“It’s very important to be a person and not just be a doctor.”
Thanks to advancements in medicine, Michael Lazar, MD, often sees things happen that weren’t possible in the past.
State-of-the-art treatments allow patients faster recoveries and more successful outcomes.
“The patient who received our first aortic valve replacement here with this transcatheter approach was in the store shopping for Christmas presents the day after their surgery,” says Dr. Lazar, a cardiac surgeon at UPMC in North Central Pa. “That’s never happened before.”
But Dr. Lazar believes that providing world-class care goes beyond just the medicine. It’s also about building a relationship with patients outside of the operating room.
“It’s very important to be a person and not just be a doctor,” Dr. Lazar says. “No one can tell what your skill level is when they first meet you. They just know if they like you and if they trust you or not. And so, having that sort of connection with the patient is more important than just being good at what you do. Because you really have to treat the whole person.”
Dr. Lazar lives and works in a small community. His wife is also a doctor, and he jokes that, between the two of them, they’ve cared for everyone in the community.
It’s a responsibility that he takes seriously when he sees his patients.
“From the time you walk through the door to the time you leave, you don’t feel like you’re a number,” Dr. Lazar says. “You don’t feel like you’re just another piece of the puzzle. I think everyone here is treated very special. Families are taken care of. The whole system is set up to provide the patient a good experience.”
At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means being there for our patients as people.