I’m a pediatric electrophysiologist, a specialist in problems of the heart rhythm in young patients. I’m the director of heart rhythm care at U-M’s C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital. It is my job to insert pacemakers and other heart rhythm devices when children need them, and to perform catheter procedures to correct their heart rhythms.
My work allows me to meet infants, adults and everyone in between. Some of my patients are very seriously ill and others are not only healthy but very athletic. For many of my patients, their treatment allows them improved health and life quality. I enjoy this variety and overall positive environment.
I have two daughters whose music, sports and other projects keep me busy quite aside from work. I also have a lot of hobbies, like photography, foreign languages and cooking. I also like to run and bicycle.
Special moments in the lab for me have often involved combining the good ideas of several specialists to achieve a great result for a patient. I also love to hear back from my patients. One girl on whom I performed a procedure years ago recently joined me in the hospital to observe. She will be applying to medical school.
A Michigan electrophysiologist, Dr. Macdonald Dick, has been my greatest professional inspiration. I learned from him that new technologies must be applied and understood. He always reminds me that with imagination and innovation it is possible to do things that others have not succeeded in. He and I have been partners in many complex procedures over the years.
When I was young and wanted to do things just like other kids, my mother used to say, “Dare to be different, Dave!” I know she was right.
I like fiction. Stories that are well written are a great adventure for me, whether they be classics, by Dickens and Balzac, or modern works by Iris Murdoch or T. C. Boyle.
Before I did my training in cardiology, my wife and I went to a very small town in Ecuador for nearly a year. We were the only pediatricians in this remote town and had to learn Spanish quickly to take care of the kids there. It was hard at times but we made lots of friends and when it was over we were sorry to leave.