Taking cardiovascular wellness to heart

CMU medical students learn to love cardiac care from local doctor

| Author: Kelly Belcher | Media Contact: Kelly Belcher

This year, nearly 40 students from the CMU College of Medicine are completing their month-long cardiovascular training at McLaren Bay Heart and Vascular, under the supervision of Daniel Lee, M.D.  Dr. Lee has been practicing for over 20 years and teaching future physicians for five.  As a community educator for the College, Dr. Lee provides a lecture on cardiopulmonary health to first-year students and then offers a cardiac rotation for third and fourth-year students.

This style of community-based medical education allows students to receive hands-on training and work with local doctors to assess patients and develop real-world treatment plans.  Dr. Lee teaches his students, “when it comes to cardiology, the standard office visit is where we can make the biggest impact for the patient with the treatment of blood pressure and cholesterol [concerns].”

Under Dr Lee’s guidance, students learn the importance of taking a patient’s blood pressure the correct way and how to interpret the results.  They are taught to get a comprehensive health history and look for risk factors that can contribute to blood pressure and cholesterol issues.  When risks are identified, students work with Dr. Lee to propose treatment modifications, lifestyle changes and medications that can improve the patient’s well-being. 

Dr. Lee instructs his students to “know the guidelines.”  The American College of Cardiology guidelines are published every five to seven years.  “It’s not speculation, the guidelines are based on good research and robust data.  If you know your guidelines you know you’re treating patients quickly, efficiently and correctly.”  For Dr. Lee, that’s the most important part.  “I think the best stories are just making people feel better, literally lifesaving, that’s gratifying.”

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