25 Most Influential: James Theodore King, MD

James Theodore King, MD

A colleague had this to say: “Ted represents phlebology as a leader with research and presentations at ACP meetings, not to mention numerous organizations internationally. Furthermore, he is instrumental to the growth of the specialty and ACP with generous contributions to the ACP Foundation both personally and in encouraging others to support the Foundation.”

A decade ago, few would have foreseen the crossover in types of vein treatments being offered at other specialty practices. Where do you think the next big movement is going to be and how will it affect vein practice?

There will be growth in the keeping of international venous registries which will result in further modification of the CEAP classification system, a better undertanding of demographics and associated conditions (such as RLS), and better use of QOL evaluations. It will become understood that a disease management approach to the treatment of vein disease, much like any other chronic disease, will be optimal for the varicose vein patient. Phlebology, as a specialty, will continue to grow in importance and large phlebology groups will be the norm.

In your opinion, which area of research is yielding the most advancement in the field?

Currently, it would be various endovenous approaches to treatment. In the future, I think we will see much more of an emphasis on preventative treatment and very early medical treatment.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, insurance.

Is there a particular case that stands out in your mind?

A patient with RLS, who had not had an uninterrupted night's sleep in 40 years, came to see me. She was on three meds and still couldn't sleep through the night. After treating her vein disease, she was able to sleep without interruption and was able to stop all of her medicine. She and her husband were both so happy about the fact that they were both sleeping through the night again that they both cried when they told me.

Are you involved in leading or teaching educational symposiums at clinics, hospitals, universities, etc? Please share your experiences.

I led a foam sclerotherapy workshop at the Vascular Society of India meeting in Delhi two years ago. It was an unmitigated disaster since we couldn't round up a working ultrasound machine for the workshop, the sclerosant wouldn't foam, and the only patient we could get was a soldier who was ordered to come. I still have nightmares about that experience. Since then I led a foam sclerotherapy workshop at an International Phlebology Congress in Mexico that went much better. Most recently, I led a foam sclerotherapy workshop for the surgery department of the Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore, India. The vascular surgeons in Vellore are now offering ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy to all of their varicose vein patients as an alternative to traditional stripping. I also invite local family practice, internal medicine, and dermatology residents to do an elective rotation in my office. I have had more than 25 residents take me up on the offer over the past 11 years.

You are well-known in your field of work. What is something about you that would surprise your colleagues?

I am an accomplished ballroom dancer and play the bagpipes, but not at the same time.

If you could do anything else for a living, what would it be? Why?

Conduct a symphony orchestra.