Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of Americans – a fact that Dr. Walter L. Few, III, a cardiologist with Erlanger Heart and Lung Institute, faces daily. “This is not a job to take lightly,” says the triple board-certified physician. “It requires patience, compassion, humility, seriousness, and the ability to both hear and listen.” And he would know – Dr. Few has been practicing since 2005, following his completion of fellowship programs in both cardiology and interventional cardiology at Emory University. Along with other members of the Erlanger team, Dr. Few utilizes the latest in techniques and technologies to deliver exceptional cardiovascular care to patients. Here, he shares his thoughts on navigating the doctor-patient relationship: “During that initial meeting, you have to show patients that you care and that they matter. Making sure that subsequent impressions follow suit is equally important.”
“This is certainly not a job without numerous challenges, but the necessity of it keeps everything in perspective.”
1. What sets your practice apart?
Mostly the location. I consider myself to be one member of a comprehensive medical community of providers focused on the health and well-being of this region. In my particular group, neither diversity nor talent is lacking.
2. What do you love most about your profession?
The importance of it to society – the health of a nation in part depends on the health of its individual members. The opportunity to positively impact someone’s life through the field of medicine has always been intriguing.
3. How does your staff enhance your practice?
We rely on our staff to be on the front line, to be receptive, compassionate, and knowledgeable about the practice. A lot of the credit that we get as providers deserves to be given directly to our staff.
4. What do you see as the most exciting new development for your profession?
Over the last 20 years, the advances that have been made in medical therapy, angioplasty and stenting, treatment for valvular heart disease, how we approach peripheral vascular disease, and cardiothoracic surgery make it difficult to imagine a foreseeable ceiling. I look forward to what the next 20 years will offer.
5. What is your philosophy when it comes to the care of your patients?
Tell patients what they need to know. Communication is key. Establish a partnership. Have expectations.
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