Medical All-Stars, Part 2

Rajesh M. Dave, MD, 
Chairman of Department of Cardiology and Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, Holy Spirit Hospital – A Geisinger Affiliate

Dr. Rajesh Dave comes from a family of doctors – uncles, nephews, cousins. His older brother, practicing internal medicine in his native India, has always been his role model.

“He taught me to always deliver the best possible care,” says Dave. “It’s always been his motto and my motto throughout my entire medical career.”

Dave came to the Harrisburg area at the urging of a friend who talked about the opportunities available to do non-invasive vascular work.

“I really enjoy this community,” he says. “Truly, the people here are wonderful.”

He believes he is fortunate to work in a hospital that has “done everything in their power” to provide the latest technology. As chief of Holy Spirit’s cardiovascular medicine, he helped create the integrated model of medicine that allows health care providers to partner and share information more freely.

Even as technology gains prominence, Dave maintains a philosophy that “the patient comes first. We will do the very best we can for every patient every time.” Even as health care changes, the “care and enthusiasm and vigor with which we take care of our patients have not changed because of this integrated model. It has just gotten better.”

The doctor-patient relationship “is probably one of the most important things in medicine,” Dave says. He adheres to the teachings of turn-of-the-20th-Century physician William Osler, “The Father of Modern Medicine,” who taught that medicine is an art. His art is in his hands, dealing with the heart’s tiny workings and in his interaction with patients, “being able to explain what’s needed to correct the problem. We have to get to their level to be able to explain what’s happening to them, rather than talking in a lot of technical terms.”

He has traveled to half of the world’s countries, speaking on cardiology.

“I take a lot of things I’ve learned in my practice to them, and I see how they learn differently. I see how they accomplish one objective in a slightly different way.”

Innovations and change are constants in his world. He was drawn to cardiovascular medicine, in part, because his patients often “feel so much better, and it’s completely rewarding,” he says.

“They come in very sad because they have a problem, and the next time after the problem is resolved, they’re smiling, and their life is changed. That’s a great experience, that I’ve been able to accomplish what I became a doctor for.”