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United Kingdom native and avid squash player Jonathan Bath, MD, says the racket sport, which has a number of followers in Cincinnati, is one of several activities he’s enjoyed since coming to UC nine months ago. A vascular surgeon and an assistant professor of surgery, Bath specializes in the treatment of varicose veins and other ailments affecting the veins and arteries. He sees patients at the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and UC Physicians Office–North in West Chester.
Tell us a little about your background.
"I did my medical training in England at Kings College, London. In 2005, I graduated and spent a year in London working in a hospital. Afterward, I came over to the States and did general surgery residency. I did that first at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and then at UCLA. Most recently, I completed my fellowship at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.”
What brought you to Cincinnati?
"My wife is originally from South Bend, Indiana, so we wanted to move closer to the Midwest and so we are making a gradual transition closer and closer to home. Obviously, the chance to work at a premier institution such as the University of Cincinnati and the VA hospital as a vascular surgeon, nicely meshed together very well.”
What do you do with veins and arteries?
"As part of the vascular surgery group at UC we treat the whole range of arterial and venous problems from the neck all the way down to the feet. We do have specialized centers for vascular problems and at West Chester we additionally have a focus on the treatment of varicose veins, the bulging veins people might notice in their legs. They cause symptoms of swelling, pain and tired legs, and over the long run these can break down and cause ulceration if not treated and if they become severe. They are partially caused by genetics. People usually realize that their mothers, sisters or uncles had varicose veins, and these things tend to run in families. In addition, the changes in pregnancy with fluctuations in hormone levels cause weakening of the veins and their valves. I would say more women seek treatment for varicose veins, but we see a great deal of venous disease in both genders. It’s usually something we can treat very simply with an office-based procedure with minimal discomfort and usually little or no downtime from activity.”
Is living in the U.S. a big change from living in Great Britain?
"When I first came to the States I was in Baltimore. I had found an apartment and it had fallen through so at first I was living in a hotel out of suitcases. Although there is not a big cultural difference coming from the United Kingdom, it was a culture shock to me to plunge into the world of work in a different country and work environment. Also, without a car I had to take taxicabs to the hospital at 4:30 every morning so there were some changes I had to adapt to.”
"Moving from Baltimore on to Los Angeles was again a completely different climate and atmosphere. Things started to come together and I started to find my footing in the States. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are quite similar, although people who support the respective sports teams probably disagree immensely, and both are very nice Midwestern cities. As I said, my wife is from the Midwest so I am very familiar with this sort of culture in the center of the country. I like the atmosphere, the more relaxed feeling you have in the Midwest as opposed to the East or West Coasts.”
What do you do for fun?
"I play a sport that isn’t really big in America; it is called squash. It’s a bit similar to racquetball and Cincinnati has a couple of centers that are designated national squash tournament venues in the United States. It is really an under-recognized place for most people in terms of its excellence in squash. It’s kind of a nice benefit to be in a city that is so enthusiastic about it. For people who play squash, it is sort of an inner circle and there is a hard core fanaticism about it. They get up early on the weekends or fit it in around their lunch hour. It’s a game you can cram into 45 minutes. At home I have a 2-year-old son, and now he is old enough I have enjoyed immensely taking him to the many great parks that Cincinnati has.”
Tell us about your family
"I met my wife, Chelsea, in Baltimore. We got married in California and had our little one, Sebastian, in Pittsburgh. Chelsea works as pediatric electrophysiology technologist. She is currently looking after our little one and also works as a spin instructor. She most recently worked at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.”