Stuart Christenson, MD – Cardiology | Ames, Iowa | McFarland Clinic

Hello, I’m Stuart Christenson. I’m a physician
here, a cardiologist at McFarland Clinic and board certified in internal medicine and cardiology,
and a number of imaging specialties. Cardiology is a practice of medicine focused mainly on
the heart and encompasses a broad array of things related to the heart. It has some plumbing.
The heart has arteries that run on the outside, and we take care of that. It has some electricity
involved. There’s wiring in the heart that can cause different heart rhythm problems.
There’s valves in the heart. There’s heart muscle problems called cardiomyopathy, so
a number of different issues related to the heart. We try to prevent heart disease, prevent
heart muscle and artery, or valve or rhythm problems, and then we treat people after they’ve
had trouble and try to prevent future problems. When a patient comes to visit us in cardiology,
we check them in and bring them back to an exam room. We have a new facility that we’re
very proud about and plenty of space for our patients. Often, our initial visit gets an
electrocardiogram, which is heart tracing of the heart rhythm, and then a brief visit
with one of our nurses, and then we’ll get to sit and visit for awhile. That’s one of
the things I really like about cardiology. I built in plenty of time to see patients
in my schedule. I try not to rush the appointments too much, and we get a chance to really talk
about the problems that are going on, particularly if those problems are related to the heart.
Then after we’ve visited for a little bit, we’ll do an examination and take a listen
to the heart and lungs, and all the blood vessels, try and check things out. Then, we’ll
often have some diagrams and brochures and models we’ll look at in relation to the heart
and how it relates to whatever problem you’re coming in with. We try and come up with a
plan moving forward. The most rewarding part of being a cardiologist, there are so many
rewarding parts. It’s hard to name just one, but I just love taking care of patients. I
get to spend time with patients, and we get a wide variety of people here. In Ames, we
have a number of young patients, Iowa State students, that we can take care of with different
problems, and easily, heart disease can develop later in life as well. We can take care of
people as they’re aging. The nice thing is we can see people get better. They come into
the hospital or come into our clinic with a problem. We can try and make them feel better,
and that’s a wonderful thing to help patients out.

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