Sometimes all roads lead back to the heart — at least that’s how it has worked for Sibley pediatric cardiologist Glen Iannucci, MD.
He was inspired to go into medicine after being treated at Scottish Rite as a 15-year-old involved in a car accident. He chose pediatrics because he enjoys the opportunity to head off disease processes before they gain momentum in adulthood, and his undergraduate training in civil engineering and fluid dynamics at Georgia Tech influences his work today as a physician in Sibley Heart Center’s Aorta and Vascular Disease Clinic. It all comes together in Dr. Iannucci.
“I was drawn to pediatric cardiology based on an experience in medical school during an adult cardiology rotation,” Dr. Iannucci said. “I was trying to understand how and why a patient’s blood had been rerouted in significant ways, and I spoke with the pediatric cardiologist who explained the reasons for all the surgeries. I found it fascinating.”
Dr. Iannucci developed an interest in the Aorta and Vascular Program when he worked with Denver Sallee, MD, as a fellow and in his early years of training. The program follows children and young adults with blood vessel diseases, which can involve blood vessels that are too large, too small or twisted. The program helps coordinate multidisciplinary patient care to meet the varied healthcare needs experienced by patients with blood vessel disease.
“This is an area where the patient population is quite inspiring, well informed and active in the advancement of medicine,” Dr. Iannucci said. “There have been significant developments in terms of care and expected longevity, and the fact that people have actually seen the progress first-hand is highly motivating to both doctors and patient populations. It’s very satisfying to be part of that progress and help patients that way.”
Dr. Iannucci says that the remarkable team he works with at Sibley provides a depth of expertise and knowledge that ultimately improves patient care. He knows he can tap his colleagues to get a leading expert opinion on a patient within minutes, and everyone is willing to help each other.
“The great thing about the pediatric environment in general is that everyone is focused on the patient and completely united in the desire to make the experience as good as it can be for the patient and family,” Dr. Iannucci said. “That kind of singleness of purpose is extraordinary.”
Dr. Iannucci also enjoys the educational aspect of his work. When he helps families understand the anatomy and physiology behind their child’s condition and how the heart moves blood, it gives them peace of mind. By alerting them to what they should look out for and how to know when things are changing, they become an important part of their child’s care.
I’ve always loved teaching, and I get the joy of doing of that,” Dr. Iannucci said. “Alleviating fear and providing the best care for our patients is what medicine is really all about.”
And while treating complex conditions in children is intellectually rewarding, getting kids to smile is one of the greatest joys of working in pediatrics.
“I didn’t fully appreciate how much the smiles were part of my daily satisfaction at work until we all had to start wearing masks,” Dr. Iannucci said. “Often in adult practice, you treat your patients, and they leave still sick. It’s great to get kids better and see them skipping down the hall with balloons, headed for an active, healthy life getting to do things they may have not dreamed of doing before. It’s very rewarding.”
Glen Iannucci, MD FAAP, FACC
Director, Aorta and Vascular Program, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
- Medical school: Medical College of Georgia
- Residency: Emory University
- Fellowship: Emory University
Dr. Iannucci is a Georgia native who received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and received his medical degree from Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He completed his pediatric residency and cardiology fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta and stayed on as faculty. He developed an interest in the care of patients with Aortic disease during his cardiology training and working with Dr. Denver Sallee in the Aorta and Vascular Clinic. He has four children and a minivan.
- Aorta and Vascular Clinic
Areas of focus
- Aortic disease
- Congenital Heart Disease
- Fetal Cardiology
- Kawasaki Disease
- Pectus deformity
- Medical and surgical management of aortic disease
- Alpha Omega Alpha
- American Academy of Pediatrics, FAAP
- American College of Cardiology, FAAC
- America Heart Association
For more information about Sibley Heart Center Cardiology and our pediatric cardiology specialists, click here.