For the first several days of his two-week trip, Dr. Shaeffer joined 1,500 cardiologists as a participant in the 17th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Congress of Cardiology in Hanoi, Vietnam. “It is very exciting for me to share the knowledge that we have about cardiology in the United States with physicians in other countries,” says Shaeffer. “They are very interested in hearing about it and learning more from physicians who are involved firsthand.”
Shaeffer then traveled to Hoang Mai General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City where he lectured on the latest advances in management of lipids in patients with known coronary artery disease and in patients at higher coronary risk. He Charles Shaeffer, MD also reviewed results from the COURAGE (Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation) Trial and discussed the value of intensive medical therapy versus stent placement in patients with coronary artery disease.“We found that coronary artery disease patients with no other major health problems who received medical therapy alone, did just as well as those patients who received a stent,” shares Shaeffer.
Choray Hospital, a 1,600-bed mega structure where the average census is 3,000 was Dr. Shaeffer’s next stop. “The hospital cares for a major part of the population of Ho Chi Minh City. Often there are two patients in one bed,” relates Shaeffer. “Family members come in and do a lot of care for the patients. Nevertheless, I am very impressed with the physicians in Vietnam, how compassionate they are, and how they try to do the very best for their patients.”
“It’s personally satisfying for me to do this. It is very well received by the physicians…and is just a very rewarding experience,” reflects Shaeffer, who has visited Vietnam and China three times.“My visits always make me thankful for my blessings, and my ability to practice in the United States. I remain inspired by the devoted professionalism that the physicians in Vietnam possess.”