Hisham M Wagdy 1166854 photo

Hisham M Wagdy, FACC, MD

  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Cardiology

Accepting New Patients

UnityPoint Provider

  • Hospital Affiliations:
    • Jones Regional Medical Center
    • St. Luke's Hospital
  • Gender: Male
  • Languages Spoken:
    • English

About Hisham M Wagdy, FACC, MD

Medical Education
  • Ain Shams University Medical School, Cairo, Egypt MD
  • Fellowship
    • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Nuclear Cardiology
    • University of Texas, Galveston Cardiovascular
    • University of California, San Fransisco Cardiovascular Research
    • Residency
      • Nassau University Medical Center, NY Internal Medicine
Focus Areas
  • Nuclear Cardiology
  • Cardiology


Podcast Episodes with Dr. Wagdy:
LiveWell Talk On… podcasts from UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids are designed to educate, inform and empower listeners to live their healthiest lives. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora or wherever you get your podcasts.
174 - Interventional Cardiology (Dr. Hisham Wagdy)

About Dr. Wagdy:
What led you to pursue a career in cardiology? 
I grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and for as long as I can remember, I highly valued education. My father was an educator, and I was his first child, so he put a lot of effort into my education. I was an excellent student. I went to medical school in Cairo, but I knew I wanted to practice in the United States. I did my medical training in the U.S. and chose to specialize in cardiology because it is a specialty where you perform procedures and I like working with my hands.
What brought you to St. Luke’s? I always tell people St. Luke’s came to me. I was working at the Mayo Clinic and received a call from a recruiter for Cardiologists, P.C. (now St. Luke’s Heart Care Clinic). He asked me to consider a nuclear cardiology opportunity in Cedar Rapids. I was apprehensive, but the following day, I was at a conference where I met a pediatric cardiology fellow from the University of Iowa. He encouraged me to interview and told me Cedar Rapids has the first mosque ever built in North America.
I interviewed in March 1996 during Ramadan (the Muslim holy month of daily fasting). They took me to the Cedar Rapids Islamic Center after sunset, where there was a large gathering to break the fast. That was the first time I had seen a real mosque in the U.S. I was really impressed.
The setting was perfect – a Muslim community, the Midwest culture, ethics I liked and wanted for my three very young children, and a hospital with heart surgery. Everything fell into place, and here we are 25 years later.
What’s your proudest moment at St. Luke’s? I would say the expansion of our practice. In 2004, I became president of our cardiology group. At that time, we had seven cardiologists. It was very difficult to manage the volume of patients, so we took the group from seven to 17 cardiologists. We expanded our nuclear and echo services as well as outreach. In 2008, we proposed integrating our practice with St. Luke’s Hospital, which was implemented in 2010.
What’s the biggest thing you learn from caring for patients/what do your patients teach you? I’ve learned to have patience, recognizing that patients are individuals. You can only advise them, and you can’t take it personally if your advice is not followed.
What do you believe makes St. Luke’s stand out in terms of heart care and other services? St. Luke’s Heart Care is the oldest heart program in town. We were the first to perform heart surgery in Cedar Rapids. St. Luke’s is Cedar Rapids’ Heart Hospital and has been for a long time.
Heart care has evolved exponentially over the past 50 years. In the 70s, if someone had a heart attack, there was basically nothing you could do. Then in the 80s we had thrombolytic therapy (medicine that’s used to dissolve blood clots) and angioplasty. In the 90s, we had stents, and now we have TAVR, MitraClip, Shockwave... the advancement is just amazing. St. Luke’s and the cardiologists have led the way and adopted everything throughout the years.
What are words you live by as a St. Luke’s team member? Why? There is a phrase I am known for practically everywhere – “let’s do it.” A patient needs to be seen… let’s do it. Let’s get the patient in. Especially in the cath lab – let’s just do it and get it done.
Describe your family: I have three grown children and one at home, as well as five grandchildren. My wife Rafah is very supportive and amazes me by continuing her studies while caring for our two-year-old daughter.
What do you like to do in your free time/for fun? I love to garden. I spend a lot of time doing that in the summertime.
What is one fun fact about yourself? As a teenager I raised pigeons. They weren’t confined – they’d just fly away and come back. I would stand out on our balcony with beans in my hand, and they would come to me from everywhere and eat from my hand.
What is one message you’d like to share with patients/the community? One ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. And prevention does not mean medical prevention. That means eat right. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Preventing disease by modifying your behavior is much better than having a disease and then getting treatment because even if you get treatment, you'll never be as good as not having a disease.

Hisham M Wagdy Video