A passion for quality patient care combined with a desire to help others is why Biykem Bozkurt became a doctor. Now, after a distinguished career of more than 17 years as a renowned cardiologist, Bozkurt will continue to feed these priorities as the new Medical Care Line Executive at MEDVAMC. In her new role, Bozkurt, who will also be serving as the Vice-Chair of the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), is charged with the management of one of the largest and most prestigious medical departments in the VA healthcare system.
“When I first went into medicine, my initial goal was give back to others by practicing in a place where I could provide the most impact,” Bozkurt said. “As, I rotated through MEDVAMC during my residency at BCM, I immediately knew that these patients were special. Treating the men and women who have served in our military is truly an honor and a privilege.”
Bozkurt received her undergraduate medical training at the University of Istanbul, Turkey in 1989, and then pursued residency in internal medicine at BCM, including a year as chief medical resident at the MEDVAMC. After completing a cardiology fellowship at BCM, she received advanced training in heart failure and cardiac transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh. She returned to the MEDVAMC in 1997 and has been here ever since, serving as the Assistant Chief in the Medicine Department between 1997 and 2001, conducting groundbreaking cardiovascular research, and finally becoming the Chief of Cardiology in 2006. In 2009, she was appointed as the Director of the Winter Center for Heart Failure Research and Mary and Gordon Cain Chair of Medicine; and in 2012, she accepted the additional leadership role as Associate Director of the new Cardiovascular Research Institute at BCM. Bozkurt has been recognized locally, nationally internationally for her expertise in cardiology and heart failure; publishing over 100 articles and 18 book chapters. She was the recipient of the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary’s Hands and Heart Award for recognition of the highest quality standards in patient care and was honored with the BCM Master Clinician Award in 2014.
“First and foremost, I am a bedside physician,” Bozkurt said. “Making a difference in the lives of the Veteran patients is what I find the most rewarding about working for the VA. I’m proud of the evidence-based, state-of-the-art care we provide at MEDVAMC and I look forward to continuing to work with the incredibly talented professionals here at the VA.”
Bozkurt is also known throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs as a successful mentor, educator and role model for medical students, residents and fellows. In 2005, she received the national American College of Cardiology Proctor Harvey MD, Young Teacher Award for her dedication and skills in teaching. In addition to numerous other teaching awards she has received at BCM throughout the years, in 2014, she received the Barbara Corbin Robertson Presidential Award, which is BCM’s highest award for excellence in education. With a successful research portfolio, Bozkurt has received a number of grants from the National Institute for Health (NIH), Department of Veterans Affairs including a VA Career Development and Merit grants, and from private industries and she currently conducts clinical trials in heart failure at the MEDVAMC.
“We are thrilled to have a physician of Dr. Bozkurt’s experience and caliber lead our Medical Care Line at the MEDVAMC,” said Dr. Jagadeesh Kalavar, MEDVAMC Chief of Staff. “Her commitment to excellent patient care and her background as a nationally and internationally renowned cardiologist will serve our Veterans well in her new role at our VA.”