Over the past several years, physicians have increasingly cross-trained in new specialties in order to expand their professional opportunities. One of the more interesting transitions of this sort involves cardiovascular surgeons who have migrated into vascular work.
Dr. Arlen G. Fleisher, MD, FACS is the President and Medical Director of the Premier Vein Centers located in Hartsdale, NY and Goshen, NY and has followed this particular career path. His health care practices are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of venous disorders.
Having earned his medical degree in 1981 from New York Medical College, Dr. Fleisher went on to complete a surgical internship and residency at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in NYC where he served as chief resident. Dr. Fleisher completed his fellowship in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the University of British Columbia. In 1989 he returned to St. Luke’s as an Assistant Attending Surgeon. Dr. Fleisher has the unique combination of being both a Board-certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Phlebologist. (Phlebology is the branch of medicine that deals with veins and their diseases, like varicose and spider veins.)
Dr. Fleisher’s expertise in these fields allows him to offer his patients state-of-the-art, minimally invasive techniques. Virtually all vein procedures are performed at the new, modern Premier Vein Centers in Goshen, NY. These procedures are virtually painless, free of discomfort and downtime with results and outcomes of the highest possible standard.
I recently spoke with Dr. Fleisher and the following is the first of a two part interview.
Q. What interested you in getting into phlebology from cardiovascular surgery?
A. The field of cardiac surgery has been rapidly changing over the last few years. The incidence of coronary disease is decreasing and more patients are being treated less invasively by cardiologists. The combination of reduced volume of surgery and declining reimbursement resulted in making the private practice of cardiac surgery unsustainable. The only options are to be employed either by a hospital or a large group, neither of which was particularly appealing to me.
Approximately 5 years ago I became aware of the growing field of phlebology. I researched it out and spent some time with one of the leaders of the field in his clinic. He also was a cardiac surgeon but for the last 15 years had devoted his practice exclusively to phlebology.
I decided to open my own vein clinic after acquiring the needed expertise. This was a fairly easy transition for a heart surgeon who was also board certified in general surgery at one time.
I practiced both cardiac surgery and phlebology until transitioning exclusively to phlebology.
Q. How has your background as a cardiovascular surgeon influenced your current role?
A. It has trained me to be extremely attentive to detail and sterility, both of which are very important in any office-based surgical practice.