I'm not just caring for a child – I'm caring for a family, says Dr. Shaun Mohan
October 1, 2019 / in Children, Heart health, Our people / by UK HealthCare
On this week's edition of Making the Rounds, we are joined by Dr. Shaun Mohan, a pediatric cardiologist at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Clinic. Dr. Mohan is also responsible for helping build the pediatric and congenital electrophysiology program at UK HealthCare. We caught up with him to find out where his passion for medicine began and where this passion has taken him.
Why did you want to specialize in pediatric cardiology?
When I was in med school, cardiology was something that always fascinated me: the physiology, the arrhythmias, being able to combine those two aspects of an organ. Then when I was going through my clinicals, I loved pediatric medicine, and it was a pediatric cardiologist in med school who inspired me to go into this field.
How is treating children different than treating adults?
In the context of pediatrics, you really are forming a relationship with the family. It's more than just the child.
A lot of times, we'll see kids who are very young and aren't able to talk yet, or they have significant delays. You really have to take care of a child in the context of the family. It's more than just being able to treat their illness. It's being able to talk with the parents, understand what the struggles they are going through at home, taking care of a child with a disability and supporting them.
What's the coolest part of your job?
I would say there are two cool aspects in my job.
One is being able to ablate arrhythmias. An ablation is when we use a special catheter where the tip will heat up at a higher temperature or freeze. What you do is you modify the circuit in someone's heart that's causing their arrhythmia so that they no longer have it. Even better, a year after the fact when you follow up with them, they no longer have to come back to see pediatric cardiology if that's their only problem. Then they no longer have symptoms.
The other fun part is being able to implant devices. Sometimes, I'll have to put in pacemakers or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in young patients if they have good anatomy and they need the device. Being able to see an 11-year-old who had his heart blocked from his ventricular septal defect being closed as an infant, and now all of a sudden he is able to run around and play and his parents can barely keep up with him – it's like a night and day difference. Being able to hear that from the parents is really rewarding.
Watch our full interview with Dr. Shaun Mohan to hear how much teamwork it takes to produce great outcomes in his patients.