“I believe in empathy and compassion for patients,” says Kevin Olsen, MD, a cardiologist in Scranton, Pa. and winner of PAMED’s March Everyday Hero Award.
Dr. Olsen understands the value of getting to know his patients and doing a proper history. “You can find a lot of answers in a patient history,” he says.
He stresses the humanitarian side of medicine. He says practicing medicine without the component of a strong physician-patient relationship is like being a cook rather than a chef.
Given Dr. Olsen’s dedication to patient care, it comes as no surprise that Dr. Olsen was nominated for PAMED’s Everyday Hero Award by one of his own patients, Charlene Kircher. She describes Dr. Olsen as family, saying, “We are not related but that is how I feel because that is the way I am treated in the office by him and his staff.”
“He makes you feel very easy to talk to and not uneasy to ask questions, and does not rush you in and out,” says Kircher. She credits Dr. Olsen for saving the lives of several family members.
Dr. Olsen, a native New Yorker and a father of three sons and two step-daughters, has served patients in Scranton for 30 years and is part of the fabric of the community. His path to becoming a physician, however, started when he completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University. He then attended medical school, graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Initially, Dr. Olsen had thoughts of becoming a pediatrician but, ultimately, he was drawn to the field of cardiology. He says he liked the medicine side of cardiology and the opportunity to do interventions and help people with blockages.
Following a fellowship at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and some time spent in a university setting, he looked for a chance to set up his own practice. He eventually settled on Scranton as his new home.
While much of Dr. Olsen’s time is committed to patient care, he does take the opportunity to enjoy several pastimes, including music. He has a 1941 Steinway piano, and you can often find him playing classical music on the weekends.
Dr. Olsen and his loving companion Suzi are also the proud owners of two dogs – both Cavapoos, a breed of dog that is the offspring of a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They also recently adopted a rescue cat and enjoyed the experience so much that they ended up sponsoring several cat adoptions at a local shelter.
His pets are always there to greet him at the door when he returns after each busy workday spent making sure that patients like Charlene Kircher get the best care possible. It’s a commitment he takes very seriously—He has devoted his life to helping his patients.
“I will never betray my Hippocratic oath," says Dr. Olsen.