INTERVIEW WITH JEFFREY MARBACH, MBBS, MS
Can you tell us what guided you towards choosing a career in interventional cardiology?
I am the first physician in my family. This meant that at the beginning of my training I was quite naïve. I had very little understanding of the different possible career paths available to me. As I went through the preclinical years of medical school and then began clinical rotations, I received all kinds of advice on how to choose a medical specialty.
I was asked questions like: Do you want patient continuity? How important is work/life balance? What types of patient populations do you want to work with?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t answer any of these questions. Not because I didn’t try, but because I didn’t have enough experience to know what I wanted. That said, I realized quickly that I knew what I didn’t like. As a result, my initial clinical training was spent determining what I didn’t want to do. This continued for a while, until the beginning of my fourth year of medical school when I started my cardiology rotation.
Almost immediately I knew I was going to be a cardiologist. My fascination for this specialty wasn’t driven by some notion of work/life balance, or being able to work with specific patient populations. For me, the appeal was the ability to evaluate patients with heart disease, whether they were seeing us in clinic or admitted to the hospital; the ability to perform and interpret the tests that our patients needed, whether it was an ECG, an echocardiogram, or a coronary angiogram; and finally, the ability to provide medical and procedural treatments when they are required.
“The Doctorpedia platform impressed me in its ability to address both problems. First, it allows providers the opportunity to provide accessible and reliable information directly to current and prospective patients. Second, it gives patients and their families the ability to receive pointed information from dependable sources at their convenience.”
You are also trained in critical care medicine. As an interventional cardiologist and intensivist, you have quite a unique background. What value does this combination of skills bring to patients?
The treatment options available to patients with severe heart disease have expanded dramatically over the past decade. Specifically, technological advances have given us access to numerous mechanical circulatory support devices that can provide complete cardiac and pulmonary support. As a result, many of the patients we care for in the cardiac intensive care unit would not have had any treatment options not so long ago. This also means that many of these patients are critically ill, requiring mechanical ventilation and artificial cardiac support. Unfortunately, cardiology fellowship does not provide sufficient training in critical care medicine to manage these complex patients. Therefore, there is a growing need for cardiologists with further specialization in critical care medicine and I think we will continue to see this field expand in the coming years.
What is your favorite activity outside of work?
When I am not at the hospital or working from home, I am spending my free time with my wife Jen, daughter Quinn, and our Dog Gadget. We are continuously looking for new hikes and other outdoor activities. In the colder months, I have spent many hours cultivating Quinn to be a third generation Miami Dolphins fan (sorry Quinn).
What do you think about the health and wellness information and resources available online?
Between news outlets, medical websites and social media patients have access to an unlimited number of health and wellness resources. Unfortunately, whether it be due to inaccuracy, incomplete information, or lack of context, it has been my experience that much of this information often increases the distress and anxiety that patients and their families experience.
Did this experience influence your decisions to join the Doctorpedia team as a Founding Medical Partner?
Of course. There are two main reasons so many patients and family members look to obtain medical information online. Either their questions were not answered by their medical providers, or they did not understand/remember the answers that their providers gave them. This problem has only been compounded during the COVID pandemic as hospitals and clinics have been forced to limit visitors, so patients have less opportunity to have someone with them to ask questions and receive information.
The Doctorpedia platform impressed me in its ability to address both problems. First, it allows providers the opportunity to provide accessible and reliable information directly to current and prospective patients. Second, it gives patients and their families the ability to receive pointed information from dependable sources at their convenience.
Jeffrey Marbach, MBBS, MS
Interventional Cardiologist and Cardiac Intensivist
Dr. Marbach is a board certified interventional cardiologist and intensivist with a Master of Science in Pharmacology.