As part of our “Meet Yale Internal Medicine” series, today’s feature is on Ralph DeBiasi, MD, FACC, assistant clinical professor of medicine (cardiovascular medicine).
Ralph DeBiasi, MD, FACC, has always existed at the intersection of medicine and technology. Following his cardiology fellowship at Yale, he also completed an electrophysiology fellowship - seeking to help diagnose and treat patients with heart rhythm problems. Though there are many different methods of device-based or ablation-based therapies, spanning from a pacemaker for regulating heart rhythms to using a catheter-ablation treatment, what DeBiasi loves most about the field is that a lot of it is also medical. For someone who likes procedures, DeBiasi says electrophysiology “is the best of both worlds as far as medicine and surgery.”
Another highlight of electrophysiology for DeBiasi is the way the field is constantly growing and advancing. “What makes it exciting is that it’s always being driven forward by technology. If we have a clinical problem that we can’t solve, we can try to find the answer, whether a new technique or device, that is developed by industry when they work closely with us as doctors to fit that clinical need.”
When not working with companies to innovate treatment, DeBiasi largely has a clinically-oriented practice, where he also helps train electrophysiology fellows. One of the aspects he’s most passionate about in his practice is shared decision making with patients. DeBiasi does this by getting to know the patient and looping them into the conversation. “A big part of shared decision making is educating the patient about their different options and why they might choose to go one way or another.”
DeBiasi knows that a diagnosis with a medical condition can be scary. “It’s hard to go wrong when you lay all your cards out and let them know, as their doctor, what you think is going to be best for them. There’s so much that people get overwhelmed and confused about and it’s not their fault. I think patients like having a lot of information so they can make a decision and then have it make sense.” And although this process can take up a lot of time, which is a precious commodity for many, DeBiasi believes in and experiences its impact on patients.
So for someone who values interpersonal relations with his patients, it makes sense that what he loves about Yale runs in the same vein. “It’s a really good support system, so there’s a lot of collegiality. We ask each other questions and bounce ideas off each other all the time. That’s definitely one of the things that stood out about being at Yale, because people are always pretty enthusiastic to help others out.”
The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale is among the nation's premier departments, bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators, and educators in one of the world's top medical schools. To learn more, visit Internal Medicine.