Dr. Robert Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro performing an angioplasty in Mary Greeley's Cardiac Cath Lab.

Dr. Shapiro performs an angioplasty in
Mary Greeley's Cardiac Cath Lab.
Learn more about Dr. Shapiro in this
physician profile video.

Dr. Robert Shapiro is a native of Charleston, S.C. He received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and completed an interventional cardiology and cardiovascular diseases fellowship at Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

As an interventional cardiologist, Shapiro provides diagnostic right and left heart catheterizations; interventional cardiology with complex coronary interventions, including atherectomy and bifurcation stenting; structural interventions; transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography; cardioversions; and nuclear cardiology imaging.

He sees patients in Ames and in Boone at the Boone County Hospital Specialty Clinic.

How did a doctor from South Carolina end up in Ames, Iowa?

There’s an interesting connection actually. I was doing my training in the midwest, and was looking for jobs here and in the southeast. I was in a fellowship with Dr. Ed Nassif ’s (McFarland Clinic allergist) son. That’s how I found out about this job opportunity. I looked into it and was struck by the great opportunity it offered to jump into a thriving practice and have an integral role in continuing to build the practice. Dr. Christenson is amazing. It’s good to join up with such strong partners.

Describe your approach to cardiology patient care.

Medicine is complex these days and a lot of decisions need to be made. I treat people like I would treat my own family. I work with my patients to help them make the best decisions, to make them feel their best and live the longest. It’s a team approach – it’s between patient and physician, between physicians, and between physicians and other members of the cardiac care team.

What drew you to cardiology?

All through my medical training I felt that the heart was the coolest system with regards to the physiology and pathology. I think cardiology is exciting because we can really make a big difference in people’s lives very quickly. We can treat patients and make a difference in a short period of time. The field is rapidly evolving. It’s always interesting, always changing. Also, it allows me to see patients and have long term relationships in the clinic, and also be able to do the procedures that I enjoy doing.

As an interventionalist, some of those procedures are going to be done on an emergency basis. Did that aspect of the job attract you as well?

Absolutely. Dealing with people who are acutely ill and in an emergency situation and being able to help them is immensely satisfying.

You have training to do radial catheterization (the wrist) and femoral catheterization (the leg). What are the differences?

Radial artery catheterization is another important tool in the tool box. There are certain things that are better about a radial approach and certain limitations to it. There is a lower bleeding risk, which is a huge benefit. Also, patients don’t have to lie flat as long, which is a common nuisance. But certain procedures are more complicated and require larger catheters. For those, you want to go through the femoral artery.

You’ve been introducing yourself to providers throughout central Iowa. How’s that been going?

It was a great experience getting to see the surrounding communities, getting to see where your patients are coming from and getting to meet the providers who are caring for people through central Iowa.

Angiogram Video

Watch an Angioplasty

We take you inside Mary Greeley's Cardiac Cath Lab where you can watch Dr. Robert Shapiro perform an actual coronary angiogram procedure. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shapiro, talk to your primary care provider or call McFarland Clinic Cardiology at 515-239-4472.

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