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AUDIO: Dr. Lishan Aklog - Why Did You Become A Cardiologist?

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We try and look at everybody as one big team because, you know, things don’t always go perfectly and when things deviate from that path, we need to all be in it together and we need to all understand how we got there and how we are going to come out of that, come out of that situation. So I think that’s important, sort of, philosophically.

Todd Hartley:
Dr. Aklog, I noticed that you are one of the first surgeons in the United States to use surgical robots in patients undergoing heart surgery. How many years ago was this?

Dr. Lishan Aklog:
That was some while ago actually, so that was about, coming on over ten years ago. I was at Brigham Woman’s. I was one of the junior faculty surgeons there and this Da Vinci robot sort of showed up and we were, I think the fourth hospital in the country to get it, and at that point it was this amazing piece of technology but we weren’t really sure what to do with it or how to use it or how to have it enhance heart surgery and what’s been interesting over the past ten years is that the role of the robot, the robot is a little bit of a misnomer but when I have time to go over that, but we’ll call it the robot, the role of the robot is much, much clear now in other specialties such as urology and gynecology and so forth, and it’s still a little bit unclear what its role should be in heart surgery and we are still trying to figure that out.

Todd Hartley:
Dr. Aklog, I noticed from dealing with you over the years that your personality seems to be a little bit different from other heart doctors. Are you the typical prototype of a heart doctor?

Dr. Lishan Aklog:
I think you are trying to get me into trouble Todd, so I am going to be careful with that. I think not so much the case of the heart doctors but, you know, there’s a sort of classic surgical mentality, surgical personality that’s in Hollywood and television and, you know, I think there’s some truth to that.

I think all surgeons, to some degree, including myself, and my partners, have that surgical bravado underneath. I think you have to be, to some degree.

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