Your Health Tamar Raucher | one year ago

5 Minutes with Dr. McGinn

Find out what makes Sanger’s newest heart surgeon tick.

Leading the way in which cardiac care is delivered to patients, Joseph T. McGinn, MD, is the new Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute. He's also passionate about his family, boating and sports – especially the Panthers.

Name: Joseph T McGinn Jr. Title: Chair Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute. Year joined Carolinas HealthCare System: 2016 Previous employment: Staten Island University Hospital

When did you know you wanted to work in healthcare?

In high school, I was lucky to have a mentorship with a transplant surgeon. My admiration of his commitment to change a life for the better has always stayed with me.

What motivates you?

I have the best job in the world. As I go to work, even after 25 plus years, I still can’t believe what I do every day – make someone better!

What has been your proudest moment while working in healthcare?

I had the fortune of saving a carjacking victim who was shot in the heart. Thanks to a great team, and the right circumstances, we were able to save a young lady that would have faced certain death. Now, more than 15 years later, she still updates me on her health.

What's the best advice you’ve received?

Follow your heart. And I did!

What was your first job?

Cleaning oil delivery trucks in Brooklyn.

Do you have a powerful memory to share about a personal experience as a patient?

Yes. When returning from a vacation I developed chest pain and an uneasy feeling. The team involved in helping me get to an ED and then to an evaluation, was exceptional. Luckily, my catheterization was negative. I did, however, get a first-hand look at the emergency system at work. It was important for me to know what my patients go through. Although I hope I never have to go through that again, I am grateful to appreciate what the world looks like when you need to trust the people around you, and what the world looks like when you are sick, scared and horizontal!

If you could change one thing about healthcare, what would it be?

Focus on putting the patient as the primary focus of the whole team, while keeping the anxiety of patients to a minimum.

If you weren’t a cardiovascular surgeon, what would you be doing instead?


What do you like most about living Charlotte so far?

Go Panthers. Keep Pounding.

Favorite Movie?

A Beautiful Mind

Favorite Sport to watch on TV?


Three words that best describe you?

Adventurous. Curious. Fun.

Something on your bucket list?


How do you relax?

Boating with my family.

What is your proudest moment?

The births of my five kids.   A healthy heart lets you stay focused on doing what you love.  Learn how Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute can help you keep your heart healthy.