Cardiac electrophysiologist has heart-care roots

Sofya Kuznetsov, M.D., moved to Louisville in 2002 from Ulyanovsk, a medium-sized Russian city best known as Lenin’s birthplace.

You could say that for Sofya Kuznetsov, M.D., cardiology is in her blood. Her mother was a cardiologist in her native Russia.

“I saw how grateful her patients were. Some of them became her lifelong friends,” said Dr. Kuznetsov, a cardiac electrophysiologist with Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Heart Rhythm Center.

As an electrophysiologist, Dr. Kuznetsov diagnoses and treats heart rhythm issues. These include heart palpitations, atrial flutter and fibrillation, and heart arrhythmias — conditions related to the electrical activities in the heart.

To correct or prevent arrhythmias, she can implant devices like a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), or she can perform an ablation procedure.

“A lot of things we do give patients immediate relief,” Dr. Kuznetsov said. “The best moments are when they come to you after a procedure and say, ‘I’m feeling so much better.’”

Dr. Kuznetsov moved to Louisville in 2002 from Ulyanovsk, a medium-sized Russian city best known as Lenin’s birthplace. She attended the University of Louisville for her undergraduate and medical school education.

Dr.  Kuznetsov then did her medical residency at the University of Chicago, Illinois, and training in cardiology and electrophysiology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

A Love of Cardiology and a Chance to Be Closer to Family

“I always knew I wanted to go into medicine and cardiology,” Dr. Kuznetsov said.

She became interested in electrophysiology in college, when she worked monitoring cardiac telemetry — remote readings from patients’ hearts — looking for arrhythmias. In medical school, Dr. Kuznetsov knew she’d found her specialty when she shadowed an electrophysiologist.

After working briefly in Owensboro, she returned to Louisville and Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Heart Rhythm Center, the leading provider of comprehensive care for patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana with arrhythmias and other irregular heartbeat conditions.

Heart Rhythm Center

The Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Heart Rhythm Center’s board-certified and fellowship-trained electrophysiologists offer a comprehensive array of treatment options.

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When she moved back to Louisville, Dr. Kuznetsov found a home in the same neighborhood as her sister, a dentist who also works in Louisville. Dr. Kuznetsov’s mother has retired from medicine. Her father is in construction, remodeling houses.

“I get to spend a lot of time with family. Family is important to me,” she said. “I see my parents a couple of times a week.”

Involving Patients in Their Care

The mother of a 4-year-old son, Dr. Kuznetsov likes being outdoors and enjoys music. She is an avid piano player. Dr. Kuznetsov also enjoys traveling both in and outside the United States.

“I love my work. I love treating patients. I like spending time with my family. Having the balance of rewarding work and helping people and spending time with family is really great,” she said.

Dr. Kuznetsov said it’s important to involve patients in their own care.

“They need to understand what they have and the options for treatment. They have to be part of the decision-making process,” Dr. Kuznetsov said. “People are different in how aggressive they want to be, so the approach to every patient is different, not only what their condition is but what approach they want to take.”

Dr. Kuznetsov said her motivation is simple: “How can I make my patients feel better?”

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