Ballad's Metzger shares expertise, helps train Harvard endovascular fellows

Contributed To The Press • May 20, 2018 at 6:00 AM

KINGSPORT — As the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital is a training ground for some of the nation’s most promising medical professionals. But for a select few, training isn’t complete without a visit to Holston Valley Medical Center.

Dr. Chris Metzger, director of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization and interventional labs, trained two Harvard endovascular fellows during a week-long period that concluded recently. During their time in Kingsport, the fellows observed Metzger as he performed carotid artery stenting procedures, which open blockages in the large neck artery, improving blood flow to the brain and potentially reducing the risk of future strokes.

“This is a beautiful, collaborative environment, where we do our everyday work, but now we have the opportunity to share our expertise,” said Metzger, an interventional cardiologist. “It’s a tremendous privilege to spend time with these motivated, smart folks who learn from us and pay it forward.”

This is the seventh time Metzger has hosted fellows from Harvard. Following the completion of their fellowships, many of these physicians have gone on to careers at world-class facilities, such as Beth Israel, Cleveland Clinic and UCLA.

“I’ve been fortunate to train at many great places and have gotten to know Dr. Metzger through his reputation, research work and watching him at conferences, so I jumped at the opportunity to learn from him firsthand,” said Dr. Joseph Campbell, an endovascular fellow at Massachusetts General who has spent the week training with Metzger. “Not only will I benefit from the wealth of experience I’ve gained at Holston Valley, but so will my patients.”

In addition to one-on-one training with the fellows, Metzger regularly performs carotid artery stenting procedures that are transmitted live to medical conferences in different locations in the country and across the globe. These include New Cardiovascular Horizons and Vascular Interventional Advances conference, which draws an attendance of more than 2,500 health care professionals, and Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics, which draws 12,000 attendees.

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