Allison Perry

By

College: Medicine

Russian Cardiologist Finds Opportunity at Gill Heart Institute

Published: Jul 9, 2014

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2014) -- In the mid-1990's, Dr. Maya Guglin was a cardiologist in Volgograd, Russia.

 

"I was working in a 1,000-bed university hospital treating critically ill patients in the critical care unit (CCU)," Guglin says. "I had some terrific teachers and wonderful colleagues. But I felt as if something were missing…..that there were opportunities to expand my knowledge and experience that I couldn't get in my home country."

 

Today, Guglin has a very different professional life.  As director of the Mechanical Assisted Circulation Program at the Gill Heart Institute, she oversees the care of patients with heart failure.

 

"Contrary to how it sounds, heart failure is actually a complex diagnosis," Guglin explains.   "It's really a thinker's specialty, and that appealed to me professionally."

 

Guglin was recruited to UK HealthCare for her skill in ventricular assist devices (VADs), which boost the heart's pumping action in desperately sick cardiac patients.  Sometimes a VAD is a "bridge" for transplant patients who have not yet found a donor heart.  However, VADs can also be used as a permanent solution -- much like a pacemaker -- and, in a few instances, VADs act like crutches for the heart, taking over the work while allowing distressed heart muscle to rest and repair.  In these cases, the VAD can be removed once the patient's heart has recovered enough to pump on its own.

 

When Guglin arrived in Lexington for a visit to the campus, she was skeptical.  "I thought, this is an awfully tiny town to have such a big hospital," she remembers. But once she realized that UK HealthCare's patient base was so geographically immense, her enthusiasm soared. "I was drawn immediately to the institution's commitment to grow the program, to provide outreach, and to provide top-quality quaternary care to the sickest Kentuckians," she says.

 

Guglin's journey to Lexington from the town known as Stalingrad during the "Iron Curtain" days  began in 1995, when she served as an interpreter for three Russian physicians who came to Cleveland as part of the Sister Cities Program.  She was wowed by the state-of-the-art facilities and immediately began planning a move to the U.S. 

 

"From the smallest clinic in Oberlin, Ohio to the Cleveland Clinic, the standard of care really impressed me," she says.  "I wanted to be a part of that."

 

Already a medical doctor (both her parents were physicians as well), she took classes whenever possible and borrowed textbooks from a friend to prepare for the medical licensing exams required of all foreign physicians who wish to practice in the United States.  Because the tests were not offered in the Soviet Union, Guglin travelled to Hungary and Poland to take them.

 

She landed back in Cleveland for her residency, then on to New Jersey for a fellowship at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  After a stop in Boston for transplant training and three years as an assistant professor at Wayne State University, Guglin arrived at the University of South Florida as director of their Heart Failure Program. Seven years and a promotion to full professor later, Guglin felt she had, in her words, "hit her limit there." She came to the Gill Heart Institute in January and is already settling in, managing 13 VAD patients in just six months.

 

She laughs when comparing her professional life in the Russia with her current situation. 

 

"In the U.S.S.R., we were allowed one X-ray per patient per week," she says.  I used to give the radiologists chocolate to get them to do more than one."

 

"There was still no Internet in my hometown when I left. We did not use computer tomography and did not have troponin or creatinkinase assay to diagnose heart attacks.  We did it the old-fashioned way: by symptoms and ECG."

 

Guglin says there are other examples of her life here that weren't possible in Volgograd.

 

"I love having the luxury of seeing fewer patients, but investing more time in them, which is to their benefit," she explains.  "I am particularly drawn to the 'why?'  -- Why is my patient experiencing this, or doing that? And so being here affords me the opportunity to explore each patient's particular situation and decide the best course for them, especially since our patients here have so many co-morbidities, which can really complicate treatment."

 

Another attraction: research. Guglin is drawn to research; her primary interests are the role of diuretics in treatment of heart failure, the concept of congestion as a leading factor in the pathogenesis of heart failure, the similarity of neurogenic stunned myocardium and takotsubo (stress induced) cardiomyopathy, and chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy.

 

Of particular note is her recent work on diabetes in patients with VADs. "Anecdotally, we've seen that glucose levels in diabetes patients with VAD implants seem to improve post-implantation and persist for up to a year," Guglin says.  "We were able to use patient data to demonstrate a link between the two phenomena.  Now the interesting part comes: Why is this so?"

 

One of Guglin's first priorities at UK is to establish a proprietary patient database. That way, she says, if she or one of her colleagues have an idea, they can quickly access data to test their hypothesis and determine whether it merits further exploration.

 

Again, the VAD patients with diabetes question served as a catalyst for her plan. "We had to search dozens of patients’ charts manually, and then enter every piece of data into a  spreadsheet. If we could, instead, use database information to demonstrate a link between the two, the work could be done much faster."

 

The changes in Guglin's personal life reflect her professional ones.  Since she moved to the U.S., she has learned to drive a car and put a "1" in front of the number when dialing long distance. After seven years in Florida, she was not thrilled with the Kentucky winter.  "My friends assure me it wasn't a typical winter, and they'd better be right," she says.  But even with the adjustments she's had to make, Guglin embraces the opportunities being in the U.S. -- and in Kentucky -- has afforded her.

 

 

 

maya_guglin.jpg
October
 
 
 
1
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Wed
2
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Thu
3
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Fri
4
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Sat
5
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Sun
6
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Mon
7
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Tue
8
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Wed
9
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Thu
10
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Fri
11
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Sat
12
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Wed
16
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Fri
18
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Sat
19
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Sun
20
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Mon
21
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Tue
22
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Wed
23
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Fri
25
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
26
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
Sun
27
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Mon
28
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Tue
29
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Wed
30
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
Thu
31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Fri
 

Fri, 10/24/2014

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 29 2014 except Sat Sep 20 2014, Sat Oct 18 2014.
Sat, 10/25/2014

Reset Page