Local Cardiologist Elected President Florida Chapter of the American College of CardiologyMar 3, 2020
Florida Medical Center (FMC) Medical Director, David Perloff, MD, FACC, FACP, a board-certified cardiologist, was recently elected president of the Florida Chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and placed on the Board of Governors for the National American College of Cardiology. A practicing physician in South Florida since 1997, Dr. Perloff’s three-year term will start in March of 2019.
Dr. Perloff joined the staff at FMC, part of Tenet Healthcare, because the center was so physician-centric when it came to the decision-making process
“It was such a breath of fresh air to deal with the individuals whom I was dealing with,” he says. “It was clear to me that Tenet respected and appreciated the relationships it had with physicians. They take their relationship with physicians to heart and make it an important piece of what they do. This is a particular institution that does not see physicians as competition but rather as a partner with a mutually beneficial relationship. I really appreciated that and it made a huge difference in my decision to join FMC and Tenet.”
Dr. Perloff also points with special pride that FMC’s Heart Institute of Florida, the hospital’s center for cardiac services, is a Joint Commission Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center, Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI.
“FMC is also highly engaged in the community performing outreach such as teaching people CPR and how to recognize signs of stroke,” says Dr. Perloff. “They are also putting a lot of effort into improving the cardiac program overall.”
In particular, he says that FMC is a recipient of the Healthgrades Coronary Intervention Excellence Award™ and ranked among the Top 10% in the nation for cardiology services in 2014, ranked among the Top 10% in the nation for coronary interventional procedures in 2014, and is a five-star recipient for both coronary interventional procedures and for the treatment of heart failure.
“They have a clear commitment to taking the institution forward and making it into something that is a gem in South Florida,” says Dr. Perloff.
As a cardiologist, there are three primary challenges that Dr. Perloff says his profession faces: personal, the current medical environment, and health insurance.
One personal challenge is that it can sometimes be difficult to balance your personal life with your professional life.
"We are an incredibly dedicated group of people who deal with a specialty that is life or death at any minute,” says Dr. Perloff.
Dr. Perloff and his wife have a 4-year-old and a 12-year-old and he is constantly trying to balance his need to take care of his patients but at the same time not being so overworked that he neglects his family. And it’s not just family. He says it’s a challenge to take care of yourself as well—exercising and eating right.
“We all have these challenges,” he says. “I’m not unique. We all have a lot of responsibilities. Balancing our lives is the toughest of all the challenges that we face.”
The current environment of medicine also poses a challenge for cardiologists, he adds. “We are facing a situation where doctors are working harder and harder. Medical information doubles at an incredible rate about every seven years. I spend a huge amount of time just to stay up with the current literature and translate those new advances into my patients. Every time a patient comes in we may have new advances in cholesterol or hypertension management techniques.”
On top of all this, due to the current political environment, there is also uncertainty in medicine. Patients are gaining insurance and losing insurance, says Dr. Perloff.
“We end up doing a lot of charity care and take care of those who need help,” he says. “It’s an incredible task on a regular basis. You go home, go to bed and have to repeat it again. It feels like trying to drink from a fire hose.”
In general, Dr. Perloff says that cardiologists spend a lot of time advocating on their patients. He personally spends a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies who are trying to deny his patients care. It can become frustrating, he says.
“We’re perplexed that as one of the richest nations in the world, we are the only industrialized country that does not cover all of our citizens with healthcare,” he adds. “We’re not talking about high-end Cadillac type of care where everyone gets Botox treatments. We’re talking about basic, healthcare needs. If someone has diabetes, they should get insulin or if someone has a heart attack, they can get appropriate care in the acute phase and in the long-term to prevent further events. It’s tragic what we see and how hard we have to advocate for our patients to get the basics that they need. If we’re not fighting for our patients right to basic care, no one else is.”
In his new role as president of the Florida Chapter of the ACC and a governor for the National American College of Cardiology, Dr. Perloff hopes to address all three of these challenges moving forward.
Despite these challenges, Dr. Perloff calls cardiology a rewarding profession.
“I go home at the end of every day feeling that I made a difference in the world,” he says. “Every day, I know factually that I have changed people’s lives and helped them measuredly by preventing adverse cardiac events and taking care of their issues. That’s what amazing about cardiology. You can take someone who is dying in front of you, bring them back to life, take them back to the cath lab and open up their arteries, and let them go on to live the next 40 years of their lives that they would have had if I had not been standing there. That feeling is irreplaceable.”