Our famous cardiologist didn't really want to deal with people's hearts. Or at least not exactly like right now. Prof. Ivo Petrov graduated from medicine, without suspecting that he would entangle his fate with Argentina. He graduated in 1992 and became an unpaid volunteer at "St. Ekaterina". He supports himself as a laborer in the cardiac surgery supplies warehouse of the Third City Hospital.
Although he was born on March 18, 1965 in the small village of Malorad in Vratsa, Ivo Petrov has dual citizenship. His father is Bulgarian from Argentina. The doctor specializes in Buenos Aires, where the man who made the first stent - Julio Palmas - is from. And now he often goes there, calls Argentina a unique country, but chooses to live and work in Bulgaria. Sam doesn't know why - probably to learn to cope with difficulties.
How many years have you been involved in cardiology, Prof. Petrov?
- I'm still calculating them, but I actually graduated in medicine in 1992. My first hospital was “St. Ekaterina", the most high-tech he alth facility at that time, the flagship of modern medicine. I had the good fortune and the good fortune to go for a 2-year specialization in invasive cardiology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases of the "Favaloro" Foundation in Argentina. Then I worked at "Tokuda" Hospital, now at "City Clinic" - 22 years have already passed.
Your surname has a connection to Argentina, what is it like?
- This is one of quite a few Bulgarian families, which in the 20s and 30s separated from Bulgaria and went as emigrants to Argentina. They are traveling a long time by ship, more than a month, with great worries about whether the ship will withstand the waves.
Why exactly there?
- Because Argentina was popular then, as it is now, with its seemingly endless fertile land. And since most emigrants were farmers, 120,000 Bulgarians chose Argentina as their second native home. My great-grandfather, who was an agricultural mayor during the Stamboliyski government, decided to settle there. My father was born in Las Brenas, a small town that was populated mostly by Poles and Bulgarians, in the province of Chaco, far to the north, one of the warmest parts of Argentina. Thus our family is divided into two.
And after years your father returns to Bulgaria…
- Yes, my grandfather decided to go back again in 1949. All their property was nationalized by the government and they started from scratch again.
And in Argentina they had a large cotton plantation
the modern wind generator at the time, the first radio, threshing machines, tools needed to pick cotton. Neither my grandfather nor my father ever regretted returning to Bulgaria. However, his brother and sister remain in Argentina.
You wanted to follow a philosophy. How did you decide that medicine was your major?
- Like all young people, I got carried away with things taken away. In the last years of French high school, I was very interested in Eastern philosophy, while at the same time playing martial arts - aikido and karate. I saw myself at least as related to esoteric knowledge, to psychoanalysis. However, the few places at the university made me enroll in medicine, with the idea of becoming a psychiatrist. But at some point it was time for more pragmatic things - in the fifth year I married my school and student love Rossi and I had to take care of my family.
While still a student, I started working in the pharmaceutical warehouse of the National Heart Hospital, and due to the nature of my work, I began to frequently enter the operating rooms. I was carrying the materials, but I was looking at what the great luminaries were doing. Getting interested enough, I started
to enter the only invasive operating room -
that of Prof. Hinkov. So I drifted away from psychiatry and fell in love with cardiology forever. What impressed me was the direct connection between the healing process and the patient's condition.
There were sick people who, in the literal sense of the word, came out immediately cured. Which is not exactly the case in psychiatry. In "St. Ekaterina" I met the chairman of the Society of Cardiologists in Bulgaria, Assoc. Yulia Jorgova, who ignited the spark in me - she is the main culprit for me to deal with invasive cardiology. Prof. Chirkov managed to make sure that the nurses smiled and spoke politely, that they did not shout at the patients, that the doctors treated each patient as a normal human being, we worked for 12 hours and with pleasure. And it wasn't because of the better pay.
Is that how you found out that this is finally your destiny?
- I burn so much in my profession, I keep wondering that surely this is my destiny! I want many more things to be developed and improved in our country - I am optimistic about the progress of invasive cardiology in our country, I do everything in my power to give the best of myself as knowledge to my Bulgarian patients. But even so far, questions about human relations are very interesting to me, even though I currently work with high technologies.
Will only the rich people, those who can pay, really get he alth care in the future?
- No, it isn't and it won't be. In my opinion
The he alth fund must remain a pillar in he althcare,
she should not disappear under any circumstances.
Her role is to ensure the he alth of all Bulgarian citizens. But at the same time, it should not be prevented that patients who have the need and opportunity to receive the chosen type of medicine, do not have to travel to Turkey, Belgium, Germany, because we do not have it here.
How sick are our hearts, doctor?
- Unfortunately, in the European Union we are one of the leaders, together with Romania, in terms of cardiovascular diseases. In our country there are objective circumstances for this - all risk factors are expressed in their full crystalline form - smoking, immobility, diabetes, arterial hypertension, stress, obesity.
Relationships between people greatly affect how we look and how he althy our heart is. A person is very often forced to absorb conflicts, to reconcile, as all this adrenaline that pours into our bodies in a stressful situation cannot be physically used up - it has a bad effect on the heart and blood vessels.
Bulgarians are mean to each other,
and this creates not only social but also interpersonal tension, which further increases stress. Instead of helping each other, we very often give up. 46% of us are smokers. In addition, we eat extremely unhe althy - both in terms of food composition and in terms of diet.
Which is the more important organ - the brain or the heart?
- They are equally important! For a long time, millennia, it was believed that the heart is actually the seat of the soul. It may be partly true, because the heart reacts to any more complex psychological situation. The connection between the heart and the brain is very direct - it is mediated not only by nerves, but also by hormones. As cynical as it sounds, a person stops living when his heart stops - that's why it is very important. In reality, cardiovascular diseases equally affect both very important organs, the heart and brain suffer the most from the pathological changes in the vascular system.
How do you guard your own heart?
- Unfortunately, I don't have a targeted program for my heart. Most doctors like me don't do substantial preventative programs because they are so busy. I don't accept excuses from my patients - they can stop smoking, run for 20 minutes a day, eat he althier, without fats, with a predominance of plant food and fish in their menu. These things will protect them. And I like to swim, play table tennis, squash - these are my favorite sports. I have a huge collection of CDs with music while I operate, and in both rooms I must listen to music.