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Savi Mushiyev, MD, FACC

Savi Mushiyev, MD, FACC

Chief, Division of Cardiology
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan

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Mushiyev’s Gambit

Since the beginning of the pandemic, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan has had a nationally recognized Cardiology Department made all the more extraordinary by the fact that it has frequently had just one cardiologist on its entire campus: Dr. Savi Mushiyev. 

“It’s been very rough as a one-cardiologist department but I love what I do. It’s what I wanted to do all my life,” he says.

Call it Mushiyev’s Gambit, a line of thinking he picked up from his days as a chess tournament champion. “You devise a plan and eventually there is a critical move. It’s a lot of careful planning and execution. There are a lot of moving pieces. The heart is the only organ that moves. Just like in chess, strategy and execution. It’s a simple modus operandi, but effective.”

As a Bukharan Jewish immigrant from Uzbekistan — a faith whose traditional Shashmaqam music pulls from Arab, Persian, Sufi, and Yiddish traits — he is deeply familiar with the kind of cultural eclecticism of New York life. 

Remarkably, he was able to wrangle all those cultural variables to dramatically decrease cardiac mortality and morbidity: a 70 percent across-the-board reduction in hospitalization of coronary disease including arrhythmia, diabetes, hypertension, and stroke. “Basically, we were able to prevent admissions,” he says. The CDC says so as well, recognizing Metropolitan as a Million Hearts Hospital — just the fifth hospital in the country to score the recognition. 

Asked what kind of chess piece he would be, he was quick: King. Then he immediately explained: “All the other pieces can leave the board. The King stays, either he wins or dies with honor. I could have left the board. I could have quit. But I want to win.”

He has ambitious plans for a cardiac CT program, a lipid clinic, and more. “This is my vision,” he says. “This is my gambit.”

Your move, New York.

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