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Department of Medicine
Mayo ClinicVIEW PROFILE
Anthony Kashou, M.D. (I ’21), is a resident in the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, but he has an alter ego. He’s The EKG Guy. That’s his website, YouTube and social media persona. He has developed more than 500 EKG video lessons and an EKG course — Ultimate EKG Breakdown — that takes someone with no EKG experience to expert interpreter level. The course now serves as the primary ECG course for training electrophysiology technicians at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. On his own time and without remuneration, Dr. Kashou leads seminars for medical professionals at Mayo Clinic who want to improve their EKG proficiency. In only two years, he’s created the fastest-growing EKG community in the world, with more than a half-million followers. Dr. Kashou, aka The EKG Guy, is determined to advance EKG knowledge among non-cardiac specialists for the benefit of patient care.
“Mayo Clinic fits with everything I want to do, including working with some of the best electrophysiologists in the world.”
My dad is an interventional cardiologist in Binghamton, New York, where I’m from. He escaped a civil war in Lebanon in the late 1970s and came to the U.S. to complete college and medical training. I grew up dreaming of following in his footsteps as a cardiologist.
My wife is from Michigan and wanted to move from New York farther west to be closer to her family. Minnesota was the farthest west I’d ever been. We both came from smaller communities. I interviewed in some major metropolitan areas on the East Coast, but they were a bit overwhelming. Rochester was an ideal location. People here are so selfless and dedicated to doing everything they can for patients. The things I’ve been able to do here are amazing.
I hope to complete cardiology fellowship training at Mayo.
I have a passion for EKG education and created The EKG Guy while in medical school to share my knowledge and help others in an area that I struggled in.
My website is an EKG educational resource for medical professionals at all levels of learning — residents, medical students, fellows, nurses, EKG technicians, paramedics, etc. I offer more than 500 videos, books and other helpful resources. The videos have more than a half-million views, and the EKG Guy has more than 500,000 social media followers. I purport that any medical professional who completes the comprehensive course of 150 short lectures will have as much knowledge as most entry-level residents. I also lead regular EKG seminars at Mayo that usually attract about 100 attendees. It’s rewarding to be trusted to teach people. I think it’s important to be less reliant on an expert or computer to fully interpret an EKG.
Every person who enters an emergency department with chest pain or shortness of breath gets an EKG — it’s one of the most cost-effective diagnostic tools. EKG interpretation skills are critical for patient care, yet many providers feel unequipped to achieve EKG proficiency — they don’t understand what they see on an EKG and simply memorize patterns they need to know to pass exams.
EKG training in medical school is minimal. Existing resources are either extremely basic or very advanced, and don’t always do a good job of explaining clinical relevance. I turned to multiple textbooks and medical literature to close the learning gap, which ultimately wasn’t an efficient way to learn. In my fourth year of medical school, I began developing curriculum for my fellow students. They thought it was helpful and, surprisingly, asked for more.
In collaboration with Peter Noseworthy, M.D. (CV ’13), Division of Heart Rhythm Services at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, we’re working toward developing an EKG course for cardiology fellows — in part to prepare them for their board exam. One section of the exam is about EKG and is the section that’s most commonly failed. We also recently developed an ECG coding reference guide to help providers understand the ECG annotated codes.
Outside of EKG education, I’m passionate about EKG innovation. My research focuses on developing algorithms to differentiate wide complex tachycardias, the application of artificial intelligence to EKG, and new wearable EKG smart-wear. This work is exciting to me, and the leaps we’re making are incredible. We have a chance to truly impact patient care.
I’m a one-man show on the front end. I do all the fulfillment of book sales, post EKG quizzes on Facebook every day, create weekly videos, and continue to develop new means to improve the quality of the content. I get dozens of messages asking for advice interpreting EKGs.
I’m humbled by the value others say they get from The EKG Guy. It’s challenging to keep up with it all, but the feedback and value others seem to get from it keep me going. My primary goal, though, is to become the best physician I can be. By doing so I hope to bring out the best in others and improve patient care.
I never wanted to be a teacher or researcher! I thought I’d do all clinical work. That’s changed, obviously. I love seeing things click for learners and discovering how the advances we are making can improve the lives of others.
I want to be a great father, great husband and great doctor. I want to continue to innovate and create new EKG education resources and solutions that help deliver better patient care.
Mayo Clinic fits with everything I want to do, including working with some of the best electrophysiologists in the world. I’d love to continue to hold EKG sessions and contribute to the medical field in a meaningful way.
Mayo truly is on the cutting edge of innovation. Nowhere else provides so many opportunities for research.
I spend time with my wife and daughter, age 20 months. We look forward to our next child (a boy) arriving in January. We love the Rochester area!
See past New Chapter stories here.