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Paducah native returns as area cardiologist

By MASON BLANFORD mblanford@paducahsun.com

After 18 years, Dr. Martin Rains returns home as the newest member of the Baptist Health Medical Group Heart Group.

As a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, nearly 14 of those years were spent in medical training in Lexington. Rains is board certified in both general and interventional cardiology.

The decision to come back, he said, was to find "a better pace" for both his practice and family life. The Paducah native also believes he can contribute to his hometown's prospects.

"Paducah has changed a lot since I've grown up," Rains said. "The friendliness and lack of traffic (appeals) to me as a father with a working wife and soon to be three children, but I'm also hopeful to help bring new (medical) technologies to the area."

Rains worked nights at The Paducah Sun as a sports clerk before graduating from Paducah Tilghman High School in 1999. This year, he said his return marked the discovery of a reinvigorated downtown and a startling array of restaurants.

Now he's focused on how he can further improve the area.

Rains' advanced cardiology training includes structural heart disease and peripheral vascular interventions. A medical school colleague also from Lexington, Dr. Michael Faulkner, holds similar training in the Heart Group.

Rains' hope is to bring new procedures they've both learned to the surrounding area -- particularly, less invasive surgeries for patients.

"Paducah has been blessed for decades to have many great cardiologists," he said. "We hope to continue moving things forward in that respect. We're hopeful to bring technologies to the area usually performed in places like Lexington, Louisville and Nashville."

Despite his specific skill set, Rains said, he's faced some indecision.

Also board certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine, it was a diagnosis of recurrent pericarditis -- a painful inflammation in the chest -- during his undergraduate years that led to choosing cardiology.

While sitting in the doctor's office and hearing the news, he said, "I was interested in what the guy was saying."

"When I got to medical school, I felt drawn to adult interventional cardiology," he said. "I think it's the most rewarding field in medicine.

"You can see someone literally dying in front of you, and if you can help them, they get to walk out of the hospital like nothing ever happened. You see immediate results from your work, which is rewarding."

Currently Rains is in a "transitionary period," with his family living in Lexington a while longer. But he said he's settling into the job well.

"The people have been everything I was hoping for and more," he said. "It's a neat feeling to feel welcomed everywhere I go, and it's definitely a privilege to provide medical care for the people in your community."

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