If you're a patient of Andrea Carpenter, M.D., and a MyChart user, you can:
Dr. Carpenter is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery specializing in all aspects of adult cardiac surgery. She is particularly interested in valvular heart disease performing minimally invasive surgical aortic valve replacement, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and complex reconstruction of the aortic root and aortic arch. Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery was the thing that captured her attention during medical school after seeing the impact that heart surgery had on patients. “I was amazed to see people who were fearful to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen before surgery walking into the clinic after surgery relieved of their heart pain and back to a normal life with their family. So, I headed into highly challenging surgical training to be a heart surgeon and have never doubted the decision”.
Dr. Carpenter came to surgery and to UT Health by a rather circuitous route. Growing up in the NC mountains where girls were told they could not be professionals, she cast about to discover what she was really meant to be. After college at Appalachian State University and a brief stint skiing at Alta, she returned to education earning a M.S. at the University of Utah and then Ph.D. at Penn State studying Physiology.
She took post-doctoral training at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and then joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins as a Research Associate. “As a research scientist I still felt I wasn’t quite where I belonged, so with encouragement from my department chair I went back to school to study medicine. As a third year student at GW School of Medicine I discovered heart surgery”. That education was supported by the Air Force and she entered surgical training at David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis AFB. This was followed by Thoracic Residency at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA.
After residency she was assigned to Wilford Hall where she was promoted to Flight Commander of Cardiothoracic Surgery after only one year in practice. During her years at Wilford hall she recalled how wonderful San Antonio is as home. After 14 years and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, she joined the faculty full time in 2003. Today, Dr Carpenter is the Residency Program Director of Integrated Thoracic Surgery at the Long School of Medicine and holds the rank of clinical professor. She is fully committed to thoracic surgical education and is a national leader in the evolution of thoracic surgery education. “The next generation of thoracic surgeons needs far more complex knowledge and skill than prior generations. Devising methods to train such highly complex and competent surgeons has kept my drive to be the best we can be fresh and exciting. I can hardly describe the joy of seeing these young surgeons succeed”. Dr. Carpenter is fully committed to healing the hearts of San Antonio while training the highest quality surgeons for the future. Appointments and referrals are available through the Medical Arts and Research Center of UT Health San Antonio.