Podcast: Heart Failure Recommendations and the Role of the Primary Care Physician

June 10, 2011

Dr. Marrick Kukin discusses heart failure recommendations, the role of the PCP in the diagnosis, and major myths related to heart failure.

Dr. Marrick L. Kukin, director of the Heart Failure Program as St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York and professor of clinical medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, spoke with HCPLive about the prevalence of heart failure, the role in which primary care physicians play in the diagnosis, myths and misunderstandings about the condition, and some of the research he is involved with.

During the interview, Dr. Kukin said, "The treatment of heart failure in 2011, physicians have a lot of resources available to them. There are now guidelines which really have been the synthesis of major clinical trials... And, we have a lot of outcomes data for heart failure."

When asked about the role of primary care physicians in the diagnosis of heart failure, Kukin said, "The primary care physicians are incredibly important. They clearly have the role of gatekeeper. And, in the general medicine/primary care community, when a patient comes in complaining of shortness of breath, it's very important for the physician to think about heart failure as the etiology." He went on to further say, "I think the role of the primary care physician, and nurse practitioners and other allied health professionals, is very crucial in terms of thinking about heart failure, recognizing heart failure, and beginning the appropriate diagnostic tests."