The AVLS is comprised of many passionate AVLS members who are dedicated to committing their time and knowledge to aid the vein and lymphatic field. In this post, the AVLS took the time to interview Steve Samuel, the AVLS Featured Member of the Month. Henry joined recently joined the AVLS in 2019 and has since been an active member.
How and why did you start practicing in the field of vein care?
I have been a general surgeon for the past 33 years. After being on my feet all day, I developed burning, heavy, tired legs, with varicose veins the size of snakes. Seven years ago, I went to a vascular surgeon and was told I would need outpatient surgery in the hospital with a general anesthetic. My recovery would involve two weeks off work. I left the office thinking I’m going to live with my leg issues because my workaholic personality would never allow me two weeks away from work.
Thirteen months ago, I followed up with a vein specialist to discuss details regarding my options, potential complications, and postoperative restrictions. I decided that Venaseal was the best option to fit my lifestyle, timeframe, and recovery. This procedure had such a profound effect on my life that I decided to dedicate the rest of my career to giving my patients healthy legs!
I attended a training course, visited vein clinics, researched vein societies and joined AVLS and attended their Annual Congress in Phoenix. I contacted the AVLS President, Dr. Marlin Schul and he decided to be a mentor for my journey into the vein world with Dr. Chris Pittman serving as my second volunteer mentor.
With the knowledge I gained from my site visits, the experience that my mentors had shared and the incredible AVLS Annual Congress, my dream had become a reality. As of March, I plan to dedicate 100% of my time and efforts to veins.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
My hobbies away from work include bike riding with my wife, playing golf, traveling, and attending sporting events. I’m an avid horse race lover too and enjoy the Kentucky Derby each year! With six children, and a grandson we stay busy and love being involved with all of their many activities, including college visits.
How long have you been a member of the AVLS and why did you decide to join?
I joined AVLS in 2019 and attended my first AVLS Annual Congress with my wife in Phoenix, Arizona this year. It was abundantly clear to me after researching the membership options that AVLS was the best place for me. I am very pleased with this decision. The mentorship, education, resources, and guidance the AVLS membership has offered me is exceptional.
In what ways has the AVLS helped you as a practicing physician?
AVLS has provided me with experienced doctors and a network of industry-specific contacts. The Annual Congress was extraordinary and the value of educational advancement was tremendous. The exhibits opened my eyes to many potential necessities for my new clinic. I could not be where I am today without the resources both professional and personal that membership in AVLS has provided.
Any advice for physicians new to the field?
My advice for any physicians new to the vein field is to join AVLS, personally call and speak with people on their board, and. Visit vein clinics in different locations throughout the country. Most importantly, find a mentor you can contact frequently to help guide you through your journey. The Phlebology Journal, AVLS meetings, AVLS online resources, and personal contacts are invaluable learning tools for a novice like myself and also the experienced vein M.D.