For this issue, Dr. Bhatt talks with Cardiology Today’s Intervention Editorial Board Member Anthony A. Bavry, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at the University of Florida and director of interventional cardiology at the Malcom Randall Veterans Administration Medical Center in Gainesville.
Bavry completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Florida and his internship and residency at the University of Arizona. Following a stint at Harvard to obtain his MPH, he moved to Cleveland Clinic for cardiology and interventional cardiology fellowships, culminating in a year as chief fellow. He returned to Florida in 2008.
Bavry has written numerous manuscripts, has functioned as principal investigator for a variety of trials, serves on the science and quality editorial board for the American College of Cardiology and is on the editorial advisory board of Clinical Cardiology.
What was the defining moment that led you to your field?
Dr. Bavry: When I was in middle school, I saw the heart as the most important organ in the body. In reality, all the organ systems are important and interconnected, but cardiology always took on special meaning as the specialty I wanted to devote my career and life to. I’m glad I had that notion early on, since it has stayed with me to this day. I remain interested in trying to keep our CV system healthy and to have it sustain us for the duration of our lives.
Who has had the greatest influence on your career?
Dr. Bavry: For that, I’d have to answer Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH. I did my fellowship training at Cleveland Clinic, where he was an attending at the time. Dr. Bhatt was the most accomplished operator that I interacted with and someone I wanted to emulate. He would tirelessly work at a procedure until an outstanding result was obtained. Outside of the cath lab, I found him to be patient and generous with his time. We would discuss research topics, and it felt like I was the only thing that mattered to him at that point in time. He gave an abundance of his time, which I really appreciated, and I try to keep that in mind when I am working with trainees on research projects. In addition, working on research and writing, I learned to become a better writer and presenter of data. Since fellowship, I have continued to stay in touch with Dr. Bhatt and work with him on writing activities and on committees. Dr. Bhatt is the ultimate culmination of outstanding clinician, educator and researcher.
What area(s) of research in intervention interests you most right now?
Dr. Bavry: Right now, I am most interested in transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Specifically, hemodynamics in TAVR. We are learning that simple hemodynamics assessments at the time of valve implant can predict long-term outcomes, and we are trying to gain insights as to why that is. We are looking at this in more detail and we are going to start to study these patients with the pressure/volume system. We want to learn about the aortic compliance of patients with aortic stenosis and how it might impact their long-term survival.
What advice would you offer to a student in medical school?
Dr. Bavry: Medical school was a wonderful time, so try to enjoy every minute of it. Perhaps it’s sometimes hard to be truthful to yourself about where your true interests lie. Trying to identify your passion is important for a fruitful and satisfying career in medicine. As a future practitioner, you want to end up in an area of medicine that you are truly passionate about, like cardiology is for me. Otherwise, you are not going to be able to give your all to your specialty. Some areas are seemingly glamorous and might attract a young professional into a career, but students need to look at their personality and identify where they can contribute the most.
What’s up next for you?
Dr. Bavry: It’s important to strike a balance between the clinical side and the academic side. I would like to drill down more deeply into the importance of hemodynamic assessment in patients with severe aortic stenosis and to study this with the pressure/volume system. I am also open to leadership opportunities in cardiology as I enter into mid-career. – by Erik Swain