2012 > Keep your heart > M.D. FOCUS

M.D. FOCUS


Credit: Bumrungrad International hospital

Get to know our doctors

Meet four Bumrungrad physicians who share their thoughts on a range of heart-related healthcare issues.

Providing the highest standards of patient care requires a hospital-wide commitment and professional expertise. Bumrungrad’s medical staff includes over 900 world class doctors of the highest caliber, with outstanding professional credentials and advanced training across the full spectrum of medical sub-specialties.
 

 
Q: What first prompted your interest in cardiac rehabilitation?
A: I was impressed by the philosophy of rehabilitation, which emphasizes the importance of quality of life. While we’re healing patients’ medical problems, our expertise also allows us to monitor their physical condition and their mental and emotional health all the way through from their admittance until after their recovery. That’s why doctors in this field need to constantly communicate with, empathize with, and understand patients, especially when dealing with a chronic illness. It’s essential that the goal of recovery be established so the patient can appreciate quality of life, even while they are ill.
Q: How does the environment at Bumrungrad support your work with patients? 
A: Bumrungrad is a hospital that adheres to inter-national standards while offering an abundance of resources and the latest technologies for its multi-talented staff. Because of this, we can provide excellent patient care in every aspect of treatment. For example, my area of expertise, cardiac rehabilitation, has been integrated into procedures at an early stage. That allows me to utilize my talents and knowledge to the fullest extent in enhancing patients’ recovery and restoring their quality of life.
 

 
Q: How important is technology in cardiac treatments?
A: Cardiology is a medical field which uses many advanced technologies. The pacemaker is just one example. It’s a device that is surgically implanted, and in the event of an irregularity in the patient's heartbeat, the pacemaker is responsible for stimulating the heart with an electrical impulse that is ultimately life-saving for the patient. Though some of these advanced devices can be costly, they make a tremendous positive difference in the lives of many patients.
Q: What aspect of your work as a cardiologist inspires you the most?
A: During the time I was in medical school overseas, I had the opportunity to assist one of my professors with
a research project on heart arrhythmia. That experience really inspired me to want to learn everything I possibly could about that specific specialty.
In the years since then, I’ve had many arrhythmia patients whose conditions require more intensive treatments and greater involvement on my part. Knowing that the treatments are successful about 95 percent of the time, and being able to see my patients getting back to their normal, healthier lives, gives me a great feeling of satisfaction.
 

 
Q: What is the most difficult aspect of your work as a doctor?
A: As a doctor, I have a duty to my patients to cure their health problems. But sometimes patients have expectations that may not be fully realistic. These patients may not be satisfied with the results of their surgery, and it can be quite challenging to try to manage their expectations.
Q: What has impressed you most in your time at Bumrungrad?
A: There was a case involving a baby who was born with congenital heart disease. If the baby had not received immediate treatment, he would probably not have survived more than a few days. However, as soon as the baby arrived at Bumrungrad, our team was given immediate permission to begin treatment, even though the mother was not able to afford the cost. The baby’s life was saved and the fee was paid sometime later from donations. It really impressed me that our hospital management treats patients not only as customers but as human beings, and above all, they make saving lives the absolute priority.
Q: What advice have you found most useful in your everyday work?
A: Before granting approval for my proposal to launch the Rak Jai Thai’ program, which provides free heart surgeries to underprivileged Thai adults and children, my director asked for my absolute commitment to see the program through with an earnest, sincere attitude, because the hospital’s credibility was at stake. That made me realize that sincerity is a necessity not only for treating patients, but also for upholding my responsibility to society.
 
 
 
 
Q: What is the biggest challenge you encounter in your work?
A: When the lives of cardiac patients are at stake, time is of the essence. Our medical teams are always prepared to provide the best possible treatment from the moment a patient arrives at Bumrungrad. Unfortunately there are situations where it is too late, or a patient’s condition is too critical and beyond help, and we must be honest with the patient’s family members. Most families are very understanding, but it’s still extremely difficult for us to accept those situations where we are powerless to help. 
Q: How does technology help in treating con-genital heart disease?
A: Technologies in diagnosis have improved dramatically since the days when the only accurate diagnosis method was cardiac catheterization. Back then, it was considered a complicated procedure, and there were many times that the decision to perform surgery came too late. Nowadays, it usually takes less than one hour to accurately diagnose the condition and determine the appropriate treatment for each patient’s specific situation.
Q: When children with congenital heart disease grow up, do they need to visit a cardiologist instead of a pediatrician?
A: Most patients treated for congenital heart disease as children still see their pediatric cardiologist even after reaching adulthood, as their repaired hearts won’t be the same as normal hearts, even after successful treatment. Pediatricians who focus on treating children will have more experience with these types of cases.

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