Shake His Family Tree, and Doctors Fall Out
Cardiologist Paul Kudelko says, “Being a good doctor is about listening to your patient. If you listen carefully and ask the right questions, they’ll tell you what’s wrong. You don’t always need a lot of tests. It’s listening, analysis and a good physical exam. I developed these skills at Nova.”
Kudelko (D.O.’93) also honed a different type of listening skill while at Nova. Through access to a new medical technology, an artificial heart simulation device, nicknamed “Harvey,” he discovered a special ability to listen and hear heart beats that signaled patient illness. “Dr. Al Greber gave me tapes of the different heart beats and syndromes. I listened to them for hours; I still have a set in my office.”
Another opportunity leading to Kudelko's career choice was his student job at the Nova library. "In between assignments, I read medical journals. I learned about the emerging field of interventional cardiology. I knew this was the future, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
It also did not hurt that Kudelko’s father was a respected cardiologist in Clearwater, FL and that his uncles included a radiologist and a family physician. As a young boy, he recalled sitting with the Kudelko brothers after a family dinner when the talk would turn to medicine.
“I didn’t always understand everything they were talking about, but I knew they were compassionate about their patients. I always knew this was what I wanted to do.” Kudelko was later joined by his brother, a gastroenterologist, and his cousin, Jennifer, who is also a graduate of Nova’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and practices in internal medicine.
“In high school, my father used to take me to the SunCoast Hospital where he worked. I met the doctors, interns and residents. As a medical resident, I returned to do my own rotations through SunCoast. Through every step of my medical training, I have had great encouragement from my professors and I’ve pushed myself to be the best I can be.”
In his opinion, “Nova is the ultimate example of how academic discipline is put to use. We were given a massive amount of information to master. It was constantly reinforced with every subject we took. I never felt done or knew things well enough. The faculty always pushed us to do more. It was humbling.”
Years later, Kudelko continues to study the latest research and medical techniques. “As an interventional cardiologist, I want to incorporate the best, least invasive treatments I can. I want to make sure anything I do will improve my patients’ lives.”