10-Minute Interview:
Dr. Luis Pires

Please describe your medical background and education. Why did you choose to work in the field of electrophysiology? I attended the University of Massachusetts Medical School (class of 1986) and completed my entire postgraduate training, including residency and fellowship training (cardiovascular medicine and electrophysiology) at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. I became interested in cardiac electrophysiology because much of it (for example, mechanisms of various types of arrhythmias) is heavily based on physiological principles. Early on, I recognized this aspect as very promising in facilitating treatments, and in some cases cures (catheter ablation), of a variety of arrhythmias. I enjoyed my time at UMass Medical Center immensely, particularly the mentoring I received from Dr. Shoei K. Stephen Huang, then the Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology. Dr. Huang inspired me early on in my training by making often difficult concepts easier to understand. What are your areas of specialty in EP? At this time, my interests are primarily catheter ablation (particularly atrial fibrillation) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (including proper patient selection and optimal device programming). My focus, with the help of a dedicated staff, has been on making such procedures as easy and as safe as possible for our patients. What are some of the daily challenges you encounter as EP Medical Director? As Medical Director of a busy program, my most difficult daily challenges are having to balance the needs of our patients, referring physicians and other staff electrophysiologists within the confines of existing resources. What has been your most rewarding experience in practicing medicine as of yet? My most rewarding experience in practicing medicine to date has been the rapid pace of technological advancements, especially in my area of cardiovascular medicine, which have made it possible for patients to enjoy better quality of life, and in many cases, longer lives. Is your hospital involved in any clinical cardiology or electrophysiology trials? My institution has been involved in several of the most recent and cutting edge clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine in general and electrophysiological in particular (e.g., cardiac resynchronization therapy in heart failure patients). What is your best piece of advice to give to others in the field of electrophysiology? As in any field, find the aspect of electrophysiology that interests you most, and then do all you can to make it rewarding for you, your patients and their families. What technology and/or procedures in EP do you find most promising? The pace of technological developments in electrophysiology has been truly amazing. Currently what I find most promising is the development of (three-dimensional) mapping tools (and their interface with other imaging devices) to facilitate catheter ablation of various complex arrhythmias.