About Me

(Updated in 2020)

Welcome. Thanks for being here.

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I am a cardiac electrophysiologist. EP’s specialize in heart rhythm disorders.

I am a student of writing. I try to write short. I am active on Twitter @DrJohnM.

In addition to cardiology practice, I am also the chief cardiology correspondent for Medscape. I write two regular columns and record a weekly podcast.

In the last few years I have published some in academic journals. I’ve participated in trials in his-bundle pacing and in shared decision making. I’ve collaborated with researchers at Penn State and Chicago, co-authoring original publications and editorials concerning the quality of medical research. Here is my PubMed page.

In 2019, I co-authored an essay titled The Case for Being a Medical Conservative in the American Journal of Medicine. It was honor to write alongside Drs. Adam Cifu (an academic internist at the University of Chicago), Vinay Prasad (an academic oncologist at UCSF) and Andrew Foy  (an academic cardiologist at Penn State). The essay lays out what we believe is the best way to practice medicine.

I grew up in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. There I lived a blessed childhood. My Mom and Dad provided everything my two brothers and sister needed–including lots of love. We lived next door to an Italian grandmother (Non) and grandfather (Gramps). This was a ridiculously lucky circumstance.

I did my medical training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Electrophysiology at Indiana University. IU was good to me. Again, I was lucky.

We now live in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s a nice place. My home is 5k from the hospital. I cycle or run to work. I don’t like driving, and guns scare me.

My wife Staci and I have been married for 29 years. She is a hospice and palliative care specialist. We talk a lot. Staci has taught me that death is normal.

We have two children; one is a social worker and the other is at college. I am also a grandfather. The grandfather thing is terrific.

I have been a lifelong exerciser. In the last decade, I raced bikes. I was pretty fast, but not that fast. After suffering two concussions, I have gone back to running. I miss the criterium.

I advocate strongly for lifestyle choices as a means for achieving health. That said, I worry that prevention efforts can be overdone, sometimes turning healthy people into patients. This hurts my heart because the number-one rule of medicine is, “first, do no harm.”

Since I started this blog in 2009, I’ve grown more skeptical. If I had a second blog, it would be called: Health cometh not from healthcare. Medicine is most pure when we treat the infirmed rather than the healthy.

I believe that success comes from mastering the obvious–which is not always so easy.

I am not graceful but I try to be. Sylvia Boorstein’s beautiful book, It’s Easier Than You Think, has had great influence on me. I keep it on my desk.

A guidance counselor in high school once said that I wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor. This motivated me. I can’t say why it happened, it was probably a lot of things, but when I got to Hobart College, I decided to succeed. I soon learned that if you work hard, you don’t have to be that smart to be a doctor.

If given a time machine, I would still choose medicine. The patient-care victories in the EP lab, in the clinic and even via social media, still win out over the rapid spread of nonsense.

My favorite part about medicine is learning new stuff nearly every day. And that learning helps me help others.

I love doctoring. Every day is an adventure

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