January 20, 2023
“The physician is the care, but Christ is the cure.”
Dr. Russell Raymond ’75 has spent more than three decades working as an interventional cardiologist in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, ranked as the #1 hospital for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report since 1994.
Having completed more than 22,000 heart procedures, Raymond retired last December and now works one or two days each week, teaching Cleveland Clinic fellows and helping with lab cases.
“Medicine is an incredible ministry,” Raymond said. “When patients come to me, I tell them: ‘We’re going to do our best to fix your broken heart.’ That leads, from time to time, to conversations about the Word and Christ.”
Raymond reflects on his undergraduate years at Asbury.
“Not only did Asbury prepare me for medical school,” Raymond said. “I gained a liberal arts education that helped me become more well-rounded, which is what medical schools desire. At that time, Asbury offered German classes, which became my favorite ones, learning under Dr. Anne Kuhn.”
During his summers off from Asbury, Raymond worked as a scrub technician in cardiovascular surgery at Cleveland Clinic to help pay for his room and board at Asbury.
“I grew up with both parents as Salvation Army officers,” he said. “I have told my children to live by the motto: ‘Grace alone.’ God opens doors, but we still must do the hard work.”
After graduating from Asbury in 1975, Raymond completed medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University before completing fellowships at Cleveland Clinic for advanced training in cardiology and interventional cardiology. He has been with Cleveland Clinic as an interventional cardiologist since 1988.
Raymond’s family members continue the legacy of medicine as ministry, with two sons serving as cardiologists and one daughter serving as an internal medicine physician.
“Four of us siblings are doctors,” Raymond said. “Three of us went to Asbury. Clifford ’69 attended medical school and worked in obstetrics and gynecology. Jonathan ’70 earned his Ph.D. and undertook a comprehensive career in academia, most recently serving as President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at Trinity Western University. We call Jonathan the ‘real doctor.’”
In addition to receiving the “Teacher of the Year” award three times at Cleveland Clinic, Raymond organized a medical team that traveled to Honduras for 22 years to extend the lives of 35 babies with congenital heart disease.
Raymond also has been involved in many clinical research studies related to cardiac issues and treatments, including bioresorbable stents (ABSORB) and the use of coronary artery bypass grafting surgery compared with percutaneous intervention for patients with severe triple vessel disease. He has co-authored chapters for medical textbooks and published numerous articles and abstracts in leading peer-reviewed publications, including Circulation, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Diagnosis, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and European Heart Journal.
“As cardiologists, we open up arteries to offer comfort and prolong lives,” Raymond said. “We provide care, but only God can heal hearts. With Asbury students’ having an 88 percent acceptance rate into medical school, the future is bright for an extremely satisfying ministry and career.”
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center that provides clinical and hospital care and is a leader in research, education and health information. Learn more: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/.
The Asbury University Shaw School of Sciences offers 14 majors and six minors, including biology, chemistry, and physics: https://www.asbury.edu/about/offices/schools/science-health-math/. The Collaborative Learning Center offers eleven laboratories, with spaces dedicated to eDNA research, cell and molecular biochemistry, ecology and environmental science, physics, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, instrumentation, biology preparation, chemistry preparation, and collaborative innovation.