You Have to Have Heart
Cardiologist John J.W. Asheld III, FACC, FACE, RPVI (D.O. ’08) loves the variety of his profession. “I focus on the prevention, detection, and treatment of heart disease, using external tests rather than instruments inserted into the body to evaluate and diagnose cardiac disorders,” he explains. He sat down with The Box to talk about his career and nickname he shares with his brother.
Looking back, what effect has your NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) experience had on your career?
Learning and being trained at New York Tech has helped prepare me for my training and career in cardiology. It helped to instill the mindset and dedication necessary to go through such rigorous training. And, I was able to form lifelong friendships and contacts throughout the local medical community.
Your father went into medicine, and your brother also graduated from NYITCOM and is a fellow cardiologist in the same medical group. How has this helped you as a doctor?
The biggest advantage to having family members in medicine is the support. The medical field, and especially physicians, have a very different lifestyle than most other professions. It is very difficult to understand if you’re not truly familiar. It’s always nice to have someone who can relate to you and your struggles with work.
What have been the highlights of your career?
I have been fortunate to have many highlights throughout my career, from caring for celebrities and dignitaries to serving as chief resident for my internal medicine residency, as well chief fellow for a cardiology fellowship at Stony Brook University Medical Center. As a chief fellow, I was able to help junior fellows develop their basic and clinical skills. Some of the most memorable experiences as chief were when my colleagues would thank me for listening and caring about their concerns and issues. I enjoyed educating the fellows about certain life or death conditions and tell me how they immediately knew what to do, and they were able to save a person’s life.
My ultimate career highlight has been working together with my brother, Wilbur Asheld, (D.O. ’10), in the same practice. We are referred to as the “Cardio Bros.”
What fascinated you about cardiology?
Part of what drew me to cardiology was the diversity of medical conditions that you encounter. One patient might have an arrhythmia, while your next patient might have atherosclerosis. You never know what is coming next. The truly most rewarding part of my job is developing lifelong relationships with my patients.