Q-and-A with Dr. Duc Thinh Pham, the New Surgical Director for the Center for Heart Failure

Northwestern Medicine
Cardiology July 29, 2015
Northwestern Medicine recently welcomed Dr. Duc Thinh Pham, a cardiac surgeon, as the new surgical director for the Center for Heart Failure at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. Dr. Pham is also an associate professor in surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Pham was most recently surgical director of the Center for Advanced Heart Failure, Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance at Tufts University in Boston. This isn’t his first time working at Northwestern Medicine — he completed his residency and fellowship at Northwestern in 2006.

We sat down with Dr. Pham outside of the operating room to get to know more about him and his approach to treating patients.

Why come back to Northwestern after such a successful tenure at Tufts?

Dr. Pham: I’m committed to the mission of an academic medical center, providing the best in patient care, and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge while teaching and mentoring. Northwestern has those qualities in spades. This was a great opportunity to return to the place where I trained and continue to carry on that mission.

What are you hoping to do at Northwestern?


I want to continue to build our clinical program for advanced heart failure in terms of patient volume and breadth of care. But more importantly I want to extend it further out into our communities. Heart failure therapies are getting better and better, to the point where patients are able to return home at a quicker recovery rate and lead happy, healthy lives. We are seeing a large volume of patients with VADs (ventricular assistance devices), for example. As a tertiary care center, I would like to continue to build and foster a stronger partnership with our referring physicians and hospitals.  This will allow our patients to have seamless care and improve their quality of life.  Moreover, from a research and academic standpoint, I would like to partner with industry to further improve these therapies and train the next generation of physicians.

Why were you interested in pursuing cardiac surgery as a career?

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, more so than all cancers combined. Working in cardiac surgery, we really have an opportunity to create a huge impact on our patients, improving not only their survival but their quality of life.

Anything else you want to add?

I want our patients to leave Northwestern feeling they’ve not only received the best care available but that we are always there for them and their family.

To make an appointment with Dr. Pham call 312.NM.HEART.

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