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Posts by Beth Adams

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It’s Not Always About the Cure

by Beth Adams on Monday, Oct 20, 2014

Every now and then, the most amazing people walk into my office. Nina* is one such person. I first learned about her from a friend and colleague from a nearby community hospital who diagnosed her congenital heart defect and asked her to see me for an opinion about treatment options.

You see, Nina was born with an unusual problem that we cardiologists call ALCAPA (because the real name is too long to write every time) and had never had surgery to repair the problem. In this heart defect, the left coronary artery that supplies blood to the heart muscle is in the wrong place; instead of arising from the aorta and carrying oxygenated blood to the heart muscle, it comes from the pulmonary artery and steals blood away from the heart muscle.

Most children with this problem die in the first year of life; Nina was 61 years old when I met her.

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Walking in My Shoes, Part 2

by Beth Adams on Friday, Jul 25, 2014

… as the morning unfolds, the patients who sticks in my mind is the youngest of the day, a 9-day-old baby with a very thick heart.

Anna (not her real name) was supposed to be a normal, healthy baby, after a normal, healthy pregnancy. But she’s not. Before going home from the hospital, one of her doctors heard a heart murmur, and her problem was discovered. No one teaches doctors how to give bad news—at least, no one did when I was training. You sort of figure it out as you go along, by watching what works, what doesn’t work, and trying to read people as you go along.

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Walking in My Shoes, Part 1

by Beth Adams on Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014

This month I thought I’d take some time to give you all the insider’s look into a day in the life of a congenital cardiologist. This is meant to be an average day, not one that necessarily stands out in my mind. I hope you enjoy this insider’s scoop:

The alarm clock goes off, but I’m already awake and have been for a little while. I run my mental list of the day’s tasks, focusing on anything that may be outside the norm.

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Across the Parking Lot

by Beth Adams on Monday, Apr 28, 2014

Much of my day-to-day work routine involves seeing patients in our outpatient office suites. Interestingly, and purely by chance, the building containing the pediatric cardiology clinic and the building that houses the adult congenital heart disease clinic happen to be directly across from one another—across the parking lot, as I like to say.

When is this important? Well, when it comes to transition, this may make all the difference in the world.

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Wearing Two Hats

by Beth Adams on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014

Most physicians make bad patients, and I am no exception. I much prefer sitting on the stool, laptop in front of me, changing medications, ordering tests, and offering advice instead of being on the receiving end of those things. Perhaps it’s for those reasons that I dislike my own cardiology visits so much.

While most of my friends and a number of my patients know about my CHD, most of my colleagues do not, which makes for interesting situations periodically. It’s not that it’s a secret, necessarily, it just doesn’t come up in daily conversation all that often. “Hey, did you see the Eagles game last night, and oh, by the way, did you know I have a CHD?” Perhaps not.

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The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.