We had a chance to get to know Gabriel Faz MD, FACC, FSCAI. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Nuclear Cardiology and Internal Medicine. He is an interventional cardiologist with RiverCity CardioVascular (February is American Heart Month).
What part of the Southside did you grow up in? What school? I grew up in the Southeast part of San Antonio and attended Inez Foster Elementary School and Connell Middle School. I was fortunate to follow my sister's footsteps and be accepted into Northside Health Careers High School. Back then, acceptance was based solely on merit and not a lottery system.
What made you get into medicine? While attending Northside Health Careers High School, I was enrolled in several health care-related courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, HealthCare Science, and Patient Care. These courses were instrumental in awakening my passion to pursue a career in medicine. After completing my medical training in Houston, I attended residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. My favorite rotations included Cardiology and Critical Care Medicine. I ultimately chose Cardiology because I found it to be the most fascinating organ of the body from its structure to its function. The field of Cardiology is vast and leads all other subspecialties in its research and cutting-edge technology which has made impactful differences in patients’ lives. As an Interventional Cardiologist, I am able to bring bench-work research to the clinical setting and save lives on a daily basis. There is no better reward or sense of fulfillment.
What made you come back to practice in your Southside community? My sister, who happens to be a cardiovascular nurse, informed me that they were building a new hospital and medical school in what used to be known as Brooks Air Force Base. I was excited to come back to San Antonio and be closer to my family as well as be a part of a new mini medical center less than 2 miles from where I grew up. I found the possibilities for growth to be exponential.
How does it feel to take care of patients in the community you grew up in? At some point in our lives, we all serve as doctors/nurses at some level when we care for our parents, children, siblings, friends or family. It is an honor to care for the same community which has been instrumental in my growth and development as a physician.
Do you have a favorite Southside restaurant? Every Saturday, my parents and grandparents would take me and my sister to Luby's Cafeteria. We used to eat and then shop at the malls. Back then, the malls were McCreless, Windsor Park, South Park, and North Star. It's very sad to see that Luby's will be closing its doors in the next few years but I've always loved their food. My family always gets me gift cards because they know I remain a loyal customer.
What place on the Southside means a lot to you? I have the fondest memories of my grandparent's house on Clark Street especially during the holidays. My grandmother was a very strong Hispanic woman who tended to all aspects of daily living while also having a job. Her cooking and singing were unmatched as well as her sense of style and grace. She taught me how to sing rancheras, boleros, and huapangos. We always had jam sessions with guitar playing and singing especially during Christmas. So many family and friends would come just to eat, sing, and have a great time. My grandmother also taught me the meaning of hard work, respect, and humility. She passed away in 2006 and my grandfather passed away in 2019. Every time I pass by their house, I feel a deep sense of nostalgia.
What message would you like to give to the Southside and San Antonio community? The culture of the Southside is rich in tradition and values. Growing up, I was exposed to all the Mexican dishes and delicacies. It's very difficult to shy away from your mother or grandmother feeding you all their wonderful cooking that is high in fat and calories. However, overindulgence is a behavior which can and needs to be modified. Eating a heart-healthy meal which includes a main course of fruits and vegetables with a side dish of grilled/baked fish or chicken for flavor should be the standard and not the exception. Also, if you eat every day, then you should incorporate daily exercise in your routine. If you smoke, stop! You are literally hardening all your arteries. Motivate yourself to strive for a healthier day and you will notice a change in your outlook on life as well as how you feel. Ultimately, it is you, the patient, who is the player in life. We physicians serve as your coach.
RiverCity CardioVascular has 2 clinic locations in South San Antonio:
City Base Office - 7003 S. New Braunfels Ave, Suite 104, San Antonio, Texas 78223 - Phone: (210) 333-9500
Barlite Office - 7390 Barlite Blvd, Suite 105, San Antonio, Texas 78224 - Phone: (210) 921-0000
And 6 other office locations throughout San Antonio and the surrounding area. For more info, visit rccvsa.com
The physicians at RiverCity CardioVascular include:
M.M. Ontiveros, MD, FACC
Chad R. Christopherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Jorge C. Magallon, MD, FACC FSCAI
Evan Mokwe, MD FACC
John H. Frierson, MD, FACC
Michael Wilson, MD, FACP
Gabriel T. Faz, MD FACC, FSCAI
Ghassan Abusaid, MD, FACC
Mark A. Shima, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI
Zalmen Blanck, MD, FHRS
Alexis M. Fenton, MD FACC
Chinelo Udemgba, MD