Jodi Whitaker

First Advanced Cardiac Imaging Fellowship Graduate Thankful for Doors Opened at UK

Published: Jun 24, 2013


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2013) - When Dr. Kunal Bodiwala began his internal medicine residency at the University of Kentucky in 2003, his plan for the future was to be a general cardiologist.


Forward to the present, Dr. Bodiwala, now a board certified cardiologist, is the inaugural graduate of the University of Kentucky Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Advanced Cardiac Imaging, and a leader in the field of cardiovascular imaging, who has already started lecturing in national forums.


"It feels good," Bodiwala said during his last week at UK HealthCare's Gill Heart Institute. "I always pictured myself as a general cardiologist, but here I am leaving with all this expertise in the advanced cardiovascular imaging field."


Bodiwala might say that landing this opportunity was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. During his general cardiology fellowship, he was exposed to conventional and contemporary cardiac imaging techniques and he began to manifest an interest in reading imaging studies with both radiologists and cardiologists. Around that same time, Dr. Vincent L. Sorrell came to UK to lead the cardiovascular imaging program and develop an advanced cardiovascular imaging fellowship program.


"The third year of my fellowship, I started interviewing for general cardiology position but I realized that demand in the field of advanced imaging is growing more and more," Bodiwala said. "Institutions are now asking for cardiologists with specialized cardiac imaging training. I always liked diagnostic imaging, so I thought learning more about these advanced cardiac scans like MRI and CT  would be an excellent opportunity for me."


After careful consideration, Sorrell chose Bodiwala to be UK's first advanced imaging fellow, working closely with him and Dr. Anil Attili, Dr. Michael Brooks, Dr. Steve Leung and Dr. Michael Winkler as well as physicists Peter Hardy and Jie Zhang at the UK Gill Heart Institute. 


"Dr. Bodiwala's knowledge of the program, his familiarity with our facility and people, and the fact that he was already credentialed in other areas of cardiac imaging such as Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology made him the perfect match," Sorrell said. "His enthusiasm with the program made him a very exciting candidate."


Advanced imaging, Bodiwala said, has the ability to provide physicians with information previously only available through invasive techniques.


 "With advanced CT imaging techniques we can visualize the coronary arteries in the heart and assess for blockage without having to have the patient undergo invasive catheterization tests.  With advanced MRI imaging techniques, we can also non-invasively see the heart muscle and valves and their function and impact on the heart," Bodiwala said. "There are various heart diseases that can involve heart muscle and cause heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms. Now with the advanced imaging we can also characterize heart muscle tissue without having to undergo invasive tissue biopsy and be able to make an accurate diagnosis.


"It's fascinating how far we have come over the last 10 years with advanced imaging techniques" Bodiwala added.


As he embarks on his new role in a large academic-oriented private practice group in southern Illinois, Bodiwala has no doubt he will return to UK on occasion. Someday, he hopes he can help medical students and residents in the same way his Fellowship faculty helped him.



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