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UMMC cardiologist leads only heart program of its kind in Mississippi

Published on Tuesday, March 4, 2014

By: Gary Pettus at 601-984-1100 or

Published in News Stories on March 04, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi native Dr. Michael R. McMullan has returned to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to direct a program offering specialized care to an under-treated population: adults with hereditary heart disease.

McMullan, a Decatur native and alumnus of the University of Southern Mississippi and the UMMC School of Medicine, rejoins the Medical Center after a seven-year absence in order to lead the state’s only adult congenital heart program.

Nationally, less than 10 percent of adults who need it receive this type of care, the Adult Congenital Heart Association reports.

“Our goal is to take care of the state of Mississippi,” said McMullan, who is also a professor of medicine. “UMMC is positioned to care for every patient with congenital heart disease, no matter the complexity.”

Improved techniques, progressing technology and advancing surgical and post-operative care are helping adults with the disease live longer and healthier lives, said McMullan, who did his specialty training at UMMC and Duke University Medical Center.

Today, more than 1.3 million adults in the U.S. have congenital heart disease – more than the number of children with the condition.

“This population of patients is very underserved nationwide, and we are thrilled to have a superstar like Dr. McMullan to lead our program,” said Dr. Jorge Salazar, chief of UMMC’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

“Adult congenital heart patients are among the most challenging patients we care for, and now these patients can receive the very best treatment right here at home in Mississippi.”

At UMMC, specialists are partners with primary care physicians and cardiologists throughout the state in treating adults with congenital heart disease.

McMullan’s supreme goal is to “incorporate all of the congenital patients in our state under one roof,” he said.

“I believe that is clearly in the best interests of our patients, and that is what ultimately drives me.”

UMMC is the ideal place to do this, he said, thanks to the coordination between its pediatric cardiology program and the congenital cardiac surgical program under the leadership of Salazar, who helped recruit McMullan to the Medical Center.

McMullan comes to UMMC from the Jackson Heart Clinic, P.A., where he had been a partner since 2007. After originally joining UMMC in 1998 as an assistant professor of medicine, he started the Adult Congenital and Valvular Heart Disease Clinic.

Over the years, he served as clinical chief of cardiology, director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program and, finally, as clinical chief of the Division of Cardiology, 2005-2007.

McMullan belongs to multiple professional organizations and has earned various teaching honors, including Department of Medicine Teacher of the Year and UMMC Clinical Professor of the Year; he was also selected to UMMC’s Norman C. Nelson Order of Teaching Excellence and the Blake Academy for Excellence in Teaching. 

For three years, he served as governor of Mississippi for the American College of Cardiology.


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