Clyde W. Yancy, MD
- Majerstadt Professor of Medicine
- Chief, Division of Cardiology
- President, American Heart Association, 2009-2010
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"My life passions are my two daughters, fitness, golf, wine and triathlon training."
What is the single most important discovery in the field of cardiology from the last 3-5 years?
Over the last ten years, heart failure has gone from being a dismal diagnosis for which there was little that could be done to a disease where the expectation now is of improvement. It hasn’t been one advance but the aggregate of all of the new drugs, devices and systems of care that has made the difference for this condition. We still have quite a ways to go but I am very optimistic that we are on the verge of fundamentally changing the heart failure experience. That would be a good thing.
Why did you choose Cardiology?
Cardiology is a remarkable discipline; I consider it the high-touch high-tech field of medicine. A cardiologist must be comfortable at the bedside, attentive to a patient’s concerns and then knowledgeable not only about the disease but also about the myriad of today’s treatment options. I personally love the mix of traditional medicine with the infusion of cutting edge science and contemporary technology.
My unique areas of interest all source from personal experiences. My own family has been affected by heart disease and many patients have left long-lasting impressions that have shaped my interests. My experiences as a national leader of the American Heart Association brought me up to speed regarding the true burden of heart disease and stroke in this country. It’s a simple analysis – we must become better at preventing disease. Period.
I view medicine as the most engaging of professions and over the years have become a student of people. I learn most from listening to the experiences of others and working to address the needs of those at risk for or those affected by heart disease. Heart failure is especially attractive as it invokes a major burden on those affected but also leads to significant relief when appropriately treated. We have learned much from clinical trials in heart failure and I am eager to explore new directions in care. I have been in medicine long enough to realize that we have not yet fully achieved health equity, regardless of any access to care issues. Arbitrary decisions are made daily that make it clear-- as a function of age, gender, race, ethnicity and social circumstances, care patterns differ. We all need to work together to eliminate health care inequities. These inequities cost all of us and if eliminated would benefit all of us.