SCAI 2018 Fall Fellows Courses

August 20, 2019

Dr. Michael Lim Offers Advice for Interventional Cardiology Fellows

Interviewed at the SCAI 2018 Fall Fellows Courses, Dr. Michael Lim offers 2 key pieces of advice for cardiology fellows:

  • “Remember why you do what you do.”
  • “Take care of yourself; it’s not just taking care of your patients.”

Reflecting on a couple of his own patient cases from the past week, Dr. Lim tells interviewer Dr. Chadi Alraies that he’d like fellows to ask themselves what passion drives them to do what they do. “For me,” said Dr. Lim, “it’s about the patients.”

Dr. Lim talks animatedly about a “young lady” in her 80s on whom he’d performed 2 different interventions. “She is full of energy and full of life and angina free. She just gives me a big hug every time we see each other. And we talk about life! We don’t talk about dual antiplatelet therapy or statins. We talk about life! And that’s fascinating and that’s awesome that we have the capability of playing a role in a patient’s life.”

Dr. Lim also speaks about another patient, a young violinist for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, who he treated for STEMI complicated by VF arrest. “He’s so happy to be alive,” Dr. Lim says, reveling in having had the chance to hear this phenomenal musician return to playing his music. “This is what drives me every day. Why I love what I do.”

Dr. Lim also discusses the demanding aspects of interventional cardiology, describing starting cases early in the morning, working hard all day, and getting home late at night. “This is a marathon. Don’t approach it like a sprint,” Dr. Lim offers as advice to fellows. He advises fellows to find self-care time for themselves every week. “Because if you love interventional cardiology and taking care of patients, then you will want to be doing it for a long time.” Being aware of burnout, he explains, is the first step to preventing it.

Michael J. Lim MD, FACC, FSCAI is the co-director of the Center for Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care at St. Louis University.

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