Tomas Amuchastegui, MD

Clinical Professor of Medicine at Hospital Privado Universitario de Cordoba and Medicine Faculty Attending, Cordoba, Argentina

How did you become interested in research relating to Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease?

My passion has always been in Cardiology, since my first years in medical school. During my last years of residency, my interest had been mainly on acute and chronic cardiovascular conditions, from the perspective of an internist, looking mainly on quality improvement projects for the health care system.

Describe your research & the program/lab (info of your supervisor) that you are in?

During my last 2 years, I have been working mainly on quality improvement projects in the Echo Lab at Yale New Haven Hospital for the appropriate use of Transesophageal Echocardiography by internists, recently focused on Infective Endocarditis. Our research has been under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Lissa Sugeng.

What do you consider to be your substantial scientific contribution so far (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?

There are 2 projects that I have worked on during the last 5 years, which I consider had contributed to the field of cardiovascular medicine.

The first has been the assessment of Time in Therapeutic Range and incidence of both ischemic and haemorrhagic events in patients with Atrial Fibrillation and under treatment with warfarin. There are 2 articles from this project: 1. “Risk of hemorrhage in patients older than 85 years, anticoagulated due to atrial fibrillation” (PMID: 22657578); and 2. “Oral anticoagulants with vitamin K antagonists in times of new anticoagulants” (recently published by the “Argentine Journal of Cardiology”).

The second has been the assessment of appropriate and inappropriate use of Transesophageal Echocardiography in Infective Endocarditis; presented at the 2015 American Society of Echocardiography Annual Meeting in Boston, by June 2015, and to be published soon thereafter.

What is your favourite manuscript from a lab or mentor other than your own (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?

One of my favourites from my mentor Dr. Lissa Sugeng is: Trends in Aortic Valve Replacement for Elderly Patients in the US (1999-2011), published in JAMA in 2013 (PMID: 24240935).

What facilities are essential for your research?

Most of my research experience has been on clinical research. I am mostly familiar with databases and chart reviews.

Where do your research strengths lie? Why? What are your research weaknesses? How will you improve?

My main research weakness is the lack of advanced knowledge in biostatistics. I plan to take courses in statistics very soon.

Describe your unforgettable (proudest) moment in science, and the most challenging situation that you have had to overcome (lessons learnt) so far?

My most memorable moment in science was receiving the 2015 Award for “Outstanding Efforts in Research” at Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale School of Medicine for our ongoing project related to echocardiography and infective endocarditis.

At which conference did you first present? How was your experience?

My first oral presentation was at the Argentine Society of Cardiology, back in April, 2010. Once I came to the US to continue my training in internal medicine, I presented my research at the American College of Physicians chapter meetings. My overall experience has been amazing and I highly recommended to anyone who is willing to share their knowledge and research findings.

What upcoming conferences will you be attending, and what is the furthest distance that you have traveled for a conference?

American Society of Echocardiography 2015 in June of 2015.

How did you learn about ISH/NIN and its activities?

I have learned about the ISH/NIN from their educational website.

What area(s) do you wish to specialize in the future?

My wish is to develop a thorough and comprehensive Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University Hospital in Argentina. I would like to take advantage of the valuable experience I have gained during my residency training in the US to develop a solid residency program that would focus on Quality Improvement projects, especially cardiovascular related projects.

Who is your role model in Science? Why?

My mentor, Dr. Lissa Sugeng, is a wonderful teacher, but mainly a trustful and brilliant person. Her constant support and recommendations during my research projects have been fundamental for my success.

Also should mention my father and first mentor, Dr. Marcos Amuchastegui, with whom I have shared my first years in Cardiology Research.

Both taught me the importance of following your dreams, but mainly to find the way and tools to make them happen.

Are you involved in other scientific or career associations? If yes, how is it helping in your career advancements?

I am a member of the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Medical Association (AMA) and of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE). Participating actively in both societies allowed me to have the opportunity to publish and present my research projects in several meetings.

What are your scientific goals? Advise for talented emerging scientists?

My goal would be to become an experienced researcher in the field of Cardiovascular Medicine. Would obviously need to improve my investigative/research skills. My advise for emerging scientists is to find a mentor during their medical career, which is key for their development and success.