Sandeep Patel, MD
Sandeep Patel, MD, is currently a first-year interventional cardiology fellow at University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH). A graduate of North Eastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (Rootstown, OH), where he completed a 6-year BS/MD program, Patel completed his medical and cardiology training at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Pittsburgh, PA), respectively. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers and currently focuses on hemodynamic support in the cath lab, plaque modification in the periphery, and structural interventions specifically related to valve-in-valve therapies. After training, Patel’s goal is to pursue an academic career incorporating clinical practice with research and teaching.
Why did you decide to pursue interventional cardiology?
It truly is the integration of all different types of medicine and surgical specialties. I can be a clinician, a proceduralist, a teacher, and a practitioner all at the same time, and probably all throughout the same day. The pathology is also incredible. Interventional cardiology is a field of medicine allows you to take one organ, separate it into a multitude of different parts, and then see how intricately intertwined each of these parts are. After synthesizing all of this information, interventionalists are able to provide immediate treatment for patients who are suffering from some of the most complex, severe diseases I have ever been exposed to. It is a field that allows me not to just focus in on the heart, but to really understand how the heart affects the entire body and make an immediate difference.
How do you see the field changing in the next 5 years?
It is probably going to explode in terms of three different arenas. First would just be the breadth of knowledge. Research in interventional cardiology has taken off, and our knowledge base is exponentially growing at the rate the articles are coming out. Second, I don’t think we even know of all the devices that are currently being developed and/or tested in early phases and in human trials across the world. Beyond what we’ve already experienced, I think we are going to see even more revolutionary devices that will truly make percutaneous therapies a first-line option for many cardiovascular diseases. The third component relates to training. Now, merely being able to handle the level of knowledge that’s required to be able to perform at an adequate level is a daunting task. Because the field is evolving, training will also have to change. We’ve already seen growth in structural and peripheral interventional fellowships, but maybe there will be a further delineation for programs in terms of structural valve versus structural chamber fellowships, or fellowships focusing on various parts of the peripheral arterial system.
What is the best piece of advice a mentor has given you?
I have had a lot of great mentors throughout my training. My current mentor during interventional fellowship has been Sahil Parikh, MD. The best piece of advice he’s ever given me is “learn everything, see everyone, and scrub every case.” Basically he means that more you’re exposed to and the more you see, the better you’ll become. He really takes this to heart and tries to involve us in every case, to do everything during the case, and to work with everyone so that we can become well-rounded interventional cardiologists when we graduate from his program. He’s tries to make us grow and mature very quickly over the year so that we can develop these skills and really understand how to use them appropriately.
What are you most looking forward to after fellowship?
I’m most looking forward to growing as an interventionalist into my own shoes. Throughout the last year as a fellow, I’ve sort of been at the mercy of my attendings—understanding how they like to perform procedures and seeing how they approach situations. This is great, because I have gotten to see how approaches differ from attending to attending and I now have this whole repertoire of tools to use. So next year—during my advanced interventional fellowship—I’d like to take the best options from each of the teachers that I’ve learned from and then make a hybrid approach to handle these different situations. I’m just excited to be able to try that out.
What is something that people might not know about you?
Most people don’t know that I’m an avid artist. I draw portraits and landscapes from time to time. Also, when I younger, I was actually a very good slight-of-hand and card magician. I don’t know whether that helped me in my career or if it was just a hobby, but it’s interesting that I went into interventional cardiology, which also requires a lot of dexterity and fine motor coordination.
What his program director, Sahil Parikh, MD, says:
What makes Sandeep such an outstanding fellow is his incredible engagement in patient care, both in and out of the cath lab. As a program director, I respect his incredible work ethic and his irrepressible enthusiasm for our field of interventional cardiology. Consequently, it is no surprise that he has invested in 2 years of interventional training in our program, which will offer him meaningful experience in complex coronary as well as endovascular and structural heart interventions. I think this investment is invaluable and demonstrates a mature understanding of the evolving landscape in our field. We are excited that Sandeep will be with us for another year, and I am look forward to watching him launch a successful academic career as a clinician educator.
* To nominate a stellar cardiology fellow for the Featured Fellow section of TCTMD’s Fellows Forum, click here.