“I genuinely love being in health care because of my ability to truly make a meaningful difference in the health and quality of life for my patients,” Steven Bruhl, MD, a cardiologist at Mercy Health – The Heart and Vascular Institute, Tiffin and chief medical officer of Mercy Health – Tiffin Hospital, shares.
Dr. Bruhl has been fascinated by the heart ever since his first anatomy and physiology class in ninth grade. However, it didn’t become his primary goal to work with the heart until his son, Nathan, was born with a congenital heart defect while Dr. Bruhl was in medical school.
“Although Nathan was born with an abnormal hole in his heart, he appeared and acted healthy to everyone who saw him,” Dr. Bruhl shares. “However, when our son died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep at six months old, it was at that time that I turned my attention to learning everything I could about the heart and set my sights on pursuing a career as a cardiologist.”
Cardiology is a profession where Dr. Bruhl regularly sees patients of all ages with severe and often life-threatening illnesses. Fortunately, modern medicine offers lifesaving treatments as well as treatments to reduce symptoms and improve the overall quality of life. However, Dr. Bruhl has found that patients handle these life-changing conditions vary greatly.
“I never fault a patient for handling the disappointment and uncertainty of a cardiac condition poorly, and I work with each patient to meet them where they are and help them through these difficult times,” he shares. “On an almost daily basis, I am inspired by patients who face these life-shattering disappointments and conditions with courage and optimism. Although certainly, not every story ends with a happy ending, I am regularly uplifted by my patients to keep my own daily problems, which are usually trivial in comparison, in perspective. I strive to live each day to the fullest with courage and optimism.”
Dr. Bruhl genuinely loves being in health care because of his ability to truly make a meaningful difference in the health and quality of life for his patients. He finds that most patients come to a cardiologist with a great deal of fear and anxiety about their condition as well as how it will affect their lives.
“I make it a priority to understand each patient’s fears and concerns and take great pleasure at being able to replace that fear and anxiety with hope and relief for both their physical and mental conditions,” he shares. “Although working in health care at times can be very physically and emotionally challenging, I am fortunate to be able to offer almost every patient options to improve their life expectancy and quality of their life, regardless of their condition. I reassure them that the truth about their condition is almost never as bad as they imagine.”
It was our ministry’s faith-based mission to help the poor and underserved that initially drew Dr. Bruhl to working here.
“Although most organizations have a published mission statement, I am pleased to say that Mercy Health has been an essential partner in helping me carry out this God-given mandate in the lives of my patients,” Dr. Bruhl shares.
In alignment with our faith-based mission, Dr. Bruhl begins all his meetings with prayer and a recitation of the Mercy Health mission statement.
“Like every organization, meetings can, at times, become heated,” he shares. “But everyone in our meetings has the ability to refocus the discussion by reminding people of our shared values embodied by that mission statement.”
For most of his life, Dr. Bruhl has been chasing one goal after another. From getting good grades in college so he could get into medical school, to performing well in medical school so he could get into a good residency and fellowship programs, then receiving an offer to finally practice cardiology.
“Over the last 10 years of my life as a practicing clinical cardiologist, I have been fortunate to be able to assume the role of chief medical officer,” he explains. “This is an administrative position for which I spend about 10 to 20 percent of my time on. I have found the role to be both very challenging as well as rewarding.”
Dr. Bruhl notes that he has the great pleasure of working with an amazing partner, Ali Ahmad, MD, and more recently has added an excellent physician assistant, Breanna Laudick PA-C, to the office staff. Breanna, too, shares Dr. Bruhl and Dr. Ahmad’s vision to treat each patient like family.
“So, after all of that, I can honestly say that although I have no aspirations for any additional titles or positions, I am excited to just experience and enjoy the amazing hospital and practice that I now belong to,” Dr. Bruhl says. “Together, we will continue to improve the lives and wellbeing of our patients and our community.”
Outside of work, Dr. Bruhl enjoys spending time with his wife of 20-plus years and his five children. He also enjoys do-it-yourself home improvement projects.
“I boast that in the four homes we bought, fixed up and sold during my medical school, residency and fellowship years, there is almost nothing that can be done to improve a house that I have not at least attempted,” he says.
Dr. Bruhl and his wife are also both active in their church and regularly host small church groups.
Learn about the cardiology services we offer at Mercy Health.