Personal Statement 3/23/14. I realized many years ago that I would be happiest if I worked on being the best husband , father – and doctor – possible. I left academics in 1986 when my chief at the University of Pennsylvania medical school challenged me to spend my Outer Banks (North Carolina) beach vacation contemplating the sort of cardiology research that would make me as famous as he. While lying on my beach blanket, I decided to go into private practice and to devote myself to caring for patients. Since then, in South Florida, I have completed 28 years of general cardiology practice. I served on the executive board of my main hospital for 14 years, including 4 years as chief of medicine and 2 years as vice-chief of the medical staff (to be the next chief-of-staff ), when I resigned in late 2011 to avoid a conflict of interest when I became employed by Holy Cross Hospital, in Fort Lauderdale.
I attended college and then medical school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, graduating in 1977. I was fortunate to be mentored by cardiology chief Dr. Larry Cohen, and to do basic research in nuclear cardiology in an animal lab under Dr. Barry Zaret, who succeeded Dr. Cohen as chief of cardiology at Yale. I completed an internship and residency in medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, and then enjoyed a 3-year cardiology fellowship at Duke University, where I worked under Dr. Fred Cobb, again doing basic nuclear cardiology research in dogs. I left Duke and moved my young family to Philadelphia in 1983 to become director of nuclear cardiology at Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
Fortuitously, within 2 years of my beginning private practice in South Florida in 1986, the Duke cardiology division organized DUCCS as a unique consortium of former Duke fellows interested in collaborating with Duke in the performance of multicenter clinical research trials. Based on Dr. Eugene Stead’s vision of a “university without walls,” Drs. Joe Greenfield and Galen Wagner recruited me and many others to become the first DUCCS members. For me, in private cardiology practice, working at small, community hospitals, it has been a great pleasure to have the opportunity to maintain a connection with Duke and with academics – and at the same time to make clinical research an integral and ongoing part of my medical career. In the late 1990s, Dr. Wagner asked me to join the DUCCS board of directors. I will now begin my third term as DUCCS vice president.
My wife, Wendy, proud to be a new DUCCS board member and head of the DUCCSinator committee (of clinical research coordinators), is an RN, MSN (University of Pennsylvania). Wendy returned several years ago after a decade in industry to run research trials again at our office. (Clarification: though she had left the office, she never left our home!) She is also now employed by Holy Cross Hospital, in the cardiology research section, working with me in our new office in Coral Springs. We have 3 sons, a businessman (near us in Miami) and a special education teacher and a lawyer (both in Manhattan). Since both New Yorkers have serious girlfriends, we look forward some day to being able to spoil some grandchildren.