Dr. Kevin J. Stamps opened the doors to his new practice, Memphis Pediatric Heart PLLC, two months ago, and his decision to form his own private clinic, as opposed to following the trend of aligning with a hospital group, boiled down to two major factors.
“I knew that I would be able to provide better service both to my patients and the surrounding physicians,” said Stamps, who sees most of his patients from referrals. “In private practice where I have more control over things, I can see kids more promptly. For parents, I think it is important to be able to see them quickly and give them answers quickly, and if there’s a problem to be able to take care of it.”
Stamps also stresses the importance of having the freedom and flexibility of schedule to spend time discussing complex issues with patients and their families.
“The majority of the time we are able to give them good news, but it is not always good, and I think it is important to have the liberty to spend a lot of time with them and help explain everything to them,” Stamps said.
A second main factor for Stamps opening his own practice was simply having control over his time, which allows him to keep a busy schedule and still have time for his family.
So Stamps plans to maintain his independence and not align with a hospital system, although his new office is located inside the Baptist Women’s Hospital physician’s office building.
Stamps is originally from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and moved to Memphis in 1997 to attend medical school. He trained at University of Tennessee Health Science Center and also performed additional training with an emphasis in cardiac MRI at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University.
Stamps, now a board certified pediatric cardiologist, spent the majority of the past several years working with UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists and Memphis Children’s Clinic.
His new clinic officially treats patients ranging from newborn to 18 years old.
“But I will continue to see some young adults well into their 20s, particularly for kids that were born with heart defects,” Stamps said. “There are a growing number of young adults as well as older adults that have congenital heart disease.”
The most common problems Stamps encounters are atrial septal defect and ventrical septal defect, also referred to as holes between the chambers of the heart, along with issues with heart valves and blood vessels entering and exiting the heart.
“The rates of mortality, specifically with small babies, have improved dramatically over the past 10 years or so. Ten years ago, some babies born with complex defects would not have been expected to survive, and currently there are very few babies born that we do not expect to survive. So it is very exciting,” said Stamps, who is one of a select number of physicians in the country that specializes in cardiac MRIs, which provides the best image of the heart.
“A lot of what we rely on being able to actually see the heart and all the blood vessels, and we are to do that without radiation with cardiac MRIs. It has added a lot to our field in the last five to 10 years.”
The doctor also has a special interest in cardiac disease in athletes.
“Although it is fairly rare occurrence, when an athlete dies during competition it is obviously devastating for the families and the outside community,” Stamps said. “We want to be able to recognize heart disease early so that measures can be taken to help to prevent that from happening.”
In addition to the new Memphis Pediatric Heart office on Humphreys Boulevard in Memphis, Stamps will maintain a satellite office in Tupelo, Miss., and plans to open more satellite offices in North Mississippi in the next few years.
“I have a lot of patients from northern Mississippi that I’ve seen over the years, and I want to keep serving that area and make it easier for them to not always have to make the drive up to Memphis,” he said.
Stamps plans to open the satellite offices one to four times each month to accommodate appointments.