Ingram's: Three Saint Luke's Physicians named Top Doctors of 2021

October 26, 2021

Every year, Ingram's, Kansas City' Business Magazine, honors the area's top physicians across hundreds of specialties. Out of this year's 25 honorees, Saint Luke's Health System is proud to have three physicians named to Ingram's Top Doctors of 2021.

Here are this year's Top Doctors from Saint Luke's Health System.

Andrew Schlachter, MD

Like a lot of Kansas City natives poised to start their careers, Andrew Schlachter looked at the big, wide world out there and heard a siren song of opportunity. With the ink drying on a medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, he recalls, “I thought, ‘Now it’s time to get out of Kansas City, so I’m off to Chicago, never to come back.”

Heh. We all know how deep those hometown hooks can be set, now, don’t we? Even if, as Schlachter says, one develops great new friends and mentors, as he did during residency and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Rush University Medical Center. But…

“I quickly decided I missed home, I missed Kansas City,” he says. “It was always a childhood dream to become what I hoped would be a good doctor, and do good work in my local community. I found out that home really is here.”

His choice of medicine might not have been pre-ordained, but it was close: “I’m from a lineage of doctors; we joke that it’s part of the Schlachter genes,” he says. His father, grandfather, uncle and nearly half a dozen cousins are all physicians. Watching his father while making rounds helped close the deal. “I always thought that if I could ever be half as good a doctor as he was, I would do well in life,” Schlachter says, because he saw the impact that compassionate, high-quality care could make on a patient’s life.

Read Ingram's full profile on Dr. Schlachter.

John Spertus, MD

It’s an unlikely combination—Sherlock Holmes and John F. Kennedy—but those two figures, literary and historical, are like strands of DNA running through the work of John Spertus at Saint Luke’s. Kennedy for his inauguration call to service— “Ask not what your country can do,” and all that; Holmes for his ability to dig into mystery and pursue a resolution relentlessly.

Spertus brings both traits to his work in cardiology and conditions related to the cardiovascular system, and he does it with a zeal that is nearly unrivaled: He has authored or collaborated on an astonishing number of peer-reviewed articles—more than 750—he holds at least a share of six patents, and he was named one of the most influential scientists in the world in 2014 and 2015 by Thompson Reuters.

All that, and more, is before you even touch on his entrepreneurial genes as founder of the non-profit Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Consortium and CV Outcomes, researching cardiovascular disease, and Health Outcomes Sciences, a biotech start-up focused on evidence-based, personalized medicine, a trend that is reshaping the delivery of health care itself. He was also a key player in what’s known as the ISCHEMIA study, which broke new ground in understanding that an individual patient’s unique traits and circumstances might play as great a role in successful outcomes as the treatments themselves.

Read Ingram's full profile on Dr. Spertus.

Mikhail Kosiborod, MD

His father is a physician, one brother is a physician, and his mother is a dentist. As they might say if there are apple orchards in Novosibirsk, Russia, this one didn’t fall far from the tree. “I had my mind sent on medicine from age 14,” says Mikhail Kosiborod, and the only thing competing for that interest was his violin. “I played quite seriously when I was a kid, and it was a tough decision—I loved playing, and music is still an important part of my life. While it’s incredibly fulfilling, I did not see it as a career.”  

After coming to the U.S. he was a student at Queens College, then earned his medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. That’s where he began his journey into cardiology, and now cardiometabolic medicine, encompassing diabetes research and treatment. The first step was not without pain. “My Dad had a heart attack when I was a second-year med student; that was very unexpected,” Kosiborod says. “I ended up being the one to diagnose his angina and make sure he got medical attention.”

The attending physician’s charisma enthralled him, so Kosiborod began to shadow the doctor, learning as much as he could about seeing patients, interpreting imaging data, and making clinical decisions. After completing training at Yale, he came to Kansas City in 2005, signing on with both Saint Luke’s and the med-school faculty for UMKC, where he’s still a professor. He’s also a prolific author, having penned more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals, plus hundreds of abstracts, many textbook chapters, reviews and editorials. And on the research side, he’s a powerful magnet for attracting grant funding; with multiple projects being funded that way currently.

Read Ingram's full profile on Dr. Kosiborod.

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