Hello, it’s nice to meet you – Dr. Brian Blair

Brian Blair MD Baseball pediatric cardiologist Cardiac screeningLike many young children Brian Blair dreamed of playing professional sports. Out there on the mound pitching sliders, curve balls and fast balls. The only problem was putting bat to ball. “I really wasn’t a good hitter.” By the time he reached middle school Brian realized this might be a bit of a problem.

Displaying an unusual maturity for a 12 year old he decided on a backup plan. “I thought it would be cool to be a doctor…I really looked up to my pediatrician as a kid.  I admired how hard he worked and how he related to his patients.  I worked really hard in school from that point on because I knew I needed good grades and a strong work ethic to go to medical school.”

While the professional baseball dream didn’t play out, Dr. Blair found a passion for something else, pediatric cardiology. What’s at the heart of his interest? How did the boy from Memphis, Tennessee end up in Tucson, Arizona? And is baseball still a passion? We asked Dr. Blair these questions and more to get a little insight into the man behind the stethoscope.

Where do you hail from? And how did you end up in Tucson?

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee.  I went to college in St. Louis at Washington University and then came back to Memphis for medical school at the University of Tennessee.  I did my residency in Pediatrics in Dallas at the University of Texas, Southwestern and then my pediatric cardiology fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  I’ve lived in Tucson for 10 years now.  I moved to Tucson for my first “real doctor job” after finishing my pediatric cardiology fellowship in 2005.  I had visited the Southwest before and really liked this area of the country.  I thought it would be a fun place to live and work.  I met my wife here almost 5 years ago, and we have no plans to leave.

Why Pediatric Cardiology?

When I started medical school, I was pretty sure that I would be going into pediatrics.  I decided that for sure after my rotation in pediatrics as a 3rd year medical student.  During my 4th year of medical school, I did an elective rotation in pediatric cardiology and loved it.  I was amazed by the complexity of congenital heart disease.  I also really liked several of the pediatric cardiologists that I worked with that month.  Interestingly, there was one cardiologist that I worked with that had a terrible bedside manner.  I learned so much from him about how not to practice medicine!  It was a valuable experience for me.

How is practicing pediatric cardiology different from adult cardiology?

PDX website picture of me

Dr. Brian Blair – Pediatric Cardiologist

Pediatric cardiology and adult cardiology are two very different fields.  In pediatric cardiology, we primarily deal with birth defects of the heart.  Adult cardiologists primarily see patients with coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  There is an amazing amount of variety in the heart defects that we see as pediatric cardiologists.  I think this is what makes the field very interesting.  Certainly, caring for children in general is challenging.  When a child is sick from a heart defect, they can be quite ill which is doubly challenging.  I welcome the challenge that comes with this.  There is so much satisfaction in helping these kids get better and helping their parents through difficult times.  We have greatly improved outcomes for our patients over the last two decades which makes the field rewarding.

Is baseball still your favorite sport?

My favorite sport would have to be basketball because I enjoy both playing it and watching it.  Both of my kids also play basketball, and I enjoy watching them play.  However, football is a really close second.  In the fall, I could easily spend an entire weekend on the couch watching football!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

As a pediatrician, I think the most enjoyable experience of the job is seeing the kids grow up.  There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a child who was sick with a heart defect as an infant get better and grow into a healthy young adult.

What do you wish you’d know as a kid?

As a kid, I actually wish I had been a little less serious.  Certainly being serious helped me achieve my goals in school, but I should have taken myself less seriously.  It’s ok to have fun and be goofy and still make something of yourself in life.”

APC-logoDr. Blair and Arizona Pediatric Cardiology are part of the Tucson Community Pediatric Specialists. When our children are sick, we want the best care for them, care that recognizes the specific needs of pediatric patients. Pediatric specialists like Dr. Brian Blair are knowledgeable in the differing physiology of children and experienced in treating the youngest among us with the tenderness and patience that a child needs. When looking for specialists for your child consider Tucson Community Pediatric Specialists.

Tucson Community Pediatric Specialists