In August, Arkansas Heart Hospital welcomed its newest interventional cardiologist, Dr. Wesley Lane. Dr. Lane graduated from Texas Tech University and University School of Medicine, where he graduated top of his class. Here’s more on our newest cardiologist, the communities he will serve and what drew him to Arkansas Heart Hospital.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a cardiologist?
A: The path to medicine was not a direct one for me. Initially, my plan was to pursue academic research and teach at a university level. I didn’t know I wanted to be a physician until I got into a master’s program. It was a small program, so for the curriculum I was fortunate enough to take some medical school courses. I took those in the first year and found I loved it! So after I completed my master’s degree I pursued a medical degree instead of a Ph.D. After medical school I started residency in internal medicine and naturally gravitated towards cardiology at that point. I loved the practice and I loved taking care of cardiac patients. So I would say from very early on in residency I knew I wanted to do cardiology.
Q: You trained in both interventional and structural cardiology. What procedures will you do?
A: I was fortunate to train in everything from coronary interventions, including balloons and stents, to percutaneous valve implants and minimally invasive mitral valve clips. I also trained in percutaneous closure of PFOs and ASDs as well as peripheral vascular intervention. So, I’m happy to offer a wide array of interventional therapies. Beyond just intervention, though, the majority of what I do is general cardiology and preventative cardiology. Comprehensive care of the cardiology patient from the bottom up; diet, exercise and lifestyle change to complex medical management of cardiac conditions and then, when appropriate, procedural management as we discussed previously.
Q: What drew you to Arkansas Heart?
A: I love the way the hospital is set up. It’s very patient centric. There’s a lot that goes into patient care here. Not just what I do, but so many other skilled and dedicated people behind the scenes that work hard to make sure the patients are going to have the best care possible. That is important to me. With so much support and so many excellent resources, it allows me to spend more time and focus on the patient. Also, AHH is one of the top hospitals in the country and is known for quality care. When I was searching for a job, I didn’t find anything else like it. One of the main things that sets it apart is the people. The staff and administration are top notch. I really enjoy everyone I’ve interacted with. There’s a common vision and that is to join together as a team to offer the best care we can to patients.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: I met my wife in med school; we have four children. Brittan who is 7, Bennett is 4 (almost 5), Eleanor is 2 (almost 3) and a 7 month old, Titus. They keep us very busy, but they’re a joy. The move from Texas was crazy, as you might imagine!
Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: I am a weightlifter. Most days I’m at the gym by 4:30am to work out for an hour and a half before going home to see my kids for breakfast and before school. My free time and activities are oriented around my family. We love to travel, plan excursions and getaways.I love to cook, in fact, I cook the majority of our meals at home. I also love music. I play the guitar and the bass. My wife and I used to lead worship in our church and loved doing that.
I still have a passion for teaching, also. I was fortunate enough to join the teaching team in our Sunday School class last year and that was so regarding. I enjoy studying Christian theology. It is a big part of my life and my wife’s life. I’m an avid reader too.
Q: What is your approach when it comes to helping patients with heart disease?
A: I strive to be patient centric. I want patients to know that although being diagnosed with heart disease can be scary, that there is hope. There’s a lot we can do to mitigate the risk of future events and to help them get back to living a quality life. And I know that as a patient, it can be difficult to navigate the ins and outs of living with cardiovascular disease. Developing a trusting patient-physician relationship and establishing shared goals is very important. Some of the most important conversations you have are in the first couple of meetings where you get to know each other and understand what the goals are for that individual. So my hope is that I can come alongside them and be an advocate for them and help them achieve their goals, whether that be through lifestyle changes, addition (or removal) of medications or procedural intervention.