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October 2010 Issue

Reza Mazraeshahi, MD
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Electrophysiologist a Pioneer in One-of-a-Kind Program

By Katie Pence
Published October 2010

Reza Mazraeshahi, MD, says his general cardiovascular diseases fellowship at UC is a time well thought of—a time when he learned a lot from a variety of well-known professionals.


But the work he observed from Mehran Attari, MD, and Alex Costea, MD, UC Health electrophysiologists, really persuaded him to look a little deeper into the field.


 "We have two brilliant practicing electrophysiologists in Drs. Attari and Costea, who have been providing outstanding service to patients at UC Health University Hospital and the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center,” he says.


As of July 1, the division of cardiovascular diseases began an electrophysiology fellowship program for those like Mazraeshahi who previously completed a three-year cardiovascular disease fellowship and wanted to expand their knowledge of the specialty.


This is the only program of its kind in the Tristate, and Mazraeshahi is the first fellow.


"The program provides training in managing patients with complex cardiac arrhythmias, performing a wide range of training for invasive and noninvasive cardiac electrophysiologic and pacing procedures,” says Attari, MD, director of the program and UC Health electrophysiologist.


The fellowship program is a one-year, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Association (ACGME)-accredited training program.


Clinical cardiac electrophysiology (EP) is an expanding branch of cardiology with emphasis on electrical disorders of the cardiovascular system.


UC Health electrophysiologists perform complex procedures including epicardial ablations (ablations occurring on the outside of the heart muscle), laser lead extraction (removal of the wire that delivers energy to a pacemaker or internal defibrillator using catheter-guided lasers) and robotic catheter navigation.


"UC provides EP services to a very diverse patient population in the area, which is a prerequisite for an academic training program,” says Mazraeshahi. "Fellows at UC have the opportunity to expand their training in the fields of arrhythmias and congenital heart disease.


"As the first fellow, I feel that I can help with the formation of the EP fellowship and make it a better training experience for myself and future trainees.”


Attari agrees, adding that Mazraeshahi is the right fit for the program.


"We feel that Reza is a perfect choice as our very first fellow,” he says. "We hope this program adds to the reputation of UC, including the training of future physicians and heart care provided to patients locally and beyond.”


More from Mazraeshahi...
Reza Mazraeshahi, MD, began his cardiovascular diseases fellowship at UC in July 2007, after completing his residency at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York and a critical care fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He became the first electrophysiology fellow in July.


Q:  How do you think the new electrophysiology fellowship will impact training and patient care at the University of Cincinnati?

A: "The fellowship will attract many outstanding fellows to our general cardiology training, some of whom will be interested in EP … UC is the only teaching institution that provides training opportunities in the field of adult electrophysiology in the area which will impact the EP care provided locally because physicians trained here will be familiar with specific patients’ needs and characteristics, available resources and ways to provide a comprehensive care in a complex health care system … UC is the leader in providing first-class health care in the area, and I think it is very important for UC to be able to train all clinical specialties needed for patient care locally.”


Q. What have been your experiences so far? Can you share some things you have encountered that have already helped you grow as a cardiologist?

A. "It’s been an excellent learning experience for me so far. Electrophysiology is a rapidly expanding field and requires constant studying and learning … We are introduced to new techniques, devices and treatment options in electrophysiology every day. However, physicians must find the most effective and least harmful treatment option for individual patients to provide the maximum benefits and avoid potential complications.”


Q. How will this fellowship help with your future plans?

A. "I plan to stay and practice in the area following the completion of this fellowship. We have enjoyed living here for the past few years, and my family is happy with the quality of living, schools, etc. I hope EP training opens more options in terms of finding the right practice setting for me.”

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