Top Doctors 2012

By:

Healthcare is a hot topic everywhere you turn these days. And while we can’t resolve the national debate, there’s no question that our little corner of paradise includes some of the finest physicians the country has to offer. Sarasota’s medical community includes award-winning hospitals, internationally significant medical research and two forward-thinking medical schools producing the […]


Dermatologist Dr. David Sax (MYUNIONHOUSE.COM)Healthcare is a hot topic everywhere you turn these days. And while we can’t resolve the national debate, there’s no question that our little corner of paradise includes some of the finest physicians the country has to offer. Sarasota’s medical community includes award-winning hospitals, internationally significant medical research and two forward-thinking medical schools producing the next generation of top doctors. Topnotch physicians come here not only because of the quality of life and demographics (older patients with the interest and income to invest in comprehensive healthcare) but because of the quality of the facilities and professionals who will be their peers.

This year, we present 183 local doctors who have earned the admiration of their colleagues and, most importantly, the trust of their patients. National medical research firm Castle Connolly Medical begins with a list of peer-nominated physicians, who are then vetted for their professional accolades as well as the quality and consistency of their care. These are the doctors other doctors look up to, and we’re proud to have them in the community looking after us.

Beyond the list, we also report on new techniques and technology that are saving the lives or improving the treatment of local patients. And this year we asked the doctors themselves to sound off on everything from their proudest medical moments to their personal exercise routines. We also invited them to weigh in on the national debate, asking, “If you were in charge of healthcare reform, what would you do?” (See “Ask the Doctors” throughout this article for their answers.)

Keep in mind, when it comes to the area’s best physicians, this list is just the beginning. Many fine physicians are not included in our list, and the best doctor for you is the one who earns your trust and confidence, who listens to your concerns and diligently works to keep you healthy.

 

Breakthroughs

More Than Skin Deep

For one psoriasis sufferer, pinpointed injections are a life changer.

“Psoriasis is not just a cosmetic issue,” stresses Sarasota dermatologist Dr. David Sax, who six years ago began treating a 47-year-old man with psoriasis plaque on 70 percent of his body. The man also had a painful, related joint condition called psoriatic arthritis that affects between 15 and 30 percent of psoriasis sufferers. He had been living with the disease for more than a decade.

“There can be correlations between psoriasis and depression and alcoholism,” Sax says. “When I did my residency at University at Michigan, we used to hospitalize people with psoriasis.”

Psoriasis is a personal issue for Sax; his grandmother and mother have also struggled with the disease. “My mother’s psoriatic arthritis is debilitating,” he says. “She’s relatively young—in her mid-60s. It’s been a pretty rapid decline for her. It’s just horrible.”

Sax’s patient had been treated with standard psoriasis drugs—powerful anti-inflammatory medications that weren’t developed for any one disease. They can be effective against psoriasis but are accompanied by serious side effects. One common drug, Methotrexate, can cause liver toxicity, requiring liver tests every six months and, after long-term use, regular liver biopsies. Other psoriasis drugs can be equally toxic to the kidneys. And “those drugs were not helpful for [this patient],” Sax remembers.

Sax eventually turned to a new treatment described as “biologic injections,” which target only the specific inflammation pathways affected by psoriasis—upping their effectiveness while reducing the risk of side effects. The standard drugs “are like a bomb going off,” says Sax. “These injections are little sniper guys.”

The man started weekly injections, and within four months, his psoriasis had all but disappeared, limited to a few patches on his knees and elbows. “His quality of life took a complete turnaround,” says Sax. “I could see the whole change in his perception, the way he carries himself, the big smile on his face. Now when I see him, he always says he’s doing great.”

For psoriasis sufferers, these injections “are the most wonderful thing that’s ever come out,” says Sax.

 

Ask the Doctors

We polled our top doctors on issues from insurance costs to how they stay healthy. Here’s what they had to say.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?

Helping/interacting with patients: 78%

What do you enjoy least?

Paperwork: 34%

Government regulations and healthcare bureaucracy: 22%

Insurance companies: 9%

The hours: 5%

What’s your best piece of health/medical advice?

Eat well/exercise: 56%

“Be positive! The benefits to your health and well-being from an optimistic, upbeat attitude cannot be underestimated.” Dr. James Fiorica

 

Ophthalmologist Dr. John Niffenegger (MYUNIONHOUSE.COM)Breakthroughs

Vision for the Future

An FDA-approved drug restores sight lost to macular degeneration.

When the 72-year-old woman came into Dr. John Niffenegger’s office (referred by her general ophthalmologist, who had spotted a hemorrhage in her right eye), the only thing she could read on the standard eye chart was the big letter E at the top. Due to wet age-based macular degeneration (AMD), her central vision had deteriorated badly, threatening her ability to read, drive and perform other normal daily tasks.

Niffenegger, a specialist in macular degeneration, trained at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary in Boston at the same time that early research into preventing abnormal vascular supply or blood vessel growth (the underlying cause of wet AMD) was taking place across town. He knew that monthly injections of the recently FDA-approved medicine Lucentis—which acts to combat abnormal vascular endothelial growth factor, or VGEF—might help his new patient. After performing a scan of the retina, he gave her an injection that same day, using a small needle in the white of the affected eye after first giving her a topical anesthetic.

“There’s very little pain” associated with the injection, says Niffenegger. In fact, there’s probably more anxiety beforehand than there is any problem during the shot itself.

What Niffenegger couldn’t know with certainty was just how much the patient’s eyesight would rebound after receiving five or six monthly injections. Luckily, in this case within just a month she had improved enough to read the middle of that eye chart with ease, eventually achieving 20/30 vision in her right eye. While that’s not perfect vision, it’s good enough for her to get back to reading and driving, maintaining her independence.

“She’s very happy that her vision has improved so much,” says Niffenegger, “but she wants to get even better.” And she can, as the course of injections may be given for up to 12 months.

Looking to the future, Niffenegger is excited about a new medicine that’s been in clinical trials called EYLEA. It’s a different molecule that’s synthesized to fight the same VGEF, but because it actually binds the blood vessels even more tightly together, the potential exists for longer intervals without injections. “That would help to decrease the burden on the patient,” Niffenegger says.

 

Castle Connolly Top DoctorsAmerica’s Top Doctors®
Retail price $34.95.

Available online at castleconnolly.com, via toll-free 1-800-399-DOCS (3627) and at all major national bookstores and online bookstores.

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is a healthcare research and information company founded in 1991 by a former medical college board chairman and president to help guide consumers to America’s top doctors and top hospitals. Castle Connolly’s established survey and research process, under the direction of an M.D., involves tens of thousands of top doctors and the medical leadership of leading hospitals.

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., expanded its nominations process in late June 2011, and now invites ALL licensed physicians to participate in the nomination process to help Castle Connolly to identify regionally and nationally outstanding top doctors. The nominations process can be accessed, online only, at castleconnolly.com/nominations. The company’s physician-led team of researchers follows a rigorous screening process of nominated physicians to select top doctors on both the national and regional levels. Careful screening of doctors’ educational and professional experience is essential before final selection is made among those physicians most highly regarded by their peers.

The result—we identify the top doctors in America—and provide you, the consumer, with detailed information about their education, training and special expertise in our paperback guides, national and regional magazine “Top Doctors” features and online directories.

Physicians selected for inclusion in this magazine’s “Top Doctors” feature may also appear as Regional Top Doctors online at castleconnolly.com, or in one of Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors guides, such as America’s Top Doctors® or America’s Top Doctors® for Cancer.

Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected and profiled as Castle Connolly Top Doctors.

 

The List

 

Allergy & Immunology:


Eva A. Berkes

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Hawthorne Clinic and Research Center

2088 Hawthorne St.

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 953-5050

Allergic Rhinitis, Hereditary Angioedema, Food Allergy

 

John P. Cella

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

5701 21st Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-4151

Internal Medicine, Allergy and Asthma, Insect Allergies, Sinus Disorders

 

Roger N. Danziger

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Memorial Hospital

5404 Cortez Road W.

Bradenton, FL 34210

(941) 761-1911

 

Donna M. Jamieson

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

2650 Bahia Vista St., Suite 304

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-9711

Allergy and Asthma

 

Rajivi P. Rucker

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Suncoast Allergy and Asthma Center

6124 53rd Ave. E.

Bradenton, FL 34203

(941) 758-0588

Allergy, Immunology, Insect Allergies

 

Hugh H. Windom

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

4040 Sawyer Road

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 927-4888

 

Cardiac Electrophysiology:

 

Walter R. Hepp

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1950 Arlington St., Suite 400

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-4250

Arrhythmias

 

Jeffrey M. Rothfeld

Blake Medical Center

Bradenton Cardiology Center

316 Manatee Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 748-2277

 

Cardiovascular Disease:

 

George T. Abernathy

Venice Regional Medical Center

1370 E. Venice Ave., Suite 102

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 412-0026

Echocardiography, Nuclear Stress Testing

 

Edmund A. Bermudez

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1540 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 401

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-0060

Interventional Cardiology, Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease

 

James J. Fox

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1540 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 401

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-0060

Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Catheterization

 

Alberto E. Montalvo

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Bradenton Cardiology Center

316 Manatee Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 748-2277

Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Catheterization, Coronary Angioplasty/Stents

 

Daniel S. Pacifico

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Venice Regional Medical Center

1540 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 401

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-0060

Interventional Cardiology

 

Eugene M. Parent

Blake Medical Center

316 Manatee Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 748-2277

Echocardiography

 

Kenneth W. Pfahler

Englewood Community Hospital

Cardiology Center of Englewood

601 Medical Drive

Englewood, FL 34223

(941) 475-5621

 

David M. Yamada

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1950 Arlington St., Suite 400

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-4250

Angiography-Coronary, Non-Invasive Cardiology

 

Colon & Rectal Surgery:

 

Richard W. Golub

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Surgical Specialists

3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite 206

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 341-0042

Colon and Rectal Cancer, Laparoscopic Surgery, Hemorrhoids

 

Dermatology:

 

Beatrice J. Berkes

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Bay Area Skin Cancer Surgery and Dermatology

701 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 105

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 748-4747

Mohs’ Surgery

 

Elizabeth F. Callahan

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

5911 N. Honore Ave., Suite 210

Sarasota, FL 34243

(941) 308-7546

Mohs’ Surgery, Skin Laser Surgery, Botox Therapy

 

Alfred D. Hernandez

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1849 S. Osprey Ave.

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 957-4767

Dermatologic Surgery, Mohs’ Surgery, Skin Cancer

 

Cathy P. Milam

7400 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34231

(941) 364-8220

Skin Cancer, Acne, Eczema

 

David S. Sax

Manatee Memorial Hospital

University Park Dermatology

8451 Shade Ave., Suite 205

Sarasota, FL 34243

(941) 360-2477

Psoriasis, Acne, Eczema, Mohs’ Surgery

 

Susan H. Weinkle

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Memorial Hospital

5601 21st Ave. W., Suite B

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 794-5432

Skin Cancer, Mohs’ Surgery, Cosmetic Dermatology

 

Joseph J. Yohn

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

IMG Dermatology

3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite 106

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 379-1799

Skin Cancer, Acne, Psoriasis, Hair and Nail Disorders

 

Diagnostic Radiology:

 

Charles J. Davenport

Venice Regional Medical Center

Radiology Associates of Venice and Englewood

512-516 Nokomis Ave. S.

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 488-7781

 

Elizabeth A. Dienes

Venice Regional Medical Center

Radiology Associates of Venice and Englewood

512-516 Nokomis Ave. S.

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 488-7781

 

Richard M. Goldberg

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1250 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 103

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 951-2100

 

Kevin S. Schroeder

Blake Medical Center

804 40th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 749-5464

PET Imaging, Neurologic Imaging, Cancer Imaging

 

Marcel F. Srur

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

SMH Radiology Associates

1700 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-1668

Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Imaging

 

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism:

 

Motaz Agabani

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Endocrine Medical Center

2650 Bahia Vista St., Suite 104

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 330-8355

Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Thyroid Disorders

 

Jose R. Antunes

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

2400 Fruitville Road

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 365-0333

Diabetes, Cholesterol/Lipid Disorders, Thyroid Disorders

 

Mark A. Lupo

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

The Thyroid and Endocrine Center of Florida

3050 Bee Ridge Road

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 342-9750

Parathyroid Disorders, Thyroid Disorders

 

Jesus B. Perez

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

IMG Endocrinology

3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite 104

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 379-1777

Thyroid Disorders, Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Obesity

 

Family Medicine:

 

Laura L. Hershorin

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Lakewood Ranch Premier Care

8340 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Suite 350

Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

(941) 907-0588

 

Harold L. Johnson

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

IMG – Palmer Ranch

8592 Potter Park Drive, Suite 100

Sarasota, FL 34238

(941) 921-6618

 

Joseph J. Larkin Jr.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

IMG – Palmer Ranch

8592 Potter Park Drive, Suite 100

Sarasota, FL 34238

(941) 921-6618

Preventive Medicine

 

Kevin J. Miller

Venice Regional Medical Center

Paradise Family Healthcare, Inc.

1101 Tamiami Trail, Suite 108

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 488-2332

 

Barry I. Stein

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

6128 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34231

(941) 923-5882

 

Krista A. Toomre

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Intercoastal Medical Group

943 S. Beneva Road, Suite 204

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 953-5213

 

Luis A. Urrutia

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Family Medicine and Pediatrics

1720 Manatee Ave. E.

Bradenton, FL 34208

(941) 747-4661

 

Gastroenterology:

 

Norman M. Aprill

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

2750 Bahia Vista St., Suite 250

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-7282

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

 

Cynthia L. Collawn

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1219 East Ave. S., Suite 101

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 954-4373

Barrett’s Esophagus, Celiac Disease, Liver Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

F. Scott Corbett

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Gastroenterology Associates of Sarasota

2089 Hawthorne St., Suite 200

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 365-6556

Endoscopy, Pancreatic/Biliary Endo-scopy(ERCP), Barrett’s Esophagus

 

Robert H. Felman

Venice Regional Medical Center

Creekside Gastroenterology

1041 Ridgewood Ave.

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 484-3557

 

Isaac Kalvaria

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1801 Arlington St., Suite 101

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 894-3490

Endoscopy

 

Douglas A. Kuperman

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Gastroenterology Associates of Sarasota

2089 Hawthorne St., Suite 200

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 365-6556

Barrett’s Esophagus, Liver Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Endoscopy

 

Elliot M. Livstone

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

1515 S. Osprey Ave., Suite C-11

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 955-0000

Esophageal Disorders, Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Barrett’s Esophagus

 

John C. Southerland

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Digestive Health Specialists

1801 Arlington St., Suite 101

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 894-3490

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis

 

Bruce W. Trotman

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

5715 21st Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 761-1800

Biliary Disease, Hepatitis B and C, Colon and Rectal Cancer

 

Geriatric Medicine:

 

Deven M. Dave

Venice Regional Medical Center

1720 E. Venice Ave.

Venice, FL 34292

(941) 483-9700

 

Gynecologic Oncology:

 

James V. Fiorica

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1888 Hillview St.

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8383

Endometriosis, Breast Cancer, Uterine Cancer

 

Hand Surgery:

 

John D. Hand

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1950 Arlington St., Suite 111

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 921-2600

 

David M. Klein

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Kennedy-White Orthopaedic Center

6050 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 301

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 365-0655

Rotator Cuff Surgery, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Wrist/Hand Injuries

 

Infectious Disease:

 

James D. DeMaio

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

6010 Pointe W. Blvd.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 746-2711

Tropical Diseases

 

Eliot W. Godofsky

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

6010 Pointe W. Blvd.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 746-2711

Hepatitis C, Clinical Trials, Viral Hepatitis, HIV

 

James E. Knapp

Venice Regional Medical Center

Englewood Community Hospital

406 N. Indiana Ave., Suite 9

Englewood, FL 34223

(941) 475-3980

 

Tanya S. Schreibman

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1231 N. Tuttle Ave.

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 366-0134

HIV

 

Internal Medicine:

 

David B. Bittleman

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite 210

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 371-3337

 

Carlos F. Caballero

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1801 Arlington St., Suite 2

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8365

Concierge Medicine

 

David C. Daiello

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

2881 Hyde Park St.

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-2460

Geriatric Medicine

 

Scott B. Elsbree

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

5831 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 210

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 379-8481

 

Charles R. Hollen

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

3333 Cattleman Road, Suite 208

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 379-5121

 

Constance B. Purser

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

8936 77th Terrace E., Suite 102

Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

(941) 361-1177

Diabetes, Hypertension, Headache, Geriatric Medicine

 

Robert S. Schulman

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

5831 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 210

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 379-8481

 

Interventional Cardiology:

 

Stephen C. Culp

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Culp Cardiology

3830 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 201

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 929-7272

 

Christopher J. Davis

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Bradenton Heart Center

2010 59th St. W., Suite 4200

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 794-3999

Arrhythmias, Coronary Artery Disease

 

Hugh P. Liebert

Blake Medical Center

1400 59th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 795-2468

Cardiac Catheterization, Angioplasty and Stent Placement

 

David Schreibman

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1950 Arlington St., Suite 400

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-4250

 

Niranjan Seshadri

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Heart Care Consultants

6310 Health Parkway, Suite 120

Bradenton, FL 34202

(941) 907-8951

Pacemaker, Coronary Angioplasty/Stents, Echocardiography

 

Medical Oncology:

 

Brian T. Berry

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Florida Cancer Specialists

2401 60th St. Court W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-1881

Skin Cancer, Gynecologic Cancer

 

Richard H. Brown

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Florida Cancer Specialists

1970 Golf St.

Sarasota, FL 34236

(941) 957-1000

 

Robin Lifton

Venice Regional Medical Center

Florida Cancer Specialists

901 S. Tamiami Trail

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 484-3531

 

Steven W. Mamus

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Cancer Center of Sarasota and Manatee

3830 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 301

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 923-1872

 

James R. Rubinsak

Venice Regional Medical Center

836 Sunset Lake Blvd., Suite 101

Venice, FL 34292

(941) 408-0500

 

Caryn L. Silver

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Florida Cancer Specialists

1970 Golf St.

Sarasota, FL 34236

(941) 957-1000

Breast Cancer

 

Robert C. Whorf

Blake Medical Center

Florida Cancer Specialists

2401 60th St. Court W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-1881

 

Nephrology:

 

Ranjan P. Ghose

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 413

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-6585

Hypertension

 

Andrew L. Lazin

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 306

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8722

Hypertension

 

Lazo Pipovski

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 306

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8722

Hypertension

 

Neurological Surgery:

 

John R. Cassidy

Venice Regional Medical Center

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

842 Sunset Lake Blvd., Suite 302

Venice, FL 34292

(941) 484-3404

Brain Surgery, Spinal Surgery

 

Christopher Guerin

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Venice Regional Medical Center

842 Sunset Lake Blvd., Suite 302

Venice, FL 34292

(941) 484-3404

Brain Tumors

 

James M. Schumacher

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 809

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 955-1960

Minimally Invasive Surgery, Movement Disorders

 

Neurology:

 

Julio C. Cantero

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Intercoastal Medical Group

943 S. Beneva Road, Suite 102

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 906-7155

Epilepsy, Sleep Medicine

 

Mauricio Concha

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Intercoastal Medical Group

943 S. Beneva Road, Suite 102

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 906-7155

Stroke/Cerebrovascular Disease

 

Bridget J. Keller

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

5741 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 560

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 379-8830

 

Allen M. Lifton

Venice Regional Medical Center

250 Tamiami Trail S., Suite 201

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 485-2220

 

Donald Negroski

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 701

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 487-2160

Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Migraine

 

Daniel P. Stein

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

5602 Marquesas Circle, Suite 108

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 400-1211

Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis

 

Neuroradiology:

 

Philip Blaustein

Blake Medical Center

804 40th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 749-5464

PET Imaging, Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Obstetrics & Gynecology:

 

Gina Arabitg

Venice Regional Medical Center

Gynecology of Venice

241 Nokomis Ave. S., Suite A

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 485-9941

Gynecology Only

 

Gary W. Easterling

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

5741 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 390

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 379-6331

Robotic Surgery

 

Michael S. Finazzo

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St, Suite 307

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8565

 

A. Jothivijayarani

Blake Medical Center

3501 Cortez Rd. W.

Bradenton, FL 34210

(941) 752-2828

Gynecology Only

 

Karen F. Liebert

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Gynecology, Blake Park

1850 59th St. W., Suite B

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-4993

Gynecology Only

 

G. Michael Swor

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1617 S. Tuttle Ave., Suite 1A

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 330-8885

Gynecology Only, Robotic Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, Urogynecology

 

Jon Yenari

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Intercoastal Medical Group

3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite 200

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 379-1700

Minimally Invasive Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery

 

Ophthalmology:

 

Jonathan A. Adler

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Manatee Memorial Hospital

1509 53rd Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34207

(941) 753-0220

Cataract Surgery, LASIK-Refractive Surgery

 

Liaquat Allarakhia

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

Bradenton Eye Clinic

4812 26th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34207

(941) 727-3937

Cataract Surgery-Lens Implant, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye Syndrome

 

Melvin C. Chen

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

3400 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 200

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 921-5335

Retinal Disorders, Retinal/Vitreous Surgery, Macular Disease/Degeneration, Strabismus

 

John P. Fezza

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

2601 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 925-2020

Oculoplastic Surgery, Orbital Reconstruction

 

Harry Grabow

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Cataract and Laser Institute

3920 Bee Ridge Road, Building F, Suite A

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 921-7744

Cataract Surgery, Refractive Surgery, Clinical Trials

 

John H. Niffenegger

Venice Regional Medical Center

Retina Associates of Sarasota

3920 Bee Ridge Road, Building D

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 924-0303

Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Eye Disease/Retinopathy, Retinal Detachment, Clinical Trials

 

Thomas L. Schwartz

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1219 E. Avenue S., Suite 105

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 957-4216

Cataract Surgery, Cornea and External Eye Disease

 

David W. Shoemaker

Venice Regional Medical Center

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Center for Sight

2601 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 488-2020

Cataract Surgery-Lens Implant

 

Harris Silverman

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Memorial

6002 Pointe W. Blvd.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-2020

Cataract Surgery/Lens Implant

 

Orthopaedic Surgery:

 

Adam S. Bright

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1950 Arlington St., Suite 111

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 921-2600

Minimally Invasive Surgery, Hip and Knee Replacement, Rotator Cuff Surgery, Sports Medicine

 

William L. Mehserle

Venice Regional Medical Center

1525 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 602

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 497-2663

Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, Sports Medicine

 

Joseph Noah

Englewood Community Hospital

Venice Regional Medical Center

Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery

836 Sunset Lake Blvd., Suite 205

Venice, FL 34292

(941) 485-1505

Sports Medicine, Joint Replacement, Knee Replacement, Knee Injuries/ACL

 

Ashvin I. Patel

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Kennedy-White Orthopaedic Center

6050 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 301

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 365-0655

Spinal Surgery

 

Gary S. Shapiro

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Kennedy-White Orthopaedic Center

6050 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 301

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 365-0655

Knee Cartilage/Meniscus Transplants, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Knee Replacements, Sports Medicine

 

Arthur L. Valadie

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Coastal Orthopedics and Sports

Medicine

6015 Pointe W. Blvd.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-1404

Sports Medicine, Arthroscopic Surgery, Knee Reconstruction

 

Andrew M. Wolff

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 610

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-6700

Arthritis, Knee Surgery, Joint Replacement

 

Otolaryngology:

 

Sumeet Bhanot

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1901 Floyd St.

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-9222

Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery-Face

 

Matthew D. Byers

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Intercoastal Medical Group

3333 Cattleman Road, Suite 204

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 379-1800

Trauma-Face, Nasal and Sinus Disorders, Nasal Surgery, Sleep Disorders/Apnea

 

Daniel A. Deems

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

University ENT Associates

8451 Shade Ave., Suite 107

Sarasota, FL 34243

(941) 355-2767

Balance Disorders, Ear Infections, Meniere’s Disease, Thyroid Surgery

 

Michael J. Gurucharri

Manatee Memorial Hospital

701 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 202

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 748-2455

Head and Neck Cancer, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Laser Surgery, Allergy

 

Robert P. Hillstrom

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Blake Medical Center

5911 N. Honore Ave., Suite 120

Sarasota, FL 34243

(941) 355-3223

Practice dedicated to facial plastic sugery

 

Michael L. Patete

Venice Regional Medical Center

213 Palermo Place

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 485-7783

 

Jack J. Wazen

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Silverstein Institute

1901 Floyd St.

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-9222

Skull Base Surgery, Meniere’s Disease, Acoustic Neuroma, Hearing and Balance Disorders

 

Pain Medicine:

 

Myrdalis Díaz-Ramírez

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Comprehensive Pain Center of Sarasota

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 607

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 363-9400

Pain-Cancer, Pain-Neuropathic, Spinal Cord Stimulation

 

Kenneth A. Giraldo

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Suncoast Pain Management Center

5831 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 100

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 343-1040

Spinal Disorders

 

 

Pediatrics:

 

Johnny D. Alvarez

Manatee Memorial Hospital

3908 Ninth Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 747-3116

Immunizations

 

Patricia J. Blanco

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

8460 Cooper Creek Blvd., Suite 101

University Park, FL 34201

(941) 360-1266

Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), Neonatal Addiction

 

Constance M. Charles-Logan

Manatee Memorial Hospital

West Coast Pediatrics

1414 59th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 761-0663

 

Helene R. Hubbard

Manatee Memorial Hospital

408 Manatee Ave. E., Suite 1

Bradenton, FL 34208

(941) 922-5366

Developmental and Behavioral Disorders, Developmental Delay, Learning Disorders, Autism

 

Enas Sallam

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

First Physicians Group

5350 University Parkway, Suite 101

Sarasota, FL 34243

(941) 917-4675

 

John W. Wassenaar

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

929 S Tamiami Trial, Suite 101

Osprey, FL 34229

(941) 917-4700

 

Robert A. Weiss

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Pediatric Associates

1215 E. Ave S., Suite 303

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-3000

Adolescent Medicine

 

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation:

 

Erik S. Herman

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Kennedy-White Orthopaedic Center

6050 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 301

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 365-0655

Pain-Back and Neck, Electromyography

 

Marc Kallins

Blake Medical Center

4110 Manatee Ave. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 748-8383

 

David A. Siegel

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Comprehensive Rehab, 10 East Tower

1700 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-7622

 

Steven M. Tucci

American Injury Center

7147 Curtiss Ave.

Sarasota, FL 34231

(941) 921-5809

 

Plastic Surgery:

 

Christopher D. Adamson

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

5741 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 510

Sarasota, FL 34233

(941) 343-9900

Breast Augmentation, Liposuction and Body Contouring, Cosmetic Surgery-Face

 

Marguerite P. Barnett

Venice Regional Medical Center

1715 Stickney Point Road

Sarasota, FL 34231

(941) 927-2447

Cosmetic Surgery-Face, Liposuction and Body Contouring, Cosmetic Surgery-Breast, Breast Reconstruction

 

David L. Mobley

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

2255 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-8897

Cosmetic Surgery-Face, Cosmetic Surgery-Breast, Liposuction and Body Contouring, Laser Surgery

 

Raja Nalluri

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

2100 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 200

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 752-7842

Cosmetic Surgery, Facial Rejuvenation

 

Charles L. Rodriguez

Venice Regional Medical Center

Renaissance Plastic Surgery

329 Nokomis Ave. S.

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 488-7727

Breast Augmentation, Cosmetic Surgery-Breast, Liposuction and Body Contouring, Cosmetic Surgery-Face

 

James H. Schmidt

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

2255 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-8897

Facial Rejuvenation, Cosmetic Surgery-Breast, Liposuction and Body Contouring

 

John L. Strausser

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

1900 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 955-9096

Cosmetic Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Cancer Surgery

 

Psychiatry:

 

Matthew J. Edlund

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1241 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 365-4308

Sleep Disorders

 

Pulmonary Disease:

 

Glenn D. Adams

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

1625 S. Osprey Ave.

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8772

Sleep Disorders/Apnea, Restless Legs Syndrome, Narcolepsy

 

Donald N. Arents

Venice Regional Medical Center

Pulmonary Medicine of Venice

219 Palermo Place

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 484-5864

Sleep Medicine, Emphysema and Asthma

 

David K. Denholm

Venice Regional Medical Center

Gulf Coast Pulmonology Associates

209 Palermo Place

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 488-1906

Sleep Medicine, Lung Cancer, Critical Care

 

Ziad W. Ghamra

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldermere St, Suite 705

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-5864

Lung Disease

 

Kenneth M. Hurwitz

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Lung Associates of Sarasota

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 705

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 366-5864

Critical Care

 

Janine M. Mylett

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Memorial Hospital

The Lung Center

2210 61st St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-0611

Sleep Disorders/Apnea

 

Michael Seeman

Manatee Memorial Hospital

2210 61st St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-0611

Lung Disease

 

Floyd W. Wells

Manatee Memorial Hospital

2210 61st St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-0611

Asthma, Lung Cancer, Emphysema

 

Radiation Oncology:

 

Mary Koshy

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Manatee Cancer Center

401 Manatee Ave. E., Suite A

Bradenton, FL 34208

(941) 748-4324

Gastrointestinal Cancer

 

Stephen J. Patrice

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

3210 Fruitville Road

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 364-8887

Lung Cancer, Brain Tumors, Stereotactic Radiosurgery

 

Larry N. Silverman

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

21st Century Oncology

3210 Fruitville Road

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 308-1050

 

John E. Sylvester

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

8946 77th Terrace E.

Bradenton, FL 34202

(941) 907-9053

Prostate Cancer

 

Gray B. Swor

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

21st Century Oncology

3210 Fruitville Road

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 364-8887

Breast Cancer

 

Rheumatology:

 

Yoel Drucker

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Arthritis Center

3500 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 365-0770

Lupus/SLE

 

David I. Greenfield

Venice Regional Medical Center

1525 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 601

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 497-4069

 

Jeffrey L. Kaine

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Arthritis Center

3500 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 365-0770

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus Nephritis, Lupus/SLE, Clinical Trials

 

Daniel A. Small

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Sarasota Arthritis Center

3500 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 365-0770

Arthritis

 

Sports Medicine:

 

Steven J. Schafer

Blake Medical Center

Coastal Orthopedics

6015 Pointe W. Blvd.

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 792-1404

Sports Medicine, Arthroscopic Surgery, Knee Injuries/ACL/Meniscus Tears

 

Surgery:

 

Steven L. Halbreich

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldmere St., Suite 504

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 957-1700


Brian J. Kimbrell

Blake Medical Center

2020 59th St. W.

Trauma Services

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 794-5621

Trauma

 

David A. Napoliello

Venice Regional Medical Center

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

8340 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Suite 101

Bradenton, FL 34202

(941) 388-9525

Minimally Invasive Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery

 

Scott B. Stevens

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite 206

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 341-0042

Laparoscopic Surgery, Obesity/Bariatric Surgery

 

Nanette K. Wendel

Blake Medical Center

Bradenton Surgical Associates

5601 21st Ave. W., Suite D

Bradenton, FL 34209

(941) 748-1471

Laparoscopic Surgery

 

Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery:

 

Jonathan C. Fong

Venice Regional Medical Center

Venice Ocala Heart Institute

706 The Rialto

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 484-8004

Carotid Artery Surgery, Lung Surgery

 

Alessandro Golino

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Cardiac Surgery

623 39th St. W., Suite 2

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 744-2640

Mitral Valve Surgery, Carotid Artery Surgery

 

W. Peter Graper

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1540 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 301

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 371-9710

Cardiac Electrophysiology

 

 

Richard J. Peterson

Blake Medical Center

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Manatee Cardiac Surgery

623 39th St. W., Suite 2

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 744-2640

Heart Valve Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Atrial Fibrillation, Carotid Artery Surgery

 

Atiq Rehman

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1540 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 303

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8791

Robotic Surgery, Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery, Heart Valve Surgery, Coronary Artery Surgery

 

Urology:

 

A. Joseph Bilik

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Florida Urology Specialists

1 S. School Ave., Suite 200

Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 309-7000

Robotic Surgery

 

Kenneth J. Bregg

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 310

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8488

Voiding Dysfunction, Incontinence, Urologic Cancer

 

Robert I. Carey

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Urology Treatment Center

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 310

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8488

Robotic Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Prostate Cancer, Kidney Cancer

 

Edward Herrman

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

200 Third Ave. W., Suite 210

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 792-0340

Kidney Stones, Incontinence, Erectile Dysfunction, Minimally Invasive Surgery

 

Gregory M. Lomas

Venice Regional Medical Center

RTR Urology

842 Sunset Lake Blvd., Suite 403

Venice, FL 34292

(941) 485-3351

Prostate Disease, Vasectomy and Vasectomy Reversal, Kidney Stones

 

Alan K. Miller

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Blake Medical Center

200 Third Ave. W., Suite 210

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 792-0340

Minimally Invasive Surgery, Urologic Cancer, Incontinence, Prostate Disease

 

G. Bino Rucker

Manatee Memorial Hospital

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

7652 Lockwood Ridge Road

Sarasota, FL 34243

(941) 448-1199

Laparoscopic Surgery, Vasectomy Reversal, Urologic Cancer, Voiding Dysfunction

 

Alan R. Treiman

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

1921 Waldemere St., Suite 310

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-8488

Prostate Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Bladder Cancer, Kidney Stones

 

Vascular & Interventional Radiology:

 

Osarugue A. Aideyan

Blake Medical Center

804 40th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 749-5464

 

Stephanie K. Hiskes

Blake Medical Center

804 40th St. W.

Bradenton, FL 34205

(941) 749-5464

 

Clarence R. Reilly

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

SMH Department of Radiology

1700 S. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34239

(941) 917-1668

 

Sergio L. Selva

Venice Regional Medical Center

Radiology Associates of Venice and Englewood

512-516 Nokomis Ave. S.

Venice, FL 34285

(941) 488-7781

 

Vascular Surgery:

 

Michael R. Lepore

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

600 N. Cattlemen Road, Suite 220

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 371-6565

Endovascular Surgery, Aneurysm-Aortic, Minimally Invasive Vascular Surgery, Angioplasty and Stent Placement

 

Russell H. Samson

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

600 N. Cattlemen Road, Suite 220

Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 371-6565

Peripheral Vascular Disease, Vein Disorders

 

The Next Generation

Two medical schools in our region are training future doctors.

We all know Sarasota is popular with doctors. But did you know that two medical schools with nearly 700 medical students are also in our midst?

The majority—632 of them—attend LECOM, or Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has had a campus in Bradenton since 2004. LECOM trains students in osteopathic medicine, which focuses on the well-being of the whole patient and emphasizes health education along with injury and disease prevention. Osteopathic physicians can practice any type of medicine, perform surgery, and prescribe medications, but have additional training in osteopathic manipulative medicine. LECOM students are trained to be primary care physicians in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. The students here do clinical rotations at area hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices.

Kelly Rosborough, a 27-year-old LECOM medical student from Columbus, Ohio, says she chose to attend LECOM Bradenton in part for its “problem-based learning” curriculum, where small groups of students practice solving actual patient cases.

“PBL taught me how to seek the answers to medical problems, a skill that I will utilize daily when treating patients in the future,” says Rosborough.

One of only 26 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States, LECOM was established in 1992 at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie, Penn., to alleviate its region’s physician shortage. LECOM later built a campus in Bradenton in response to Florida’s shortage of physicians. It’s now grown to be the largest medical school in the country, with more than 2,000 medical students between two campuses in Pennsylvania and one in Bradenton.

In addition to the College of Medicine, LECOM Bradenton also boasts a School of Pharmacy and a new School of Dental Medicine. Thus far, 591 students have graduated from LECOM Bradenton with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, and 77 have graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The Tallahassee-based FSU College of Medicine has welcomed up to 40 third- and fourth-year medical students to its regional Sarasota campus each year since 2005. During their time in Sarasota, FSU med students do rotations in a variety of specialties in the context of a unique mentorship program: while most medical schools are tied to hospitals, where students are trained by interns, residents and fellows, FSU pairs each medical student with a carefully chosen physician.

“I got to see a lot of patients and do a lot of procedures, and got comfortable spending time with patients,” says Brian Cogburn, a 27-year-old student at the FSU College of Medicine, of his time in Sarasota.

Dr. Bruce Berg, dean of the Sarasota campus, hopes that students will realize that Sarasota is an excellent place to live and will return here to practice medicine after their residencies. Out of 91 graduates, three former students have returned to the area to practice, but Berg hopes to see even more come back in the future.—Sarah Gassel

 

Ask the Doctors

What has been your proudest medical achievement?

“The most recent was helping a 13-year-old girl see after a gunshot blasted glass through her eye. It was a complicated surgery, but she will have her whole life ahead of her with both eyes intact.” Dr. Jonathan Adler

 

Pain medicine specialist, Dr. Myrdalis Díaz-Ramírez (MYUNIONHOUSE.COM)Breakthroughs

Back to Basics

Using an old tool in a new way eases an elderly woman’s back pain.

Three years ago, a tearful woman in her late 80s came to pain specialist Dr. Myrdalis Díaz-Ramírez. She’d been suffering from back pain for nearly a decade and was taking handfuls of over-the-counter pain medication every day. Díaz-Ramírez, who practices at the Comprehensive Pain Center of Sarasota, diagnosed arthritis, spinal stenosis, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Worst of all, every time the woman tried to lessen the pain by limping or sitting to one side, she further injured her joints, making the pain worse and worse.

The treatment—steroid injections that would reduce inflammation so she could go to physical therapy—required a large X-ray machine, available only at surgical centers, to make sure the injections hit their mark. Protocol required her to be given IVs in addition to a number of time-consuming pre- and post-op procedures. The process took hours. By her 90th birthday, the woman had regained some mobility, but the treatment process was a painful burden.

Then, last year, Díaz-Ramírez turned to an old technology with a brand-new application: ultrasound. For a fraction of the cost of large, simultaneous X-ray imaging, a standard ultrasound machine could ensure precise injections in the comfort of Díaz-Ramírez’s own office. “We’re able to see where the medication is going,” she says. (Injections into knees and shoulders previously had a 30 percent failure rate, but the ultrasound has “significantly lessened” that percentage, says Díaz-Ramírez.) The technique is so new that Comprehensive Pain Center of Sarasota is the only pain practice with an ultrasound between Tampa and Port Charlotte.

The woman’s next steroid treatment took only a matter of moments. When it was done, she looked at Díaz-Ramírez, smiled and said, “Is that it?”

No longer hampered by scheduling logistics and painful side effects, the patient has kept up with her rehabilitative exercises, including daily walks. “She likes to go out with her daughter,” says Díaz-Ramírez. “Now she feels much better.” She takes no pain medication, and now that her back is stronger, she won’t need another steroid injection for at least a year. On that visit, she’ll be 92.


Ask the Doctors

If you weren’t a doctor, what would you be?

“An oil painter.” Dr. Gina Arabitg

“A teacher, which I try to be as a doctor.”Dr. Michael Swor

“Chef.” Dr. Kenneth Bregg

“Pilot.” Dr. Alan Treiman

“Fishing guide.” Dr. Charles Hollen

“Not sure. I always wanted to be a doctor.”Dr. Niranjan Seshadri

 

Cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Walter Hepp (MYUNIONHOUSE.COM)Breakthroughs

Return from the Dead

An implanted defibrillator sparks a heart back to life.

The cardiac patient was a high-profile Sarasotan who’d received an implantable defibrillator on the advice of his cardiac electrophysiologist, Dr. Walter Hepp. Two years later, the man was playing tennis and sat down on a bench to rest between sets. “His tennis partners reported that he fell asleep and woke up,” Hepp says. “But tests showed that he’d had a fatal cardiac arrest—he literally had died. The defibrillator shocked him out of a death rhythm and saved his life.”  

A pioneer in treating arrhythmias, or abnormal beating of the heart, Hepp was Sarasota’s first board-certified cardiac electrophysiologist when he moved here in 1990 after completing his fellowship at the Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He started Sarasota Memorial’s first EP lab for arrhythmia management (“in a converted closet, with a paucity of equipment,” he remembers). “Doctors started sending me cases from all over Southwest Florida, broken patients who were dying, and we fixed them,” Hepp says. Now, Sarasota Memorial’s cath lab has a state-of-the-art home, and a half-dozen cardiac electrophysiologists work out of it.

Before the advent of radio-frequency ablation (the catheter-based procedure that measures the heart’s electrical activity, tracks the cause of arrhythmia, and treats it), patients who had arrhythmia problems had to have their chests cracked open to cure their electrical circuits. “With ablation,” says Hepp, “they’re in and out in a day, and at most have to stay overnight.”

The field is constantly advancing, Hepp says. “The mapping systems we use to get inside the heart have gotten much more accurate and user-friendly. Five years ago, we had to rely on X-rays. Now we have a GPS system underneath the table the patient lies on that creates a 3-D map. The result is more accuracy. It shortens the length of the procedure at least by half, and cuts down the radiation exposure. And we get better outcomes.”

Doctors can even pinpoint the spot of a heart attack. “For patients with dangerous arrhythmias that come from scar tissues, we can burn around the edges of the scar and destroy the dangerous rhythms,” Hepp says.

 

Ask the Doctors

How do you give back?

“Countless hours in a free medical clinic in Miami as the only French-speaking doctor for Creole-speaking Haitian patients. As always, I receive more than I give.” Dr. Robert Carey

91% are involved in charitable work, from performing pro bono medical services to mentoring high schoolers.

If you were in charge of healthcare reform, what would you do?

“Get rid of the insurance companies.” —Dr. Daniel Deems

What is the hardest skill to master?

Listening/Communication: 25%

Giving patients bad news: 16%

Time management: 9%

What’s the most exciting thing happening in your field?

Robotic/minimally invasive surgery: 25%


This article appears in the June 2012 issue of Sarasota Magazine.

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