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A Focus on Prevention
Dr. Kevin Dunsky completed both his residency in Internal Medicine and his fellowship in Cardiology at Mount Sinai. He worked at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for five years doing extensive consultative practice, caring for inpatients and outpatients, and serving as the hospital’s cardiac consultant for high-risk obstetric patients. In 2008, he returned to The Mount Sinai Hospital and has devoted his career to patient care.
What is the mission of the Diagnostic and Preventative Medicine program at Mount Sinai, and how has the program evolved?
Our Executive Health Program provides patients with a full day in-depth consultation with a variety of physicians using noninvasive diagnostic and state-of-the-art screening technology to try to identify problems before they manifest themselves. The results of all tests are ready by the end of the day, so they can sit down with the physician to go over all the results and formulate a plan before they leave. We can tailor the day, depending upon the patient.
Generally, the day starts out from head to toe: full blood work; history and physical; full stress echocardiogram; we do a CAT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis; and a routine day will include a visit with a dermatologist and an ophthalmologist, as well as pulmonary and hearing testing.
What kind of talent do you have running the program?
We have Dr. Valentin Fuster, who is probably one of the preeminent cardiologists in the world, and Urologists like Dr. David Samadi, who has performed over 3,000 robotic prostate surgeries and has been profiled on all major TV news stations in New York. These people are at the cutting edge of technology and preventative medicine.
I’ve spent a lot of time in this field as well in terms of working on the preventative core curriculum we’re using here to target what we’re able to detect.
Mount Sinai is an innovator in building this type of program. Is this offered in other hospitals?
We’re definitely unique in the New York area. We’ve assembled a team that is enthusiastic about the program – you have to have people who believe in preventative medicine, not just in the invasive aspects.
That is where our strength lies – we’re looking ahead at the next generation of medicine. Medicine in general is now looking more at prevention, from a societal and medical level. That is why we see this as the new wave of medicine and why we’ve made such an effort to jump into the preventative arena.
Is there enough of a focus on prevention?
We have a lot of work to do in the field, but it’s critical, and that is where our focus lies. We’re all caught up in the new technology, and it may not be as sexy, but we need to focus on preventing disease or find things before that is needed.
That is what drives this program and a lot of the care at Mount Sinai.
At Mount Sinai, how critical is it to not lose that doctor/patient relationship and is it more challenging today?
It’s more challenging, but medicine doesn’t work without it, and that is something I stress in my practice and for all physicians in the program. The patient has to have a relationship with the physician – it will not work for anybody if they don’t have that relationship. For people coming through this program or my practice, we’re accessible to answer questions and phone calls – we’ll talk to you today.•