Tariq Ahmad, MD, MPH, is a cardiologist who specializes in treating patients with end-stage heart failure and heart transplants. He also cares for patients with cardiomyopathies, which are diseases of the heart muscle, and advanced valvular diseases. “I help take care of patients who have been told that they are out of options. In some ways, it’s like the oncology of cardiology,” Dr. Ahmad says.
Dr. Ahmad traces his love of medicine to his grandfather, a surgeon, who would allow him to follow along on hospital rounds. But his decision to pursue cardiology happened with more serendipity. “In medical school, I read a cardiology textbook that was just beautifully written. It was an outstanding book and I kept reading it and decided I would pursue that specialty,” Dr. Ahmad says.
“For hundreds of years we’ve developed a physical exam around the properties of the heart,” he says. “There’s lots of dimensions to it that are absolutely fascinating.”
Away from his patients’ bedsides, Dr. Ahmad is deeply involved in research that attempts to better understand how heart failure happens. “I’ve investigated blood molecules that can help predict who is going to have more advanced diseases, and who is not. These are called biomarkers, and we are still working to improve them.”
At Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Ahmad is an assistant professor of cardiology.