Shands listed as heart leader

Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 12:54 a.m.
If you were a woman who needed specialized heart care or wanted to consult with a physician at a leading cardiac center, where should you go?
The February issue of Good Housekeeping could have the answer.
Partnered with Castle Connolly, publisher of the guidebook "America's Top Doctors," the magazine set out to identify the best cardiac centers for women and their programs' specialties.
The Cardiovascular Center at Shands at the University of Florida was cited for its top-notch team in thoraco-abdominal aortic surgery and abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery.
Dr. Tomas D. Martin, chief of adult thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, was cited by the magazine as a "top doc" in the program.
Among the 44 centers listed, only one other was in Florida: the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery of the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston.
Martin said Tuesday that he was honored to be on the list.
"I found out when my 83-year-old dad brought the magazine over to me. And he found out when his sisters in Puerto Rico, Washington and Texas called him. I didn't realize that Good Housekeeping was so well read," Martin said.
"We are a great center and deserve the recognition as a group," he added. "As I tell my patients, I am just one spoke in the wheel here."
Aside from the recognition for the Shands program, Martin, who is also an associate professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine, said he was pleased to see some recognition of the threat heart disease poses to women.
"Cardiac disease is a major problem in society today, and in women, it has not been as recognized as it should be," he said.
In fact, heart disease is women's No. 1 killer, according to the American Heart Association. It's one of the cardiovascular diseases that kill nearly 500,000 women each year. That's more than the next seven causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.
Martin admitted that, honored as he was, he wondered, "How do they get these lists?"
A spokesman for Castle Connolly said the publishing company sends out a survey to practicing physicians, hospital CEOs and board-certified specialists across the country, asking them to name excellent physicians in various specialties, both in their region and nationally.
Diane Chun can be reached at (352) 374-5041 or

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