Doctors of Distinction 2018

Access to top-notch healthcare is among the criteria that position our region as one of America’s best places to live. From the onset, Long Island’s physicians, hospitals and laboratories have paved the way for advancements in nearly every area of medicine.

Pulse’s extensive database of medical professionals enables us to conduct a peer review of the region’s top physicians to make choosing a doctor—one of life’s most important decisions—a little easier. This wholistic system invites professionals in specific areas of medicine to recognize peers who are leaders in their fields—experts choosing experts.

Participants nominate those whose practices were so outstanding in 10 specified areas, they could be considered the best. After weeks of online voting, we tallied the results to form a composite of seasoned professionals who strive for excellence, set the standards for their fields and continually give back to their communities.

The following pages feature these Doctors of Distinction you’ll want to call the next time expert medical advice is needed.

Dr. Kevin Tehrani
Aesthetic Surgeon

Dr. Kevin Tehrani

image: yvonne albinowski

Good doctors are the ones who get the job done, but in our over-medicated, over-treated world, we may want to start defining great doctors as those who know when not to intervene. In that case, Dr. Kevin Tehrani could be viewed as a breath of fresh air. When a patient looking for a breast augmentation in order to further her modeling career visited Dr. Tehrani, he thought better of it. Although the procedure would have been feasible, it was apparent her present physique was appropriate for a different kind of modeling and Dr. Tehrani recommended foregoing the procedure.

Truthful recommendations are a cornerstone of Dr. Tehrani’s practice, which is vital considering many of his patients are coming for elective surgery. Yet, these are not the only cases he sees. “My practice still includes breast cancer reconstruction for patients undergoing mastectomy.” With each patient, Dr. Tehrani uses his extensive training, experience, aesthetic eye—and honesty—to provide the best results. Months after the model patient visited the office, Dr. Tehrani said, “she contacted the office to thank us as she had secured a long-standing modeling contract without the need for breast augmentation.”

Dr. Waqas Khan
Cardiology

Dr. Waqas Khan

image: yvonne albinowski

Everyone has heard of or seen firsthand the unexpected devastation of a heart attack. But we rarely hear about the number of times a doctor is there to save a victim’s life. Witnessing the positive outcome of heart attacks inspired Dr. Waqas Khan to choose his area of practice. “During my residency, I had multiple experiences of seeing a cardiologist coming at 2 or 3 am to help someone having a heart attack and you can see the immediate relief of their symptoms. That was so rewarding that it led me to choose to become a cardiologist.”

The opportunities for Dr. Khan to treat patients is only increasing—cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. To best treat patients suffering from this epidemic, Dr. Khan stays up to date on the latest research and technology through board review courses, American College of Cardiology website and newsletters, and discussions with colleagues at Long Island Cardiology Associates, NYU Winthrop hospital and BMHMC.

The end result is worth the work. “I remember a patient who on a follow-up visit brought a cake, saying with tears in his eyes that this was exactly a year ago when he had a heart attack and we were able to save his life. He said he thought it was the end of his life and he wouldn’t be able to see any of his grandkids. And when we were able to save his life, he felt as if that day he was reborn.”

Dr. Jon DeGorter
Chiropractor

Dr. Jon DeGorter

image: yvonne albinowski

Sometimes our career chooses us instead of the other way around. In college, Dr. Jon DeGorter separated his shoulder and after spending four weeks with his arm in a sling, he could barely pick up a baseball. Several doctors recommended surgery, which seemed like the only option until a friend suggested going to see a sports chiropractor, which sealed the fate of both Dr. DeGorter’s arm and his professional life. “After five visits, I was able to move my shoulder with full range of motion. This is what inspired me to help others.”

Dr. DeGorter’s story also dispels one of the common misconceptions about chiropractors: that they only deal with the spine and back. In fact, Dr. DeGorter can handle all types of cases, “from the bottom of your feet to the end of your fingertips.”

This theory came to fruition when he treated a retired FDNY runner who tried for years to run the New York City marathon only to be struck down with injuries during training. “One year he had plantar fasciitis, the next year a stress fracture and another year a hamstring injury.” After being recommended to Dr. DeGorter, the runner followed the doctor’s running program and was finally able to successfully complete the marathon with no pain—in less than five hours to boot.

Dr. Salvatore Lotardo
Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Salvatore Lotardo

image: yvonne albinowski

One of the hallmarks of greatness is the constant desire to improve. Dr. Salvatore Lotardo had been a very successful dentist for many years, yet he felt he wasn’t fully realizing his potential. He was referred to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, whose rigorous credentialing process would challenge all Dr. Lotardo’s knowledge and skills. After five years of testing, case submissions and oral examination, he became only the third dentist on Long Island to achieve accreditation. He has since continued to advance his education and has lectured internationally and published many articles on cosmetic dentistry.

He certainly has plenty of material to work from because although “cosmetic” may connote “vanity,” Lotardo provides “comprehensive cosmetic dentistry whereby health, function and predictability are the foundation for the esthetics…This allows me to treat a variety of cases, including complex cases that require a multidisciplinary approach to ensure successful outcomes all in one practice.” His work not only treats a patient’s medical needs, but gives them a brighter outlook on life. “Being able to give patients their confidence, dignity and social life back via cosmetic dentistry is rewarding.”

Dr. Eric Schweiger
Dermatology

Dr. Eric Schweiger

image: yvonne albinowski

Nailing down traditional medical procedures takes years. Only a dedicated doctor would go the extra mile to create a treatment program of his own. But that’s precisely what Dr. Eric Schweiger did to alleviate a common problem: acne scars. “I’ve seen many patients over the years whose acne cleared but residual scars remained. To help these patients, I created F.A.S.T. (Focal Acne Scar Treatment), which utilizes the fractional CO2 laser in a unique way to treat pitted acne scars for faster recovery time and greater results. Focusing in on specifically targeted areas of the face, I can now significantly reduce the overall look and appearance of scars.” This is part of what Dr. Schweiger loves best about his job, the ability to “turn back the clock without using invasive measures.”

Yet acne scars are not the most pressing issue facing Dr. Schweiger, or any dermatologist. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers (one in five Americans will be diagnosed in their lifetime), yet it’s almost always curable when detected early. The trick to a safe outcome is visiting doctors like Schweiger. “Annual skin exams are hands down the best way to keep yourself healthy and skin cancer-free.”

Dr. Christine Conway
Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dr. Christine Conway

image: yvonne albinowski

The human body is an intricate machine, requiring not just specialized fields of medicine but also sub-specialties. Dr. Christine Conway, board certified in obstetrics & gynecology, focuses on one: gynecologic ultrasound. Creating this area of expertise allows Dr. Conway to offer an extensive amount of services including saline-enhanced sonography as well as infertility evaluations of tubal patency and 3-D imaging for evaluation of uterine anomalies.

It’s this diversity of treatment that initially drew Dr. Conway to this line of work. Although the term “OB/GYN” connotes ideas of child birth, it’s the ability to treat patients through the entirety of their lives that Dr. Conway thrives on. “I was attracted to the diversity in the field, which includes medicine, preventive care, surgery and obstetrics. I love the ability to care for patients over the continuum through adolescence to menopause.”

To complement her practice, Dr. Conway has served as an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stony Brook University Hospital since 2000 and is a senior member of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Dr. Alfred Cossari
Ophthalmology

Dr. Alfred Cossari

image: yvonne albinowski

It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul, but they can also be the window to your health. “In medical school, I was fascinated by the complex functions of the eyes and their important role as windows to neurologic and systemic illness,” said Dr. Alfred Cossari. “Many genetic disorders have ocular components that can help identify the specific anomaly.”

This is even more true in Dr. Cossari’s subspecialty of pediatric ophthalmology. “As with all areas of neurologic development during childhood, the decade between birth and ten years of age is critical to the development of vision in each eye and the ability to align both eyes.” Dr. Cossari utilizes both surgical and non-surgical treatments to ensure children whose eyesight has not developed correctly are not spared their vision for life. The field of pediatric ophthalmology also includes evaluations and treatment of retinal abnormalities in premature infants, learning problems due to dyslexia, headaches related to ocular problems or pediatric migraine. Dr. Cossari’s special research in migraines and concussions in particular, has made him a reliable and frequent consultant to many of his colleagues.

Dr. Alexandre B. de Moura
Orthopedics

Dr. Alexandre B. de Moura

image: yvonne albinowski

You may not think there’s much going on in your pinky toe, but stub that toe and you realize how a single misstep can cause tremendous harm. Now consider the importance of the health of your spine and how devastating even a minor injury to this part of the body could be. It’ll make you glad for doctors like Alexandre B. de Moura, an orthopedist specializing in the treatment of the spine. “The spine is the conduit for your brain communicating with your entire body. It needs to be healthy and functioning properly for you to have a good quality of life,” Dr. de Moura said.

The Chicago Medical School graduate got an early introduction to this line of medicine while spending nights at the hospital watching his orthopedic surgeon father work. Now he follows in his father’s footsteps at the New York Spine Institute, the most comprehensive spinal surgery center on Long Island. He is also an assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the NYU School of Medicine. He attends national and international meetings to stay current on ground breaking new spine surgery technologies and techniques, a requirement considering the severity of cases he sees but one that pays dividends. “One of the most rewarding aspects of my practice is the gratitude that patients feel after successful spinal surgery. It is such a great feeling to have a patient say, ‘Thank you for giving me back my life.’ This is what drives me to continue to care for people.”

Dr. Karen Love
Pediatrics

Dr. Karen Love

image: yvonne albinowski

For Dr. Karen Love, who always enjoyed working with children, her career choice was simple: teacher or doctor. She decided to do both. “During medical school, pediatrics was my favorite rotation. I would help a sick child in the hospital by caring for their illness trying to make them smile or laugh for a few minutes. At the same time, I could be a teacher by explaining a complicated diagnosis to worried parents or by holding the hand of frightened child concerned about a procedure they were about to undergo.” Fate sealed.

Since then, the Columbia-educated physician has been expertly treating Long Island’s youth—and all that comes with it. “It sounds cliché but babies, children and teenagers are not just small adults.  Their health care needs are very different. Pediatricians care for the physical, mental and social health and well-being of a child.”

For any business, repeat customers are a true indicator of success, and if we measure it this way, Dr. Love’s been excelling for decades. “When the children born during my first year in practice went off to college, I was so excited for them. Now many of my initial patients I started with are getting married and bringing their own children to my practice. It is wonderful to see that continuity.”

Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg
Plastic Surgery

Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg

image: yvonne albinowski

“This area of medicine is important because it helps people to look and feel better about themselves. Nothing is more important than the human spirit,” said Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg. “When you feel good, you radiate confidence. I have heard from so many patients that I have helped give them their confidence back.”

The human body is a machine but it also is a vessel. Keeping the machine in order is a necessity but to live a fulfilled life, maintaining the vessel can be just as important. This was never truer than with a patient of Dr. Greenberg’s who had an extremely distended stomach. “She was often asked if she was pregnant. She was so unhappy with her body before her surgery and was sick and tired of being asked when she was due.” After a detailed treatment plan, which Dr. Greenberg provides for each patient, he was able to complete a customized surgery that alleviated the distended stomach. At her follow up, “she cried telling me about how happy she was with her results…The smile on her face was priceless.”

Dr. Keith Durante
Surgery

Dr. Keith Durante

image: yvonne albinowski

Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Always wanting to be a surgeon, Dr. Keith Durante was selected for a microvascular fellowship under the world-renowned Dr. Lester R. Sauvage after completing a traditional five-year general surgery residency in New York City.

Then technology happened. “Once the new technology in hair transplantation changed, enabling us to use an automated follicular extraction technique, avoiding an unsightly and painful incision, this was a game changer for me.” His previous work in microsurgery made for an easy transition into hair restoration. It may seem like pure vanity, but Dr. Durante’s work has serious medical consequences. “It is hard to imagine, but patients losing their hair can become overwhelmingly devastated and can lead to actual clinical depression.”

The proof, as always, is in the results. “Several years ago, I had the privilege of treating a police officer who was severely injured in the line of duty. He was arresting a drunk driver and was subsequently hit by a drunk driver. This brave officer required multiple craniotomies and subsequent surgical revisions. He started to lose his hair and his scalp became unsightly. I had the privilege of performing a hair restoration procedure on him. Another scar would’ve been the kiss of death for him and I was able to successfully restore his hair without any incisions. This was most gratifying for me.”