Member, Sarnoff Board of Directors: 1991 - 2005
Chair, Department of Medicine
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
President-Elect of the Heart Rhythm Society
President-Elect of the Association of Professors of Cardiology
What impact did the Sarnoff Fellowship year have on your career?
My year as a Sarnoff Fellow was pivotal to what I am doing today. I had an idea of what I wanted to do in Cardiology and my year as a Sarnoff Fellow confirmed my interest in the study of arrhythmias. At the time, I did not realize how valuable taking a year off from medical could be. The Sarnoff Fellowship gave me the opportunity to look anywhere in the country to do research. I loved basic research; however, my experience gave me the insight to decide that I preferred to pursue clinical research. Also, as a Sarnoff Fellow, I gained the experience of writing papers and giving presentations. The whole experience was absolutely positive. It also made me more competitive when seeking my residency. Several years later, as a Sarnoff Scholar, I participated in clinical research and was involved in several more publications. Overall, my years as a Sarnoff Fellow and Scholar allowed me to configure my fellowship and had a very positive effect on the development of my career.
Why should medical students consider the Sarnoff Fellowship as opposed to other programs?
One thing that makes the Sarnoff Fellowship stand out from programs is the Annual Scientific Meeting. I have returned to these meetings for over twenty years. The Sarnoff Foundation is a network of people with the commonality developed from the same experience as Sarnoff Fellows. I forged relationships and made friendships with senior cardiologists when I was in medical school. The people with whom you connect during your Sarnoff year remain your friends and professional associates. And now, after 28 years, many Alumni are in senior positions at major medical institutions.
How has your ongoing affiliation with the Sarnoff Foundation enriched your professional and personal life?
My perspective is broader because I have friendships that I would not have developed otherwise. I have truly enjoyed the activities provided by the Sarnoff Foundation. My experience as a Sarnoff Fellow set my career in play. I attribute a lot of my success, even today, to the opportunities that the Sarnoff program provided.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is leading a division of Cardiology that provides excellence in patient care, in teaching, and in research. These five years at the University of Washington School of Medicine have been a great opportunity for me.
What is your most memorable Sarnoff moment?
I have several memorable moments. The first is when I presented my research at the Annual Meeting on our model of atrial flutter (a heart rhythm disturbance). That set a strong direction in my career. Another moment that I will never forget is when Dr. Stan Sarnoff visited Duke University when I was a Sarnoff Scholar. He took me and other cardiologists out to dinner to discuss the program and my academic development. I was so impressed that he took the time to personally find out how we were doing. And finally, I especially enjoyed playing tennis with both Dr. & Mrs. Sarnoff at their home at the Annual Meeting. They would open their home to us and it always was a great time!
What are your hobbies?
I spend my free time with my wife, Jeannie, and our three children. We love to go sailing in the Pacific Northwest.