Drs. Daniel G. Blanchard and Barbara A. Parker are among 25 Department of Medicine physicians who were named to the 2008 “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list.Here, they comment on their selection as Top Doctors and on their work at UC San Diego.
“It’s a testament to UCSD’s clinical excellence that we have more physicians on the ‘Top Doctors’ list than any other medical center in San Diego,” said Dr. Daniel G. Blanchard, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Chief of Clinical Cardiology at UCSD Thornton Hospital.
Dr. Blanchard has been named to San Diego Magazine’s “Top Doctors” list five times in the six-year history of the list.
Of his selection again this year, he said simply, “It’s a real honor to hear that your peers think you’re doing a good job.”
Dr. Blanchard, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, has been at UCSD since 1981. He graduated from the UCSD School of Medicine, and trained in the Internal Medicine Residency Program and the Cardiology Fellowship Program at UCSD.
He’s now director of the UCSD Cardiology Fellowship Training Program.
“It’s an exciting time in the Division of Cardiology because we’re expanding,” he said. “And, frankly, it’s a pleasure.
“Our main missions are to maintain the excellence of our patient care, increase our ability to see additional patients, and develop the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center.”
The Sulpizio Center, now under construction, is expected to open in 2010.
Cardiology is a popular subspecialty of internal medicine, Dr. Blanchard said. Each year, over 450 physicians apply for the four available training slots in the highly-regarded UCSD Cardiology Fellowship Program.
One reason for the popularity of cardiology among internal medicine trainees, he said, is the availability of new tools and treatments that have been developed in recent years. Today, cardiologists often have good news for their patients even in the face of life-threatening illness.
He gave an example. “In the past,” he said, “a patient with advanced heart failure had only one option: a heart transplant. Now, we have medications and implantable devices that improve the function of a failing heart.
“I often get to tell people, ‘You have a very serious disease, but we have very good treatments for it, and we’re going to get you through this.’”
“We have made progress on many fronts,” she said, crediting the Cancer Center team, the University, the hospital, and the clinical enterprise for their support.Dr. Parker is Professor of Clinical Medicine in the UCSD Division of Hematology-Oncology, where she received her own fellowship training. She accepted the Cancer Center leadership position in late 2007.
In the past year, the Cancer Center has reorganized the faculty into discipline-based teams, made infrastructure investments, grown the clinical practice, increased the volume of patients being treated, and undertaken key recruitments to complement strengths in the faculty.
Dr. Parker sees the Cancer Center as the heart of a multidisciplinary care system that extends through UCSD’s facilities and outward to the greater community.
The Cancer Center and Radiation Oncology are opening a satellite radiation therapy facility in the North County. A new satellite facility is planned for the South Bay as well.
In addition, in response to an increased demand, the Cancer Center is expanding its own radiation oncology facility.
The Cancer Center is also offering seminars in key tumor areas to educate patients about the services and the care available there.
“We’re continuing to try to strengthen our patient-centered care for all disciplines,” Dr. Parker said. “There are many opportunities to develop novel treatments and targeted therapies for our patients.
“Our goal is to provide multidisciplinary care with compassion, new treatment, and new hope for our patients and their families.”