Robert J. Min, MD
A colleague had this to say: “Without the initial efforts of Dr. Min et al., thermal ablation may have been abandoned and patients may be dealing with surgical stripping as a sole option. Thermal ablation has truly replaced the need for stripping, and Dr. Min’s publications and push for proper CPT codes and reimbursement have carved a substantial path improving patient outcomes with saphenous vein disease.”
Where do you see the specialty of phlebology in 5 years? 10 years?
Phlebology will continue its trajectory of rapid growth. This growth will be comprised of physicians from a multitude of specialties as well as allied health providers.
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?
Efforts to properly train physicians providing vein care (e.g. fellowships) will need to expand, and mechanisms to insure that physicians practicing phlebology are qualified will be a necessity (e.g. Board Certification.)
In your opinion, which area of research is yielding the most advancement in the field?
Minimally invasive techniques for treatment of significant sources of underlying reflux.
What advancements are long overdue?
Acceptance of catheter-directed thrombolysis as a first-line treatment of DVT (in particular, acute iliofemoral DVT). Minimally invasive techniques to treat deep venous reflux, e.g. percutaneous venous valves.
Describe an unlikely success story.
My career. I did not envision, plan, nor desire to be Chairman of a major department in a large academic medical center.
Tell us about any publications or research you are currently working on or recently finished.
I developed endovenous laser ablation which has been a major advancement in the field of phlebology and have published the sentinel articles about this revolutionary technique.
What efforts have you been involved in to foster cooperation (rather than competition) between the various venous educational organizations so that the greatest number has access to the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of venous disease?
I am current President of the ACP, Vice-President of the ABPh, and Chair the SIR Venous Forum. In these leadership positions, I have always championed the efforts to encourage cooperation and collaboration.
Have you been actively involved in any public awareness campaigns? Please give us the details on how the campaign was structured, examples of campaign materials and the response received from the community in which you practice.
I have been very actively involved in public awareness campaigns sponsored by several medical societies in addition to being an active speaker and participant in programs geared to the lay public. I have also given multiple interviews to the media (Today Show, Good Morning America, Early Show, New York Times, etc.) regarding venous disease.
You are well-known in your field of work. What is something about you that would surprise your colleagues?
My career is important but my family comes first.
What made you decide to work in phlebology and what do you wish you had known before you did?
I first learned about phlebology when I took two years off after I switched from a residency in orthopedic surgery to radiology.
If you could share one bit of advice with a rookie, what would it be?
Learn the anatomy, the clinical patterns of venous reflux, and how to confirm your findings with duplex ultrasound. Most practitioners are excited about the new therapies available today but the best way to insure good outcomes for your patients is to master the basics.