Cardiologist at Aultman HospitalIf he could do it all over again, Dr. Akbar Shah would still be a cardiologist. “If I could do it 10 times over again, it would be the same,” said the 51-year-old native of Pakistan, one of 18 physicians who make up Cardiovascular Consultants, headquartered in Aultman Hospital.
Growing up, it was Shah’s mother who steered him into the medical field.
“I used to have people ask me why I was pursuing a career in medicine … that I should be a mathematician,” Shah recalled.
But he has no regrets.
And cardiology just felt right—the rewards are so tangible.
“You can literally, after a day or two of treatment have a patient go from almost dying to being up and walking around,” Shah said. “That’s all you want … to be able to make a difference.”
He calls medicine a humbling field.
“The human body is so complex,” Shah said. “You must be prepared, and you must also be prepared to be wrong.”
He credits teams for providing a continuum of care. That, he said, is what helps patients. It’s the emergency room staff, the nurses, lab technicians students and everyone else all coming together to make for positive outcomes.
“At no point are we ever thinking ‘I did it,’ ” he said.
He’s most proud of the Cardiovascular Consultants (CVC) group.
The cardiology group specializes in electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, peripheral vascular disease, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, cardiac surgery clearance and clinical cardiology. Seven advanced practice and registered nurses assist the 18 (soon to be 20) physicians.
What sets them apart, Shah said, is their satellite offices in Alliance, Carrollton, Dover, Massillon, Millersburg, North Canton, Orrville and Salem. On any given day, CVC physicians are on the road, taking some specialized care with them, rather than making patients come to Canton for treatment.
“We draw from seven counties … it’s a massive outreach,” Shah said. “We have been doing it this way for so long we’ve almost become white noise. I’m not sure how many people realize it.”
Shah attended medical school at Aga Khan Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed residency in internal medicine at State University of New York in Buffalo. He did a cardiology fellowship at Louisiana State University and research at Duke University Medical Center.