May 30, 2024

Dr. Hiep Nguyen – Men of Success 2024

1.8 min read| Published On: May 30th, 2024|

By Akers Editorial

Dr. Hiep Nguyen – Men of Success 2024

1.8 min read| Published On: May 30th, 2024|

Dr. Hiep Nguyễn – UF Health

Dr. Hiep Nugyen grew up in South Vietnam as the son of a military commander and surgeon, so at a young age he was exposed to the inner-workings of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (or MASH units) and realized his destiny early-on. 

“I used to sneak into the medical tents to study what the Americans were doing,” says the UF Health cardiothoracic surgeon. “I was so fascinated with their surgical techniques that I was inspired to become a surgeon, I just didn’t know what kind back then.”

Dr. Nguyen moved to U.S. in 1977, graduated from Houston’s Rice University in 1981 then finished medical school at the University of Texas. In 1995, he completed his Cardiothoracic surgery residency at New York University then moved to Delaware to start his decades-long surgical practice. Along the way, he earned multiple fellowships, published numerous papers and began his lifelong passion for volunteerism and humanitarian causes, especially in Vietnam.

“Volunteering is so important to me because you see the lives that you change and camaraderie that happens with each project,” he says. “It’s very rewarding and humbling.” 

He has also dedicated his life to patient care, education and medical progress. Luckily, he chose Central Florida for its warm weather, professional opportunities and multi-culturalism.

“The key is to approach health, wellness and recovery from different points of view, so understanding different cultures in the community helps me with my patients,” says Dr. Nguyen, adding that most recently, he joined UF Health Central Florida where he will serve as medical director of cardiovascular services and lead the open-heart surgery program. 

In turn, UF Health Central Florida is honored to have the renowned cardiothoracic surgeon on board to further their initiative of advancing cardiovascular care in Lake and Sumter Counties. A pioneer in his field, Dr. Nguyen is the first and only heart surgeon to offer several leading-edge procedures in the area, including minimally invasive robotic heart surgery and aortic grafting.

While every procedure is quite technical, the human aspect of each surgery is very important to Dr. Nguyen.

“Surgery is only part of the process,” he says. “Cardiovascular disease is a lifelong process so healthy living and treating the illness as a whole is imperative because once a patient gets to me, it may have gone too far.” 

In the long run, Dr. Nguyen believes it’s better for our society to encourage a healthy lifestyle, even if it means he would be out of a job. 

“If I didn’t have to do one more surgery so people could live a full life with their family, I would be a happy guy.” 

As a lifelong learner, Dr. Nguyen earned his MBA from Harvard business school in 2022.

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