Making the Rounds with Dr. Ryan Muchow

Dr. Ryan Muchow on the ‘amazing’ field of pediatric orthopaedics

Making the RoundsWe caught up with pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Ryan Muchow for our latest Making the Rounds conversation. Dr. Muchow works at Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center – Lexington, where he specializes in hip surgery and hip preservation treatments. 

What conditions do you treat?

We treat the entirety of pediatric orthopaedics, from birth to the young adult years. We take care of all kinds of musculoskeletal injury and conditions.

We see kids at both the Shriners Hospital as well as the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Most of the kiddos that we work with at KCH are kids that come in in an urgent or emergent basis with an acute injury. We’re able to take care of them at a time of great need as they’ve broken bones or have been involved in a serious accident.

Most of those kids at Shriners were either born with a condition or have developed a condition. They’ve been living with it for some time, and it’s not necessarily an acute or urgent setting. But we get to meet them and help them through their journey with whatever condition they have.

What makes pediatric orthopaedics so enjoyable?

It’s this amazing field where we have the opportunity to restore activity to kids. One of the top motivations for a child is to be able to play, to be able to run around and do things carefree. And we have the ability and opportunity to come in at a special time of their life and provide that service or need to get them to a point where they can do that activity.

Why did you decide to pursue medicine as a career?

Medicine in some ways chose me. I was thinking about other interests in high school, and someone recommended to me that I look at medicine. I got involved in a program that led me into medical school. After that, it was kind of affirmation after affirmation of, “Hey, being with people is awesome, getting to do the sciences is awesome.” And so it all kind of came together in medicine.

Describe your ideal weekend.

I’d come home Friday night after work and make pizza with my wife and kids. We’d put the kids to bed and then watch a movie.

Saturday morning, I’d get up and go for a run with the family, pushing the kids and running with my wife. We’d go get donuts, and then we love to do things outside – hiking, running around and doing crazy kid stuff.

What’s your favorite food?

If I can have two favorite foods, I’d say I like pizza a lot and I also like steak a lot. Those are two completely different foods, but those are where I’d go.

Steak if I could have a nice meal out and pizza if I could do something every day of the week.


Check out our video interview with Dr. Muchow, where he tells us more about the comprehensive orthopaedic care provided by Shriners and KCH.


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Making the Rounds with Dr. Amit Patel

Dr. Amit Patel explains how he went from sculpture to surgery

Making the RoundsIn this week’s Making the Rounds conversation, we caught up with Dr. Amit Patel, a surgeon who specializes in reconstructive and cosmetic treatment of the head and neck. Dr. Patel sees a wide variety of patients, including those who have had cancer or traumatic injuries of the face, as well as individuals interested in cosmetic enhancements and rejuvenations of the nose, face and neck.

How did you become interested in medicine?

It’s been a little bit of an interesting path. I actually wanted to be an artist – a sculptor – when I was growing up. Then the summer between high school and college, I happened to work at a doctor’s office and really fell in love with it. Those two worlds pretty much collided, and the rest has been history.

How is being a surgeon similar to being an artist?

My patients become my artistic medium, if you will, and I approach them from an artistic standpoint. How can I best and most creatively solve the problem at hand? How can I put these patients back together and get them into the real world and have them not feel insecure, have them not feel like they’re different? That’s a very big part of my patient-care philosophy.

What experiences have most shaped your career?

One of the unique experiences that has shaped my career was when I became a patient myself. I had a skiing accident and spent a fair amount of time away from what I normally do, which is a lot of reconstructive surgery.

I frequently have to tell my patients to be patient with the process and to let a tincture of time take effect. Having to swallow that pill myself as a patient changed the way I approach things and the way I approach my patient care.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?

It’s the trust that develops between me and my patients. When they come to me – especially my reconstructive patients – they’re often in a place where they’ve kind of lost their sense of identity. The trust that they hand to me, I take to heart and I take a lot of pride in that. It’s something I really, really enjoy.


Check out our video interview with Dr. Patel, where he tells us more about the conditions he treats and how he gets to know his patients.


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Dr. Eric Moghadamian

Broken bones of his own inspired this surgeon’s lifelong passion

Making the RoundsFor our latest Making the Rounds interview, we chatted with Dr. Eric Moghadamian, an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at UK HealthCare. Dr. Moghadamian is originally from Elizabethtown, Ky., and attended medical school at the University of Kentucky. 

What kinds of patients do you see?

I tend to see patients on their worst day, after they fall off a roof or they’re involved in a motor vehicle collision, motorcycle accident or even a sporting activity where they just break a simple bone.

My job is to put those folks back together and to restore them back to their normal function that they had prior to their accident.

How did you become interested in medicine?

During the course of my own sporting activities as a kid, I wound up breaking quite a few bones. And through my visits in and out of the doctor, I ended up having an affinity for orthopaedics. That’s kind of what set me on the path that I ended up following.

Are you a sports fan?

Oh yeah. I grew up playing soccer and baseball. I played sports in high school and some in college, and I still watch sports on a regular basis. I watch a lot of Premier League soccer and, of course, UK basketball and UK football.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

Most folks, in general, are surprised that I’m from Kentucky. They see my name, they see my picture and they tend to ask, “Where are you from?” And I’m like, “I grew up down the road.”

You have young kids – what’s your favorite part about being a dad?

It’s all good! The hugs are the best, I guess.


Check out our video interview with Dr. Moghadamian, where he explains how his team works to provide the best care possible for people with traumatic injuries.


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Making the Rounds with Dr. Andrew Leventhal

Cardiologist Dr. Andrew Leventhal helps a unique group of patients

Making the RoundsIn this week’s Making the Rounds interview, we caught up with Dr. Andrew Leventhal, director of the Kentucky Adult Congenital Heart Program at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute. Dr. Leventhal is one of the nation’s few adult congenital heart disease specialists, helping a unique set of patients who are born with heart defects and who require specialized care as they become adults.

Why is adult congenital heart disease a challenging specialty?

Patients born with heart defects face unique challenges as they get older. They outgrow their pediatric cardiologists, but their heart problems can be very different from cardiac conditions that begin during adulthood.

One of the problems with this specialty is, because they have had good care in the past, many of my patients feel well and don’t necessarily think they need follow-up care. That’s why we make such a great effort to go out into the community and make sure these patients understand that they do need to see doctors for the rest of their lives.

What can a patient expect during their first appointment with you?

Many of my patients had surgery when they were children, so we talk a lot about their past. Even though they may be young, they actually have a fairly extensive medical history.

We really start at the beginning and go through their lives to make sure we have a very accurate perception of what they’ve had done in the past and where they are now.

What inspires you?

When I get up in the morning and I see my patients and see what they’re going through, that’s very inspiring. And the work ethic of my colleagues here at UK is quite inspiring, too.

If you weren’t a doctor, what would you be doing?

I’d be coaching baseball somewhere.

What do you enjoy most about living in Lexington?

I like that fact that it’s a city, but it has a small-town feel. I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world.

My wife and I very commonly will go out on the weekends into farm country just to drive around and really wonder at how nice of a place it is here.


Check out our video interview with Dr. Leventhal, where he explains how exciting new treatment options are helping patients feel better faster.


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Dr. Sandra Beck

Dr. Sandra Beck’s patient-care mantra: ‘I treat you like family’

Making the RoundsFor our latest Making the Rounds interview, we sat down with colon and rectal surgeon Dr. Sandra Beck. Dr. Beck is the head of colon and rectal surgery section at UK and the program director for the general surgery residency. 

How did you become interested in medicine?

I actually started out in business in undergrad, and I realized I was helping all my friends in the sciences with their homework. I figured out pretty quickly I was in the wrong business. I explored just doing research, but realized that I actually really liked working with people. So, after doing a few years in research, I ended up going to medical school and then ended up as a surgeon.

What conditions do you treat?

We mainly treat diseases of the small bowel, colon, rectum and anus. That includes inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. And we deal with all the complications of those diseases.

We take care of patients with colon and rectal cancer, and we also take care of patients with diverticulitis or other benign diseases of the colon. And we also do things like hemorrhoids and infections around the anus.

What do you tell patients who are nervous or embarrassed about their condition?

We look at things in a very clinical sense, and it’s something we are trying to fix. So, don’t be afraid to come in and talk to us about things.

Also, colorectal surgeons have great senses of humor. We tend to be a lot of fun and we’re pretty nice people. But if you don’t want us to joke about things, we won’t. We’re sensitive, too.

What’s your favorite part of mentoring residents?

We have them for five years, and so it’s really neat to see them mature and to see what I call “the lights to go on.”

When you’re working with them in the OR at first, you can tell they’re not really seeing what you’re seeing. But then by the end of it all, they’ve matured into these great surgeons who I know can go out into their communities and be a real asset. It’s really very gratifying to see them mature in that way and to be able to be part of that.

What is your patient-care philosophy?

I try to approach it as if you are one of my family members. I try to be your quarterback, and if we need to coordinate care, I try to do that for you. But I also try to be the person you can come to to ask questions.

I think being a physician means being an educator, and I feel like we – me and the patient – need to be a good team. I need to educate you about your disease so that you know what you can do better. I’ll tell you what my role is, and then we work through the process together.

I think that’s one of the reasons my patients like me – I treat them like family. I try to make it feel like we’re all part of the same team. And then once we get you through treatment, you’re always part of the family.


Check out our video interview with Dr. Beck, where she talks more about the patient-first approach at UK HealthCare.


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Dr. Patrick O'Donnell

Oncologist Patrick O’Donnell on why he has the world’s best job

Making the RoundsWe sat down with Dr. Patrick O’Donnell, an orthopaedic oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center, for our latest installment of Making the Rounds, a blog series that introduces you to the providers at UK HealthCare. Dr. O’Donnell specializes in treating bone cancer and also does reconstructive orthopaedic surgeries. 

How did you become interested in orthopaedic oncology?

I actually went into medicine with an interest in doing oncology, and I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I had some interaction with cancer patients when I was a really young kid, and I just found it fascinating that your body could attack itself.

It got me interested in medicine, so I went to medical school saying, “I’m going to be an oncologist.” But then I did a surgical rotation and I loved it. I loved having a problem and then a surgery and then a solution. And then I ended up really liking the reconstruction, the big surgeries of orthopaedic oncology. I’ve got the best job in the world.

What kinds of conditions do you treat?

I specialize in orthopaedic oncology and reconstructive orthopaedics. I treat a lot of different types of cancers. I treat soft tissue sarcomas, bone sarcomas, bone tumors that are not cancerous tumors, and then I treat a lot of metastatic disease to bone – the so-called “bone cancer.”

Bone cancers that start in the bone are called sarcomas, and sarcomas are the rarest type of human cancer. They’re also one of the most aggressive types of human cancer. I treat both types of bone tumors – those that have started outside the bone and tumors that have spread inside the bone.

Tell us about your interest in rock climbing.

I’ve always really liked rock climbing, and Kentucky is like the world mecca of rock climbing. An hour away is the Red River Gorge, and there are over 3,000 documented climbing routes. Recently in Lexington, we’ve gotten a new climbing gym, which has been great.

I got reinvigorated with rock climbing when my daughter had a birthday party at the gym. I went and just got completely excited, and my kids got into it. And now it’s the way that I blow off steam when I’m not at the hospital. I’ve got a great group of friends that I climb with.

What’s your favorite food?

I really like Indian food mostly because I don’t get it very often, so when I do get it, it’s a big treat. My wife, she can’t do curry, she can’t do Indian food, so the only time I get Indian food is when I’m by myself.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

A weekend when I’m not working, I get to spend a lot of time with my family. My son and I will play baseball. My daughter is a really good swimmer, so we’ll get to go to a swim meet. And then we really like going out to dinner and trying all the different places in Lexington.

So, an ideal weekend would be a little bit of baseball, a little bit of swimming and going out to dinner at a new restaurant.


Watch our interview with Dr. O’Donnell, where he discusses how his experience treating patients with bone cancers has expanded treatment options for other patients with orthopaedic problems.


Next steps:

  • July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. Learn more about Markey’s Musculoskeletal Oncology team, which is nationally recognized for expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of bone tumors, soft tissue sarcomas and metastatic diseases of bone.
  • One of Dr. O’Donnell’s patients is a well-known member of the Big Blue Nation – former UK basketball player Todd Svoboda. When Todd was diagnosed with bone cancer, he turned to Markey and Dr. O’Donnell for help. Read Todd’s story.
Dr. Rasesh Desai

Inspired by his sister, Rasesh Desai decided to become a doctor

Making the RoundsIn our latest Making the Rounds interview, we sat down with Dr. Rasesh Desai, an orthopaedic surgeon with UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine who works at The Medical Center at Bowling Green. Dr. Desai sees patients of all ages and specializes in joint replacement surgery, spine surgery and pediatric orthopaedic surgery. 

What kinds of patients do you see?

I see patients from all age groups – from newborns to adults. I’m in a unique position because of my variety of fellowship training. I’m fellowship-trained in spine surgery and joint replacement surgery, and it gives me an opportunity to see the patient as a whole person.

Sometimes a patient comes to your office with leg pain, hip pain or knee pain, and then you find out their actual problem is coming from the spine. Or sometimes it might be vice versa, where patients come in with back problems. But we find out the back problem is mainly the result of hip or knee arthritis.

Tell us about UK’s partnership with The Medical Center at Bowling Green

The UK orthopadic department has an agreement with The Medical Center at Bowling Green to provide orthopaedic service in this community. The main purpose of this affiliation is to provide the same level of care that you would get at a bigger hospital, right here in a smaller community.

What inspired you to get into medicine?

I saw my elder sister go into the medicine field, and it always inspired me to see her, how she treated her patients. You know, when you are a kid, when you are growing up, you go to the doctor when you are sick and they get you better and back to your life, and that always fascinated me.

During medical school, I worked with an orthopaedic surgeon. I saw the patients coming to the hospital with broken bones and severe pain, with arthritis, or not able to walk. And then getting them back on their feet was immensely satisfying, and that inspired me to become an orthopaedic surgeon.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

My ideal weekend is to be able to spend some time with my family and my 3-year-old son. Get him out to the park and play with him, because I don’t get much time to do that during the week. I also like to spend some time with friends and their families. Go out, watch a movie and maybe watch some sports on TV.

What’s your favorite movie?

I like all of the X-Men movies!


Check out our video interview with Dr. Desai, where he tells us more about working in Bowling Green and why teamwork makes a world of difference in patients’ recovery.


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In the latest edition of Making the Rounds, Dr. Scott Mair discusses always wanting to be a doctor, his hobbies and why he enjoys living in Lexington.

A passion for sports led Dr. Scott Mair to orthopaedic surgery

Making the RoundsWe sat down with Dr. Scott Mair, an orthopaedic surgeon at UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, for our latest installment of Making the Rounds, a blog series that introduces you to some of our providers at UK HealthCare. Dr. Mair specializes in shoulder and knee arthroscopy and shoulder reconstruction.

How did you first become interested in medicine?

I grew up in Rochester, Minn., and everybody there is a doctor, basically. My dad was a pediatrician. I didn’t know there was anything else to do. I’m kind of kidding, but there are an unbelievable number of doctors there, per capita, just because the Mayo Clinic’s there and it’s a small town. So obviously I knew a lot of doctors, and they seemed to like what they did.

Why did you decide to specialize in orthopaedics?

It had more to do with my love of sports. I wasn’t a spectacular athlete, but I played a lot of sports, and I enjoyed being around sports. So when I would hear about team doctors, it seemed like a good fit. I get to work with several of the UK teams, which is a lot of fun.

What types of injuries do you treat?

Mostly what I see is shoulder problems. Probably about 80 percent of my practice is shoulder things. A lot of young athletes with stability problems, and then older people who have rotator cuff problems. But I see all kinds of other, different shoulder abnormalities, too.

What should patients know about rehab after surgery?

People think rehab is something where they have to push through the pain and do everything they’re supposed to do – which, in certain surgeries or certain rehabs, is important. But a lot of times, it’s almost the opposite, where once people start feeling well, we’ve got to slow them down because some things take months to heal.

For a lot of my younger patients especially, after a couple of months when we’ve stabilized their shoulder, they feel like they’re good as new, and they start doing things they’re not supposed to do before they’re healed. So half my time I spend trying to slow people down while they’re healing up after surgery instead of pushing them along, like you do in some surgeries.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have four daughters, so most of the time I’m doing things with them. I used to play a lot of golf, but they’re not much into that, so I spend a lot of time chasing them around for their sports and things. They range from age 12 to 20 now.

Describe your ideal weekend. 

I’d be at a UK basketball game and hanging out with my family after that, doing something with our friends. Maybe go fishing.

What do you like most about living in Lexington?

I’ve been here about 18 years and I think it’s a fun place. There’s a lot to do, it’s easy to get to big cities, but it’s not such a big place that you can’t get around where you need to go. And it’s got friendly people.

What’s your favorite movie?

I like some of the old-school movies like Caddyshack and Fletch. Those are probably still my favorites.


Check out our video interview with Dr. Scott Mair below, where he talks about why working with the student-athletes at UK is so rewarding.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, which provides leading-edge treatment for a variety of injuries and conditions.
  • When Patty Lane was diagnosed with arthritis in her hip, she was told her time as a competitive triathlete was over. That’s when she turned to UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine for a second opinion. Read Patty’s story.

Even as a child, Rachel Miller knew she wanted to be a doctor

Making the RoundsWe’re joined by Dr. Rachel Miller for our latest edition of Making the Rounds. Dr. Miller is a gynecologic oncologist at the UK Markey Cancer Center who specializes in ovarian cancer screening and treatment. She’s also the co-director of Markey’s new Molecular Tumor Board, a powerful tool in the fight against cancer.

When did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

I think I knew in elementary school. I was very interested in doctoring from an early age. My mom actually saved my Fisher-Price doctor kit and cleaned it up and gave it to my son. So it is well-worn. I did a lot of physical exams when I was between the ages of 4 and 6, I think.

I was a chemistry major, and I thought I might spend some time in the lab. And I was interested in pharmacy, too. So it’s been a long-standing desire. [The challenge] was just trying to figure out what aspect of healthcare and medicine and interaction with people would work best.

What’s your favorite food?

Spaghetti and meatballs. It’s comfort food, and actually, it’s one of the first dishes that my husband made for me when we were dating. It was a birthday dish.

How would your friends describe you?

I think they’d describe me as energetic, active. Kind of crazy in that I may have a little higher work-to-off-time ratio than most of my friends, but we make the most of our time together.

Describe your ideal weekend.

I’d get out of work at a reasonable time on Friday and probably have some Mexican or Indian food or sushi for dinner – some sort of special treat for Friday night. And then on Saturday, I’d wake up – I have a 3 1/2-year-old – so I’d wake up with him in a really good mood and we’d play and have a nice, quiet breakfast. I’d go out for a run, and then we’d have an afternoon of maybe swimming in the summertime or the YMCA in the wintertime. We’d get a babysitter at 6 p.m., and I’d have an evening with my husband. Really, it’d be a quiet weekend at home. I feel like more and more we treasure the downtime and the routine family time at home.

What’s your favorite part about being a mom?

There are so many great parts about it. I think it’s just that my son challenges me in ways that I didn’t realize a 3 1/2-year-old could challenge me. I thought I had a hard job until I became a mom, and I realized that is so much more difficult at times. I just enjoy watching him grow and seeing how every day is just loaded with new experiences for him and how he approaches those experiences, watching him learn language, hearing him laugh – just the day-to-day interactions.


Watch our video interview with Dr. Miller below, where she describes the types of patients she sees at Markey and talks about why she enjoys practicing medicine in Kentucky.


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Meet Dr. Susan Smyth, director of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute

Making the RoundsOur latest Making the Rounds interview features Dr. Susan Smyth, medical director of the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute. Dr. Smyth is a researcher and physician focused on treating patients with bleeding and clotting disorders.

What do you enjoy most about being a heart doctor?

The field of cardiology is just extraordinary. It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of a field that has done so much for our society and to every day be thinking about, “How can we do this better? How can we keep people out of the hospital? How can we make them live longer? How can we make them feel better? How can we get rid of their suffering?” To be able to translate something that we observe in a clinical study to a patient and make their lives better is incredibly rewarding.

Why is research such an important part of your job?

The thing that drives me is to think about how we apply the scientific method to alleviating pain and suffering, extending life, and promoting health. How can we apply the knowledge that we have today so that we can improve tomorrow what we’re doing for folks across the United States?

What do you want patients to know about the care team at Gill?

We have a phenomenal care team at the University of Kentucky. We have staff whose entire job is to be there for the patient, for the family member and for the loved one and to support them throughout their journey.

Know that when you come here, you will be surrounded by a team that is dedicated to taking care of you.

Tell us about your interest in women’s heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and a lot of people don’t realize that. As a female cardiologist, it’s something that’s very close to my heart and a lot of my patients’ hearts, and we do have a very large focus on women’s heart health at Gill.

Another thing that I’m passionate about is trying to get more women in medicine and science in general. We do not have enough female cardiologists. Less than 15 percent of the cardiologists in the United States are female. That’s a number that needs to change. And so while we think about how we can improve heart health in women, I also want to encourage women to consider this as a career because I can’t think of a more rewarding specialty to go into.

You were born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Do you root for the Wildcats or the Tar Heels?

I am a native North Carolinian but I changed colors of blue when I moved to Kentucky. I continue to bleed blue, but it’s a little bit darker now than when I was younger. I have been in Kentucky for a little over 10 years and I cheer for the Wildcats, much to my mom’s chagrin!


Watch our video interview with Dr. Smyth, where she talks more about the types of conditions she treats and what patients can expect when they come to Gill.


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