By day, Phung Le, DO, is a Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) Vascular Surgeon who performs complicated surgeries and minimally invasive endovascular procedures. At night, the vascular specialist spends time romping with his two young sons.
At his medical office in Prescott, Dr. Le promotes the importance of healthy-living habits – not smoking, getting regular exercise, reducing stress and controlling blood pressure and more – with his patients. He follows his own advice with games of pickup basketball, lively sessions on his drum set and stress-relieving time restoring old motorcycles.
Meet Dr. Le: family man, physician, athlete, musician and even the occasional sketch artist.
“I’m a visual learner,” said Dr. Le, explaining the diagrams he draws for patients while describing medical conditions or explaining procedures. “It’s very important that patients understand their diagnosis and the plan to restore their health. Drawing a picture is a good way to do this.”
An Exceptional Background
Dr. Le emigrated from Vietnam with his family at age five, and grew up in the Maryvale area of Phoenix. Dr. Le graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Arizona State University in 2003. He earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale in 2010. Then came a five-year residency in general surgery at Memorial Hospital in York, Pennsylvania, where Dr. Le was trained in open, laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery.
During a two-year fellowship at Tufts Medical Center – an internationally recognized teaching hospital – Dr. Le worked on complex cases with vascular surgeons as well as interventional radiologists, who use minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat vascular disease. It was training that later would prove valuable at YRMC.
Arizona is Home
With the fellowship completed in 2017, Dr. Le and his wife chose to return to Arizona so their children could be near family members who live in the Phoenix area. The couple liked Prescott for its friendly atmosphere as well as hiking and other activities.
YRMC was a big draw, too.
“It’s a community hospital system, but at the same time, it offers the full breadth of services, like open heart surgery and neurosurgery,” Dr. Le said. “That was a sign the hospital is forward-thinking, and is dedicated to investing in the latest technologies and advances in medicine and surgery.”
Dr. Le’s Approach to Patient Care
Dr. Le develops a complete medical history for every patient. He gathers information on the patient’s risk factors for vascular disease, ensures medications are correct, checks blood pressure levels and learns about the patient’s other conditions.
“One of the most important conversations I have with my patients is about smoking,” he said. “Tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for peripheral artery disease. We discuss tobacco cessation and, for patients who are motivated, I may prescribe medication or a nicotine patch.”
Dr. Le also applies his “visual learning” skills by observing the patient’s functional status, which doesn’t always relate to the person’s age.
“Is the patient an 80-year-old who is healthy and functioning independently, still driving a car and working around the house? Or, at the other end of the spectrum, is the patient debilitated with numerous medical problems? It’s about having a global understanding of the patient’s health status.”
With this information, Dr. Le creates a plan for each patient. His recommendations could include lifestyle changes, medications, minimally invasive procedures or complex “open” vascular surgeries.
“The most fulfilling aspect of my work is improving the quality of life for my patients,” he said. “That’s always my goal.”
Dr. Le may be reached at YRMC PhysicianCare Vascular Medicine at (928) 458-2850.