Dr. Frank Pollaro: In Cardiology, Prevention is Key

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A new report finds that, for future heart doctors, prevention is a low priority; seasoned cardiologists like Frank Pollaro respond with a strong defense of why prevention should be the primary focus.

In any professional training field, there will be some topics that are emphasized, some that are mentioned only in passing, and some that are ignored altogether. This is certainly the case in medical training. Medical schools place the highest emphasis on the areas of diagnosis and treatment that are considered to be the highest priority—but these priorities do now always match those of the professionals who work in these fields. A recent Reuters report finds that many medical schools place a low emphasis on prevention within their cardiology programs, a finding that has drawn the attention of such prominent cardiologists as Dr. Frank Pollaro, M.D.

Indeed, according to the new study, most training programs for future cardiologists are very light on training in heart disease prevention. In fact, only a fraction of the future cardiologists studied are receiving even the minimum amount of education in heart disease prevention that professional guidelines require. Dr. Quinn Pack, the lead author of this new study, comments that, “Prevention and management of risk factors (for heart disease) is not an emphasized -- and almost neglected -- portion of the curriculum.” Dr. Pack goes on to express his belief that prevention of heart disease should be an integral field of study for any prospective heart doctor.

Frank Pollaro, another noteworthy cardiologist, agrees with him. “I could not agree more with Dr. Pack,” says Frank Pollaro in a press statement. “Primary prevention and secondary prevention should be, and always should have been, a high priority for every practicing cardiologist. It is recognized on Capitol Hill as a necessary cornerstone of care.”

The cardiologist goes on to affirm the new study’s emphasis on showing doctors how to evaluate lifestyle factors that could ultimately lead to heart disease.

“Obesity and diabetes are absolute epidemics and there are alarming studies that smoking is actually on the rise!” continues Dr. Frank Pollaro. “This costs billions of dollars in health care and, much more importantly, it costs people their lives. Prevention should be a priority in training and continue throughout the physician's career. This is common sense, but is somehow often overlooked.”

As for the initial study into heart disease prevention training in leading medical schools, the findings are fairly grim. While a few prevention-related topics, such as the use of heart disease medication, are frequent lecture subjects, many others, such as nutrition, obesity, smoking cessation and managing chronic diseases, are discussed much less frequently.

Dr. Pack’s study originally sought to survey some 200 medical school directors and their chief fellows. Of those who responded to the survey, 24% were found to meet professional standards in terms of their emphasis on prevention. For another 24%, however, prevention is not a formal academic topic at all.


Dr. Frank Pollaro, M.D., is a non-invasive cardiologist who specializes in using the latest technology to effectively treat coronary disease and vascular disorders. A graduate of Georgetown University, Frank Pollaro is an award-winning physician with numerous publications and professional affiliations to his name.

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Michael McGarety
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