In His Own Words | Saint Mary’s Medical Group: Dr. Richard Bryan, Jr.
NNBW: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position.
Dr. Richard Bryan, Jr: I am a practicing invasive cardiologist at Saint Mary’s Medical Group and currently serve as the board chair for Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center. As a cardiologist, I focus on the treatment of patients both inpatient (hospital) and outpatient. As the chair of Saint Mary’s hospital board, my role is to ensure the quality standards of our organization are met. As a physician leader, it’s critical to support Saint Mary’s vision of being a quality provider to patients in our region.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Bryan: As a young child in elementary school, I always had a passion for science and wanted to connect with people. It seemed logical that medicine was the right blend of these passions, so I was naturally drawn to a career in healthcare.
NNBW: What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
Bryan: What I enjoy most about my field is having a close relationship with my patients and treating their cardiac conditions. I am personally gratified when I see the health of my patients improving and they are able to live their lives to the fullest.
NNBW: What is the most challenging part about your job?
Bryan: The most challenging aspect of my job is making sure patients have access to high-end cardiovascular care in a cost-effective manner. My goal is to make sure my patients have access to the best medical care and eliminate barriers.
NNBW: What do you foresee in the future of your profession?
Bryan: Over the last 20 years, cardiovascular medicine has seen many advancements that have reduced morbidity and mortality in cardiac patients. I anticipate new technologies and best practices will continue to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes we see locally. Additionally, in partnership with the American Heart Association and through extensive research and development we can treat cardiovascular patients more effectively. By the year 2020, AHA has set a goal of significantly reducing the percentage of heart attacks and strokes nationwide. This is a lofty goal but something I commit to supporting. The more we educate our community about prevention and disease management, the more we can focus on eliminating cardiovascular related deaths.
NNBW: What advice would you give someone who wants to get into your profession?
Bryan: I would advise someone starting their healthcare career to keep their passion at the forefront. A passion for science may come easy but you must also be passionate about personal interactions with your patients and building those relationships. Developing these relationships is not something you are taught in medical school and creating trust is so valuable; it’s something a patient won’t forget.
NNBW: What was the best advice anyone ever gave you either professionally or personally?
Bryan: The practice of medicine, especially the specialty of cardiology, is very demanding. I was always guided to understand that passion trumps all. If you are not passionate about your work, you’ll never be successful or happy. Maintain your passion first and the rest follows.
NNBW: Has there been someone who was especially influential in helping you establish your career or in reaching your higher goals? If so, who and how?
Bryan: My father (former Nevada Gov. Richard Bryan). I saw from a young age how passionate he was about his career and it made me excited about my future. Through example, my father taught me no matter how lofty your goals are, you can achieve them with hard work.
NNBW: Do you belong to any professional/networking organizations? How has membership benefitted your career?
Bryan: The American Heart Association has benefitted my career indefinitely. Through the research they have conducted I have been able to translate real, meaningful change for my patients.
NNBW: Is there any educational advancement that is essential for someone in your career field?
Bryan: There are many requirements to stay up-to-date on licensure as a cardiac physician. Additionally, staying on top of research and medical advancements is critical. Formally, I attended College of Idaho for my undergrad, medical school at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Utah. I then completed my fellowship in cardiovascular disease at University of Kentucky.
NNBW: How do you manage your time between the responsibilities of your profession and your personal life?
Bryan: Cardiology is a demanding specialty. I am fortunate enough to have partners that I trust with my patients, which therefore allows me to have free time with my family.
NNBW: What are your hobbies? How do you spend your time away from work?
Bryan: I love golfing, skiing and wakeboarding.
NNBW: Is there a nonprofit or charitable organization that you like to donate your time to?
Bryan: College of Idaho, my alma mater, and the American Heart Association.
NNBW: If you had the chance to have dinner with someone, who would that be and why?
Bryan: Barack Obama. I don’t necessarily agree with all of his politics, but I have always been impressed with his character as a human being.
NNBW: What is a unique characteristic or attribute about yourself that makes you stand apart from other people?
Bryan: I try not to be judgmental. I try to understand issues from the other person’s point of view. Even if we disagree I think it’s important that honesty always prevails in a discussion.
NNBW: Is there anything in your life that you wish you could do over again? Why?
Bryan: I would have loved at some point to have military experience. This country has given me all the opportunities in the world and I would have loved to have had an opportunity to pay the country back.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like about living/working here?
Bryan: After my residency training I was anxious to come home to Nevada. My wife and I were looking for a community where I could not only practice medicine, but also a community where we wanted to raise our children. I like that Reno is big enough to allow for a lot of opportunity but small enough that you know your neighbors and your community.