New doctor adds to hospital’s life-saving success

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 10, 2006

For some time, Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial hospital has hoped to add cardiologist to their staff to expand their services to the people of Demopolis.

Now, that service is here and the man bringing it seems to be a perfect fit. Dr. Seydi Aksut, who is an interventional cardiologist, has only been in Demopolis for a short time, but he likes what he sees.

“Demopolis is a very nice city and I like the hospital,” Aksut said. “It is a very clean hospital and the people and administration are all very nice people. I think this is a very progressive hospital.”

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Hospital CEO Mike Marshall said bringing a cardiologist on board was simply the hospitals way of answering the call from the public. Last year, Marshall said, the hospital did a market survey and most people specifically identified cardiology as a need.

Because of Aksut’s strong background and the hospital’s need, Marshall said, this was a great opportunity.

“He felt it was something he could do well with,” Marshall said. “We felt like this was something our patients needed and we needed so it was a perfect marriage so to speak.”

Aksut’s education and experience has taken him to many interesting places. After graduating from medical school in Turkey, he took a residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. From there, Aksut accepted a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and became a faculty member at the University of Alabama in Birmingham from 1995 until 1999. From there, he moved to Selma to open a clinic.

Aksut, Marshall said, was very accomplished in his field and the fact that he is an interventional cardiologist made him an even more valuable edition to the staff.

Interventional cardiologists are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical or invasive procedures, such as cardiac catheterization or angioplasty, to diagnose and treat heart disease. Having someone with Aksut’s skills available, Marshall said, opens a lot of doors for future expansion.

“We are fortunate to have him here,” Marshall said. “He is very well trained and highly qualified and he is an interventional cardiologist so if it ever got to the point where we could justify the need for that aspect of his practice it would give us the opportunity to grow even further.”

Though he is new to Demopolis, Aksut said, he is not new to practicing. Along with his work around the country and world, Aksut has also worked throughout the Black Belt area.

“I just started here,” Aksut said. “But, I have been practicing since 1995. I worked in Montgomery at Jackson Hospital and also in Selma.”

Becoming a doctor, especially a cardiologist, was something Aksut knew he always wanted to do.

“I have always had an interest in medicine,” Aksut said. “When I was going to medical school, I was always interested in cardiology. I worked on it 24 hours a day.”

Aksut has two sons, Jaren and Baran and his wife Gonul, who has a doctorate in chemical engineering, runs his Selma clinic.

Since arriving in Demopolis Aksut’s schedule has been full. But, Aksut said, he is excited about the high volume of patients because it gives him the opportunity to help more people.

“I look forward to working in Demopolis,” Aksut said. “Hopefully, I will be able to help a lot of people.”