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Changing patients' lives is what keeps this Gill cardiologist going

April 30, 2019 / in Heart health, Our people / by UK HealthCare

For this week's Making the Rounds, we met Dr. Francisco Hidalgo, a general cardiologist at UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute. A native of Peru, Hidalgo practiced in Virginia and New York before coming to Kentucky. He helps evaluate and manage a wide range of cardiovascular conditions and enjoys helping patients restore their quality of life. 

Why cardiology?

Cardiovascular diseases can be life-threatening, cases can be very challenging, and the opportunity to change a patient’s life is very gratifying to me. From all the rotations I had during my internal medicine training, I felt much rewarded working on the cardiology service and the cardiac intensive care unit. The impact a cardiologist can make in a patient with a cardiac condition is huge.

What is your approach to patient care?

When you are sick, not only do you invest resources, you invest time. I enjoy helping patients return to a healthy state, which for them doesn’t have a specific price – it’s invaluable. I try to make them feel much better, to recover to the state where they were before coming to the hospital or clinic looking for help.

It is important for me that patients make informed decisions. I explain to them my main recommendations, we discuss other reasonable approaches to their medical condition, and at the end, the patient and I make the best decision as a team. I think it is important for patients to know exactly where they are heading and what and why we, physicians, are specifically suggesting certain treatments. The physician-patient relationship is a relationship of trust.

I hear you’re a foodie. What’s your favorite food?

I grew up eating Peruvian food. I’m biased about it. For me, something I will not live without having for a couple of months is Peruvian food. Generally speaking, Peruvian cuisine is very, very diverse. It’s a spectrum of dishes, and that’s what makes it enjoyable. Peruvian food has influence from Spanish, Chinese and Japanese cuisine, so it’s all these cuisines mixing together trying to make something delicious.

What are your passions outside of work?

I’m very passionate about soccer. I enjoy playing soccer. I enjoy exercising, trying to keep active as much as I can. That way I can also encourage my patients to remain active.  Right now one of my favorite passions is discovering Lexington and Kentucky culture. I moved last July to Lexington, and I am still brand new in town. I enjoyed being at Keeneland this past October and visiting one of the distilleries to learn more about bourbon. I am a foodie, so I really like to go out to eat at new places. On my bucket list, I still want to go hiking and outdoor biking when the weather allows.

What do you enjoy about Lexington?

I have been several places in the U.S., and one of the things I like from Lexington is that people identify with this city – with the University of Kentucky basketball team, with horses, bourbon and food. For me, this adds a great value. It is nice when you go to a city and rather than seeing the same things, the same kinds of traditions, you see this sense of identity in the people. Those things are what make Lexington unique.


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