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In Memoriam: Santosh Padala, M.D.

Colleagues, friends and patients of Santosh Padala, M.D., are mourning his sudden loss. Dr. Padala, an assistant professor of medicine specializing in cardiac electrophysiology at Pauley Heart Center, passed away unexpectedly in December 2021. He joined the VCU Health System in 2015 as a clinical cardiac electrophysiology fellow and became a member of the faculty in 2017.Santosh Padala, M.D.


Dr. Padala earned his medical degree at Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences in Telangana, India, before completing his internal medicine residency at University of Connecticut Health Center, followed by a cardiovascular disease fellowship at Albany Medical Center and a clinical cardiac electrophysiology fellowship at VCU.


He made a mark early on as a fellow, twice receiving the prestigious Joseph T. Doyle Research Award at Albany Medical Center before going on to win an Outstanding Fellow Award and two Outstanding Teacher Awards at VCU.


Dr. Padala’s clinical interests were broad ranging, and he had developed into a national leader. He was an enthusiastic expert in many areas of electrophysiology, bringing cutting-edge approaches to patient care. His skills included device implantations (pacemaker, defibrillator), left atrial appendage occlusion device implantation for stroke prevention, and catheter ablation for complex arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardias. Dr. Padala was also an accomplished clinical researcher, focused on measuring outcomes of catheter ablation and device implantation. His record of scholarly accomplishment was remarkable. He presented at many international cardiology meetings, was an invited expert at other academic institutions and had published more than 70 manuscripts.


In addition to his many professional accomplishments and promising research career, Dr. Padala was also a caring provider, popular among his patients and colleagues alike. Kenneth Ellenbogen, M.D., director of clinical cardiac electrophysiology and pacing, who mentored and worked closely with Dr. Padala, said, “He was beloved by everyone who worked with him, from his colleagues (who were also his friends), to our fellows, our staff, and his patients. He was a true force, a wonderful teacher, a fantastic clinician and clinical electrophysiologist, and a gifted clinical researcher. He was kind, gentle and caring. It was pretty hard not to love him.”


Greg Hundley, M.D., director of the Pauley Heart Center, remarked, “Dr. Padala was a genuine, compassionate physician who always worked to provide the best care for his patients. We will be forever grateful for the tremendous impact he contributed to our team and our patients.”

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