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From astronaut dreams to interventional cardiology

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Jan. 18, 2018

Growing up with a father who worked for NASA, George Chang's mind naturally turned towards the stars. He wanted to be an astronaut. After completing an undergraduate degree at Baylor University in his native Texas, Chang joined the Air Force. But his career there came to an end when he broke his neck in an accident. And so he took a new path: medicine. 

Today Chang is Clinical Chief of Cardiology at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. As an interventional cardiologist, Chang handles heart catheterization procedures at Saint Joseph's. Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to detect disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary arteries and includes coronary angiography, used to detect blocked arteries. 

Chang believes patient involvement is key to care. "My belief really is the more your patients know, the better the care they get, because they can become partners in their care, as opposed to you just telling them what to do."

When considering his overall attitude toward patients, Chang keeps the Golden Rule in mind. "One of my mentors told me a long time ago, when I just started, as long as you take care of your patients, they will take care of you," he says. "I've always tried to treat my patients like I would want to be treated or my father would want to be treated."

Outside of medicine, Change is an avid wine connoisseur and enjoys traveling to France and visiting its vineyards. He also enjoys the company of family and two dogs, a French Bulldog and a Schnauzer.