Challenges: The fact you do lose some patients. There’s also the politics of being a doctor today – dealing with reimbursement, administrative issues and not being able to coach my son’s team because of my call schedule. Thankfully, my wife does a great job of managing things without me.
In 2013, I’m Looking Forward To: We recently launched TAVR at St. Vincent’s. We’re able to replace the aortic valve with a catheter using a very minimal incision and no heart lung machine. It’s a very dramatic change. There is also a lot of technology coming out to make patient care even better.
Theodore (Ted) Bass, M.D.
Chief, Division of Cardiology, UF & Shands Jacksonville
Most Significant Changes In Recent Years: We’re a very procedural based subspecialty so we’re always looking at wires, balloons and percutaneous catheters. But we now also address more global concerns such as outcomes and efficiency. We can apply interventional cardiology techniques more safely to structural and coronary artery disease. We’ve seen significant improvements including lifestyle advances, medications and reduced mortality. It’s an absolute watershed time in the field.
Where You See the Field in 5 Years: We’ll be very focused on quality of care. We’re seeking the best care for the patient and the best utilization of resources. In the end, it’s about what are we doing for the patient. Are we improving quality of life? Extending life? We’re a very evidence driven specialty.
Michael S. Levy, M.D.
Interventional Cardiologist, Mayo Clinic
Greatest Challenges as a Cardiologist: Some patients learn from a brush with death, but others don’t. Some still don’t want to take responsibility for their health. It’s wonderful when we have the opportunity to change the course of things, to help a patient recover from a bad event or even stop them from dying.
In the Future: We’re at the tip of the iceberg now, and technology will continue to change. We may see dissolving stents that disappear after they do their job. Personalized medicine is developing. We’ll be tailoring medications to genotypes and developing new therapies and devices to stop heart attacks. U.S. healthcare is in a state of flux. We’ll need to deliver the best care in the most consistent way and grow the programs most helpful to people.
Yazan Khatib, M.D.
First Coast Cardiovascular Institute
Off the Clock: I’m active within the community, involved in the World Affairs Council, Save a Leg, Save a Life Foundation, and a supporter of interfaith and intercultural dialogue. Last year, I was humbled and proud to be a recipient of OneJax’s Humanitarian Award. Also, I enjoy serving on the board of the school my children attend. My wife is very supportive by both participating in my activities and allowing me time to pursue them. Mostly, I enjoy family time, playing in the pool with the kids, bowling or just cuddling up with them at home for movie night.
Professional Challenges: Each day, I’m confronted with more patients with serious health issues, tougher blockages, high-risk amputations, heart attacks or stroke. As a trained professional, I must decide what would be the best treatment for the patient. When the benefits outweigh the risks in such sick patients, I would never hesitate to take on an 8-hour procedure. As far as our practice is concerned, we’re like most other physician practices – faced with mounting challenges due to healthcare reform and other issues. However, our mission remains the same – to provide exceptional patient-centered care.
In 2013, I’m Looking Forward To: Spending more time with my family, and nurturing the good relationships I have with my colleagues and coworkers. I feel blessed to be working among some of the most talented and skilled professionals, who have entrusted me to lead our practice into the next frontier. Our mutual respect for each other is built on integrity and vision to help our patients with the most innovative and attentive care possible.