My perspective overall may be a little different given the surgical background — no surprise here. However, I find little to disagree with in Dr. Benenati’s answers and advice. Ten years ago, I would have said that for surgeons there was nothing more important than to be trained and re-trained as an endovascular interventionist, as percutaneous catheter-based procedures and approaches were sure to dominate the vascular field in the foreseeable future. Today, in 2011, we know this to be true, and vascular surgeons need not hear such advice anymore, as the transformation has essentially already occurred. Everyone is now a believer and a practitioner. But I would not give up my surgical skills just yet, as the ability to do open operations and have that surgical background and perspective can only add a greater dimension and enormous value to anyone performing endovascular intervention.
I also found his focus on patient care and follow-up — as opposed to a “pure interventionalist” approach — to be an extremely insightful commentary. And it holds true for any physician aspiring to become a vascular specialist and perform procedures on his/her patients.
Beyond that, I would only stress that uncovering the unmet or underserviced needs in a particular region (or even hospital) can go a long way in one’s ability to forge a niche and build a practice.
Finally, while skills and talent are desirable of course and tend to pay off in the end, availability and hard work are the real keys to successful practice building, and I do not see this changing — ever.
Dr. Frank J Criado is a Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon and Endovascular Specialist at the Union Memorial Hospital-MedStar Health in Baltimore, Maryland – USA.
Dr. Criado is widely acknowledged to be a pioneer in endovascular therapy, with a 20-year + interventional experience. He has contributed extensively to the literature with more than 100 peer-reviewed published articles – mostly on various vascular and endovascular subjects, and Editor-in-Chief of Vascular Disease Management (VDM). He has also been active in clinical research, with a major focus on aortic stent-graft and carotid interventions, and endovascular technologies in general. He was the National Principal Investigator (P.I.) for the Medtronic Talent AAA clinical trials in the U.S., and a member of the Executive Committee for the Medtronic Valor Thoracic trial.
He is a founding member and immediate past President of the International Society of Endovascular Specialists (ISES), founder and current President of the endovascular surgery society of Latinamerica (CELA), and a member of all major U.S. and international vascular and endovascular societies. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and of the Society of Vascular Medicine (FSVM), and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS).