2016 Top Doctors


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Dr. Charles F. Bethea

Cardiology, INTEGRIS Cardiovascular Physicians

Photo by Brent Fuchs.
Photo by Brent Fuchs.

[dropcap]For[/dropcap] 45 years, Dr. Charles F. Bethea has been treating matters of the heart. A distinguished cardiologist, Dr. Bethea serves as the chief medical officer for INTEGRIS Cardiovascular Physicians at INTEGRIS Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Committed to advancing his field of medicine, he has devoted a significant amount of his practice to research, quality measurement and administration. His many accomplishments include introducing echocardiography to hospitals in Oklahoma City, developing the first in-hospital cardiac rehabilitation program and helping develop the INTEGRIS PACER Fitness Center, which became the first hospital-based fitness center in the United States. Among the various studies he has participated in, he has field-tested small EKG devices able to transmit EKGs to diagnose heart attacks in rural Oklahoma and is working on a study of iPhone EKGs.

Dr. Bethea notes that “heart attack deaths have declined dramatically in the last 50 years from 810 per 100,000 to 200 per 100,000” but “heart disease may soon be replaced by cancer as the most common cause of death.”

He shares that some of the greatest advancements in his field include the development of cholesterol drugs or ‘statins’ to lower cholesterol and blood pressure drugs called ACE-ARB’s to stop severe hypertension, and the development of coronary bypass and coronary stents. He also emphasizes the impact of new information technology.

“Electronic Health Records (EHR) combined with informatics allows physicians to aggregate data and understand clinical results within their own practice as a whole rather than case by case,” Dr. Bethea says. “EHR will result in being able to provide highly personalized care by using pooled information across the United States. In the future, when nationally connected health records are all integrated and combined, EHRs can be combined with genetic information, there will be a great reduction in medication side effects and increased effectiveness of treatment.” – Rebecca Fast