Specialty: Cardiovascular Disease
HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus
Northern Dutchess Hospital
WMC Heart & Vascular Institute
What common misconceptions do people have about cholesterol and cholesterol levels?
Folks think they can lower a bad cholesterol level with diet. Unfortunately those levels are pretty rigidly determined genetically, and most folks can’t. What we consider a “bad” cholesterol level varies with a patient’s risk; a bad level for one person may not be so bad for another. And lastly, the medications we use to lower cholesterol are very effective, very safe, and very well tolerated….and they reduce heart attack, stroke, and mortality.
Why do you find cardiology to be fascinating?
We can really make a huge difference in how people feel. And the field keeps evolving; there always are new treatments, therapies, strategies. And it’s an exciting blend of sciences: physics/electronics/biochemistry/genetics /math/biology. It never grows old!
If you could give people three pieces of advice about maintaining their heart health, what would they be, and why?
No. 1: Stay active.
No. 2: Never smoke.
No. 3: Maintain an ideal body weight; these will reduce your risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Please tell us about a recent success story with a patient.
The exciting success stories are patients who show up with heart attacks or critical valve problems, who we stabilize, who undergo heart surgeries, and who return healthy and asymptomatic and who can return to work and spend many more years with their loved ones. But just as exciting are patients who successfully stop smoking, diet, lose weight, start exercising…and also have clearly added many good years to their lives!
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your specialty or work?
This field is fun! We take care of patients, we participate in clinical research, we write papers, we teach medical students and residents.
We are developing an interventional program here in Kingston, where we will be able to place coronary stents. And we are developing programs to integrate cardiology and cancer care, evaluate shortness of breath, and evaluate fainting spells.
And with all that, I dance with the Catskill Ballet Theatre in Kingston. Watch for me in December, I am Herr Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker!
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