Dr. Ramakrishnan Ranganath completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore, affiliated with the University of Maryland. He completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine and received an Interventional Cardiology fellowship from Baystate Medical Center at Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts. He received honors as an Outstanding Fellow while at Baystate Medical Center and the Darwish Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine while at Franklin Square Hospital Center. Dr. Ranganath is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, National Board of Echocardiography and the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology. He is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Ranganath says he likes a challenge, but first joined the Air Force in his native India to be a fighter pilot. To calm the fears of his parents, he says he switched career paths. “Once I entered medical school, everything else that medicine stands for appealed to me. The intellectual satisfaction, the challenge of understanding something so complex and using it to help someone. When you see people happy, it actually feeds into you, and it keeps you going.” As an interventional cardiologist, Dr. Ranganath enjoys spending the time necessary with his patients and their families to explain options and ease any fears and concerns.
With his extensive training in Internal Medicine as well as cardiology, Dr. Ranganath says he’s comfortable dealing with his patients non-cardiology related issues. “When a patient comes to you, he is never just a heart or the kidney or the lung. They are all interrelated.” He says training programs require future cardiologists to be internist because “there is a lot of bearing on how you treat a cardiac problem because there are a lot of implications on other systems in the body.”
An interventional cardiologist doesn’t treat the whole heart. Dr. Ranganath describes the heart is like a house with rooms, doors, electricity and plumbing. He says the four chambers are the rooms, the valves are doors, and the plumbing is the arteries that carry blood. “Interventional cardiology is a sub-specialty that sort of deals with the plumbing of the heart, so it involves looking after the blood supply to the heart muscle,” he says.
Dr. Ranganath says interventional cardiologists treat patients with blockages, which he says left untreated could lead to a heart attack or a stroke. “Because of prevalence of smoking, diabetes and kidney disease, we are seeing a lot of patients who have blockages in arteries other than the heart arteries,” he says. This includes the carotid arteries that carry blood to the brain, and renal arteries which carry blood to the kidneys (which help control blood pressure).
As Dr. Ranganath’s patient, you can expect him to spend enough time with you to educate you on your condition and treatment options. “I do not know how it is going to be in the future, but as the practice gets busier, the amount of time spent on each patient is bound to reduce, but it is going to be my endeavor to try and still manage to spend enough time with each patient so that they feel satisfied about what we are doing for them.”
Dr. Ranganath enjoys working with his colleagues, and also works closely with the Lab and Imaging Centers at Grace. He says it creates a means to dramatically limit the rising costs of healthcare and to keep his patients and their families better informed.
“The patient has only one goal and that is to get better and if they can do that smoothly without having to jump through hoops, I think that is important, and as healthcare providers we should strive towards giving them that because we owe them that,” says Dr. Ranganath. “It is our jobs to try and make things as smooth as possible for them because they are not there for enjoyment. They are there for a reason and their aim is to get better. I think the Grace System is working well to provide that part of the care.”