A Change of Heart
Dr. Farhad Aduli is not an impulsive man. Throughout his life, he has probably made one impulsive decision—and it was a decision that would change the course of his life. Aduli was close to completing the engineering program at the University of Southern California when he woke up one morning with the realization that he did not want to be an engineer. He wanted to be a physician.
Aduli completed his degree program, applied and was accepted to Drexel University Medical School in Philadelphia. The cold, Northeast climate was in stark contrast to sunny southern California, so when he was given the opportunity to continue his residency at Tulane University, Aduli jumped at the chance to return to warmer weather. “I came to New Orleans in 1994 for residency and fell in love with the area. The food was good, the people were friendly, and the weather was nice. I heard music, smelled coffee and felt right at home,” he said.
Aduli completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Tulane University Medical Center. He then completed a three-year fellowship in cardiovascular disease and an additional year of training in interventional cardiology. Aduli’s practice, which opened in 2000, is built on hard work and dedication to his patients. “I’ve always tried to do the right thing for my patients. I am a compulsive practitioner who feels obligated to look at the whole patient,” he said. “Just because I specialize in the heart doesn’t mean the heart is all I look at. All organs are connected. If I focused on issues specific to the heart without considering other organs, I would be doing a disservice to my patients.”
Minimizing the number of medications a patient takes is a priority for Aduli. “A good physician is one who treats the patient with the least number of pills required,” he said. “I cannot tell you the number of times that I see people get prescribed medicines to treat the side effects of another medication that they are taking, or they may be seeing several specialists for symptoms that are really just related to their medications. This happens frequently with older patients.”
Aduli, a board-certified interventional cardiologist, engages his patients, encouraging them to understand their conditions and improve their own health. Aduli presents options, discusses the positives and negatives of each and ultimately puts decisions into his patients’ hands. Whenever possible, Aduli conducts non-interventional procedures first before resorting to more invasive measures. “Cath lab procedures can be risky, so I have to be hypervigilant to make sure there are no missteps,” he said. “I am probably the busiest cardiologist in the area, conducting two to three procedures per day and well over 10,000 procedures in my career. Yet, it doesn’t matter how many I have done. If I do not feel pressure and stress about each one, I shouldn’t be performing them. I am proud that I’ve had very few complications over my career.”
Named Northshore’s Best Cardiologist by readers of Sophisticated Woman the last seven years, Aduli said most of his patients are referred to him by friends and family. While some come in with specific problems or symptoms, many others just want to know that they are not at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Aduli works in close coordination with Nurse Practitioner Jeff Kitch and Physician Assistant Natalie Deggans to ascertain, with the highest level of certainty, patients’ cardiovascular risks. “We take a team approach so that we can provide efficient and seamless care for our patients,” he said.
“My goals are the same as when I started,” Aduli said. “I remain a highly-motivated physician. I like what I do and am driven to help my patients achieve normalcy. Thirty years ago, heart surgery could have been disabling. We now have the ability to give them a normal life, whether before surgery or after. This is why I am so passionate about empowering patients. If I can show them what they need to do and convince them to do it, they are going to have a bigger impact on their health than I ever could. Lifestyle modification is critical, and I try to present health tips in a manageable, practical way. It is much easier for people to make changes when they don’t seem so daunting.”
Despite his rigorous schedule, Aduli prioritizes family time. He met his wife Cherie at Cardiac Rehab St. Tammany Parish Hospital in 2000, and they have four children: Victoria, Mila, Mina and Ari. The family enjoys trips to the beach as well as traveling to Washington, DC to visit extended family.
According to Aduli, the fields of engineering and medicine may seem disparate, but they have both played a part in molding the physician he is today. “Engineering is black and white. Medicine is all gray. Yet, I am glad I had the training in both areas,” he said. “Engineering taught me to think critically, to process information and to consider all options available. These skills have made me a better doctor.”
Dr. Farhad Aduli practices at Lakeview Regional Physician Group, 20 Starbrush Circle, Covington. For more information, please call 985-871-6020.