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Compassion is at the heart of medicine, says Gill cardiologist

February 1, 2019 / in Heart health, Our people / by UK HealthCare

For this week's Making the Rounds, we touched base with Dr. Ahmed K. Abdel-Latif, associate program director for Interventional Cardiology at UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute. As an interventional cardiologist, he performs cardiac catheterizations and interventions and treats coronary artery disease and heart failure caused by coronary blockages. He’s also deeply involved in research and focuses on advancements in stem cell therapy to repair damaged hearts.

What attracted you to your specialty?

As a resident in training, I treated many patients with heart attack, and I encountered firsthand many patients with acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). I noticed how efficient we can be if we get to these patients early and open the occluded artery quickly. Not only can we save patients’ lives, we can also reduce their chance of developing heart failure and associated complications.

What is your patient care philosophy?

I think the most important thing as a physician, and especially in this particular area of clinical work, is to understand the major lifestyle limitations that patients face because of their disease and be compassionate. At the same time, it’s necessary to make sure you have all the tools you need to improve their clinical situation. It’s also important to try to bring to our patients at UK therapies that aren’t even available yet – like the latest advances in stem cell therapy and other therapies that are still in the pre-clinical stage. Through well-designed clinical studies, we can actually offer these advanced therapies to our patients, bringing them what’s coming in the next five or 10 years and making it available to them now.

What’s the best part about being a doctor?

The ability to help patients and improve their quality of life.

Favorite podcast?

Cardiologist Kim Eagle’s podcast, Eagle’s Eye View – a weekly update on cardiovascular medicine.

What do you enjoy most about your work at UK HealthCare?

The collaborative and friendly environment among different doctors, nurses and staff members makes it enjoyable to take care of patients and work here.


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