Dr. Patrick McCarthy Is First Surgeon to Receive 100 Patient Reviews at HVS!

By Adam Pick on September 8, 2017

I am happy and honored to announce that Dr. Patrick McCarthy just became the first surgeon at HeartValveSurgery.com to receive 100 patient testimonials at his surgeon profile!!!

That’s right… 100 patients have posted wonderful, authentic and celebratory reviews for Dr. McCarthy and his team at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

If you didn’t know… Dr. McCarthy is a heart valve guru. During his career, Dr. McCarthy has performed over 10,000 cardiac procedures of which 4,000 involved heart valve therapy. In addition, Dr. McCarthy invented several heart valve devices, has been featured in over 450 publications and… He’s a super nice guy who has built a passionate team that is dedicated to enhancing patient experiences — before, during and after surgery.

I believe one of the most revealing facts about Dr. McCarthy is evident in Northwestern’s surge in the US News & World Report rankings of cardiology and heart surgery programs. In 2004, Northwestern had a “No Ranking” for cardiology and heart surgery. Then, Dr. McCarthy became the chief of cardiac surgery at Northwestern. Now, 13 years later, the hospital holds the #7 ranking in the country. Amazing, right?



Dr. McCarthy’s Patients Say…

More important than the rankings, however, are the patients that Dr. McCarthy helps.

So you know, when I started the Surgeon Finder in 2009, I didn’t know if anybody would actually use it to post surgeon recommendations. Then, the wonderful members of this community started posting stories to help future patients learn more about their trusted surgeons. As you might imagine, the patient testimonials for Dr. McCarthy started coming in immediately.

In 2015, we adjusted the Surgeon Finder to showcase those surgeons who had the most patient reviews.  Yep, Dr. McCarthy has always been at or near the top of the list.



That said, it’s not a huge surprise that Dr. McCarthy is the first surgeon to receive 100 patient testimonials. However, this is a humongous achievement and a testament to Dr. McCarthy’s approach to his patients and their surgical outcomes.

Personally, I have been fortunate to meet many of Dr. McCarthy’s patients over the years including Clarissa Alaimo, Jim Kelly, Lawrence Msall, and Christine Rakesh. When his patients talk about Dr. McCarthy, they use words like confident, assuring, comfortable, incredible, the best, professional, extraordinary, excellent and, one of my favorite… a miracle worker.

For example, here’s a patient story of Clarissa Alaimo from Lake Forest, Illinois.  Clarissa was experiencing several symptoms including fatigue and shortness of breath. She needed a mitral valve replacement, tricuspid valve repair and a Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation.



Patient Education Is Key For Dr. McCarthy

I’ll never forget when I first met Dr. McCarthy in 2011 at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Conference in San Diego. Needless to say, I was nervous. He was a world renown surgeon. I was a patient with a tiny website.

During that cup of coffee, two things happened. First, my anxiety quickly retreated. Dr. McCarthy is very easy to talk to.  Second, I learned about and appreciated Dr. McCarthy’s approach to patient care throughout the entire surgical cycle — including the Cardiac Behavioral Medicine Service at Northwestern Medicine the was created to help patients mentally prepare for surgery.



After that meeting, Dr. McCarthy suggested that he would like to support the educational objectives of HeartValveSurgery.com. Since then, we’ve teamed up on tons of educational content including blog posts, patient webinars, surgeon interviews, videos and eBooks. Dr. McCarthy has gone out of his way to support our community. Here’s one of the first educational videos we filmed about bicuspid aortic valves.



Interestingly, I just looked at our YouTube channel. Together, we have filmed over 20 videos with Dr. McCarthy and his team. Those videos have been played back over 50,000 times in YouTube alone. Amazing!!!



These educational videos have covered many important topics including the rise of tricuspid valve surgery, the genetics of heart valve disease, mitral regurgitation and atrial fibrillation, and the use of pacemakers after surgery.


Thanks Dr. McCarthy!!!

Reflecting on this achievement, Dr. McCarthy stated, “I am honored to be the first physician on HeartValveSurgery.com to have 100 patient reviews – reviews that allow my patients to share their surgical experience and the results they achieved under my care.”

On behalf of his patients and the HeartValveSurgery.com community, I would like to extend a mighty “Congratulations!” to Dr. McCarthy on his first 100 patient testimonials.  I am so thankful to Dr. McCarthy for his awesome support of his patients, this website, and the Northwestern team!!!

Keep on tickin’ Dr. McCarthy!!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Beyond Clean says on September 10th, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Very cool, Adam and Dr. McCarthy! Keep up the good work. Patient feedback like this is only going to help push our industry forward. Thanks for giving a platform for this type of surgical insight.

Mary O'Neill says on September 12th, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Hi I hope you can give me advice I had open heart surgery the aortic valve was replaced 7 weeks ago after surgery they discovered a jet of blood coming between the top of aorta and right ventricle also I have slight fluid in lungs is this common

Tom Fitzmorris says on September 12th, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Adam, nice article. I see that Luis Castro, who was my AVR surgeon, came in no. 2. Like Dr. McCarthy, Dr. Castro is the epitome of the finest valve surgeons: exquisite surgical skill, matchless outcomes, terrific bedside manner, and care and concern for his patients. –And he is at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, which is more or less a high end community hospital, except that under Dr. Castro it has a world-class Heart surgery program.
Full disclosure: Luis and I also surf together now that he fixed me up https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c570a88fc02f6c1574b128d892a2742c643bd9e220a40a388407f085e112bd5c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d3bc6371bd49fc9a0bc916895cd97e42fb455fdf822749620362e4193430977.jpg . Pictured in Nayarit, Mexico

Tom Fitzmorris
AVR April 13, 2015

Adam says on September 12th, 2017 at 6:39 pm

What???!!!! I never knew that Dr. Casto surfed. That is so awesome to see a doctor and his patient surfing together!!! So you know, I’m also a surfer. Someday, the 3 of us should paddle out at Mavericks!!! 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fc98b0a54183fd59d0cfcfa5393731ab79c8e2b5b2d0c3ae31058adba966046c.jpg

Adam says on September 12th, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Thanks so much for the encouragement! Much, much, much appreciated!!!

Adam says on September 12th, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Mary, So sorry you are going through this! What did your doctors say about next steps? Are they going to drain the fluid? My thoughts and prayers are with you!

rubart says on September 12th, 2017 at 8:14 pm

I’m sure Dr. McCarthy well deserves the accolades. He sound like a fantastic surgeon and a great guy in general and I offer him a hearty (pun intended), “Congratulations!”

Having said that . . .

MY surgeon (who replaced my aortic valve and repaired my mitral valve) is the same in every respect. He may not have received 100 testimonials (yet) but I wouldn’t trade him for any other surgeon in the world.

His name is Dr. Glenn Barnhart and his hospital is Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. If you’re looking for the best and are nearer to Seattle than Chicago, you ought to consider Dr. B. You won’t regret it.

Tom Fitzmorris says on October 2nd, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Adam, Mavericks frightens me. But come on up in October as we are heading into the “silver season” in Santa Cruz: NW swells are finally on their way and the water is (relatively) warm. Luis and I plan to paddle out this Sunday…Tom

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