Specialty: Cardiovascular Disease
Hospitals: Orange Regional Medical Center; Catskill Regional medical center
Medical Group: Crystal Run Healthcare physicians
Special Expertise: Non-Invasive Cardiology, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology
During his third year in medical school, Michael Nam-Sung Cho, MD, found a mentor who made cardiology “very exciting and very alive.” That same year, he learned his sister had lymphoma. “I was the one who took her for testing, called my dad, and slept in the hospital during her chemo,” he recalls. Helping a loved one rally and recover informs his focus on treatment and prevention using more advanced, less invasive tools.
What drew you to the field of cardiology?
Two things: We have so many tools and tests available to diagnose; and the right treatment can give patients an instant ability to feel better. Assessing family history of coronary artery disease (CAD), blood tests, and a coronary calcium score, or non-invasive scan of the heart, all help us define a patient’s risk and determine approach.
How do you advise patients to prevent heart attacks?
Plaque build-up in the arteries starts at an early age. If we inform patients of the importance of a good diet and regular exercise to prevent obesity, that leads to benefits down the road. We also try to manage risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, drinking, and smoking.
Which breakthroughs in cardiology excite you?
With the advent of minimally-invasive procedures for CAD and the valvular conditions we encounter daily, we’ve been able to avoid open-heart surgery in favor of techniques that have revolutionized our ability to treat disease. Patients get back on their feet with minimal recovery time.
Can you share a success story?
One of my patients suffered a serious cardiac event, recovered, and has changed his lifestyle completely: eating better, working out, and walking the golf course instead of riding. He’s now in better shape than most patients I see.