Title: Noninvasive Cardiologist, Emeritus Professor of Medicine (Retired)
Company: Medical College of Georgia
Location: Martinez, Georgia, United States
Michael Prisant, Retired Noninvasive Cardiologist and Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Doctors for dedication, achievements, and leadership in health care.
L. Michael Prisant Sr., MD, is a retired noninvasive cardiologist, researcher, author, and medical educator who attained great professional success over the course of his career. He holds the title of Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia (which is now a part of Augusta University). He was awarded that title in 2010, after having served on the faculty for nearly 30 years. His entire training in medicine and professional career was at the Medical College of Georgia, beginning with medical school in 1973. He obtained a Doctor of Medicine degree from the medical school in 1977 and passed the required testing to become a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners. Then he completed an internship and residency in internal medicine between 1977 and 1980 and a fellowship in cardiology between 1980 and 1982. He passed the specialty certifications of the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1980 (Internal Medicine) and 1983 (Cardiovascular Disease). In 1982, he was appointed to the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia.
Dr. Prisant was born in Albany, Georgia, in 1949. His paternal grandparents and father were immigrants from Eastern Europe. They operated a restaurant and fast food places. During the summer, he worked with his three younger brothers, sister and parents at the business. When the food business was closed in Albany and a new business was opened in Waycross, Georgia, he lived with his elderly grandparents in Albany to help them and complete high school.
During high school, Dr. Prisant received some academic honors, including an Award of Merit from the Georgia Science Teachers Association for a winning project at a district science fair, induction into the National Beta Club, and a Certificate of Merit from the University of Georgia for superior scholastic endeavors during his first three years of high school. A high school teacher advised him and his parents that he should apply to a college to get a higher degree. He knew that he did not want to work as his parents had, but he was uncertain as to what profession to pursue. He graduated from Albany High School in 1967 and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend Emory University.
His studies at Emory University were balanced between the sciences and humanities. Joining the social fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi, provided him the opportunity to become involved with various college activities: WEMO Radio station (news announcer, assistant business manager), Archon Literary Magazine (contributor, business manager, executive board member, associate editor), Publication Council (member, president), Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity (president), and Hillel (vice-president, president). He was selected for induction into Pi Delta Epsilon Journalism Honorary Fraternity.
While the education associated with these extracurricular activities would prove to be useful ultimately, the dilemma of what career to pursue remained. The choice was between attending graduate school or medical school and whether to major in biology or psychology. Psychology was chosen as the major because his grades in the subject were higher than biology. He applied to medical school and both psychology and biology graduate schools. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University in 1971. However, he was not accepted to attend medical school or psychology graduate school, but was accepted for biology graduate school.
Given the uncertainty of his future, Dr. Prisant started working as a nursing assistant at Emory University Hospital, which provided insight into the practice of medicine from an unusual point of view. When his future wife Rose C. Trincher, a graduate of Agnes Scott College, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to begin medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina, he decided to move there. He was hired to teach physical science and physics to high school students in Charleston and took physics courses at night at the College of Charleston. He again applied to attend medical school and was rejected; however, he was placed on an alternate list for acceptance.
To his surprise, this materialized into an admission to medical school at the Medical College of Georgia, and he moved to Augusta, Georgia, to pursue a Doctor of Medicine degree at the Medical College of Georgia in 1973. The first two years were difficult, and he considered quitting. However, the last two years were clinical, and he knew he had not made a mistake. He married Rose Corinth Trincher in Atlanta on June 28, 1975, and Dr. Trincher moved to Augusta, Georgia, to start her internship and residency in internal medicine on July 1, 1976. Michelle Elizabeth Prisant was born to the couple on November 26, 1976.
Dr. Prisant received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1977 and began a one-year internship in internal medicine, which was followed by a two-year residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. He was selected as Chief Medical Resident from 1979 to 1980. From 1980 to 1982, a fellowship in cardiology provided exposure to the wide spectrum of vascular diseases, diagnosis and treatment. Noninvasive tools for evaluation of patients interested him, but the prevention of vascular disease was still in its infancy. Prior to completing the cardiology fellowship, Louis Michael Prisant Jr. was born to the couple on June 4, 1982.
Initially, Dr. Trincher and Dr. Prisant considered moving to Albany, Georgia, to practice medicine in their subspecialties of cardiology and infectious diseases. However, the competitive atmosphere among physicians was not what they expected.
The Department of Medicine offered Dr. Prisant a position as an Instructor of Medicine in 1982. He accepted the position and worked in the Section of Cardiology and the Section of Hypertension and Clinical Pharmacology. Albert A. Carr, MD, an endocrinologist, was the Chief of the Section of Hypertension and became Dr. Prisant’s mentor. Dr. Carr emphasized that he must do more than see patients and teach students and house staff; he would be required to perform research, write scholarly articles, and take an active role with professional organizations and institutional committees. This academic blueprint resulted in promotions to Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1983, Associate Professor of Medicine in 1989, and Professor of Medicine in 1994. He was awarded Tenure by the Georgia Board of Regents in 1989 and renewed in 1993, 1998, 2004, and 2010. He was the Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program (1996-2001) and the Director of the Hypertension and Clinical Pharmacology Unit (2002-2009).
To further his education beyond his formal training, he studied and passed examinations of the American Board on Internal Medicine for Added Qualification in Geriatric Medicine in 1990, the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology as a Clinical Pharmacologist in 1991, the American College of Cardiology for Independent Electrocardiography Interpretation in 1997, and the American Board of Clinical Lipidology as a board-certified Clinical Lipidologist in 2005. The American Society of Hypertension Specialists Program recognized him as a Specialist in Clinical Hypertension in 1999.
Outpatient and hospitalized patient care was important to Dr. Prisant. His attention to detail as a physician resulted in employees, nurses, physicians and their family members seeking his evaluation and ongoing treatment. When hospitalized patient care was provided by specialists-in-training (interns, residents and cardiology fellows) that he supervised, he compulsively performed independent initial and follow-up evaluations of the patient to assure that the diagnoses and treatment plans were correct. It was not unusual for him to see patients in the emergency room or coronary care unit after midnight. Their problems generated questions that could only be answered by formal research or an extensive review of the literature, which resulted in lectures and publications.
Throughout his career, Dr. Prisant was an investigator or co-investigator of 58 sponsored research trials and another 10 investigator-initiated studies. As an author or co-author, results were presented in 67 poster sessions, 50 oral presentations, 127 published abstracts at national or international meetings, 70 articles in refereed journals, and 12 additional articles from research study groups. Extensive reviews of the literature and case reports yielded 85 articles in refereed journals, 34 articles in journals not cited by Medline, 12 monographs, 32 book chapters, and the textbook Hypertension in the Elderly.
In addition to bedside teaching, he routinely gave formal lectures to sophomore medical students, internal medicine house staff, cardiology fellows, nurses, physician assistants, graduate pharmacology students and physicians at the Medical College of Georgia continuing medical education courses. He was an invited speaker at regional, national and international meetings, giving 261 presentations. In 2006, he was recognized by the Medical College of Georgia with the Distinguished Faculty Award for Clinical Science Teaching by a Senior Faculty Member.
He served on the Editorial Boards of several medical journals, including the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, American Journal of Therapeutics, Blood Pressure Monitoring, and Journal of Clinical Hypertension (Section Editor).
Dr. Prisant has held a number of key leadership positions within various medical organizations. He is the former President of the Carolinas & Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Hypertension and the local chapter (Ahlquist Society) of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. He was the co-chairman (2001-2007) for the Sphygmomanometer Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (American National Standards Institute), which crafted four testing and performance guidelines of blood pressure measuring devices. He was a selected reviewer and contributor for the Sixth and Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure and K/DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease: Evaluation, Classification and Stratification.
Dr. Prisant has been selected as a fellow of numerous organizations: the American College of Cardiology (FACC), the American College of Chest Physicians (FCCP), the American College of Clinical Pharmacology (FCP), the American College of Physicians (FACP), the American Heart Association (FAHA), and the American Society of Hypertension (FASH). From 1982 to 2013, he received the American Medical Association’s Physicians Recognition Award for continuing medical education.
His wife Rose became the Service Line Executive of the Spinal Injury Unit at the Veterans Hospital in 1998. She had been the Medical Director of Walton Rehabilitation Hospital for the previous 10 years. By 2000, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She achieved and received multiple accolades over the next eight years for the treatment of patients with spinal cord injuries. She died on November 7, 2008.
Dr. Prisant decided to retire from the Medical College of Georgia in 2010. Since his retirement, he completed 162 contact hours at Augusta College for a photography certificate. He enjoys trying to capture nature with his camera and reading science fiction. He has four grandchildren: Noah Scott, Emmalynn Rose, Elizabeth Reese, and William Michael. His daughter is married to Brian Croft and lives in Dalton, Georgia. His son is married to Heather Anderson and has recently moved to Germantown, Maryland.
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