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New RRH cardiologist Dr. Robert Schatz moves to Ridgecrest

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH)–   Dr. Robert Schatz and his wife, Jan Shelton, have moved to the area, where he will serve as the newest cardiologist at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.

“I am very excited to live and work here!” he said. “We spent ten years in the Palm Springs area, so we are used to the heat. And I have served in many rural communities, so we are also used to small towns.”

Dr Robert Shatz

Dr. Schatz grew up in Orange County. As a teenager, he was fascinated by the roar of a fast car’s engine. “The heart is the motor of the body. So, it is fitting that my love for movement, kinetics, and mechanics led me to study cardiology.

“The heart beats 80,000 to 100,000 times per day. It’s just amazing to consider how the heart works.” He has been studying medicine since the 1980s, “And my work still enthralls me.”

Dr. Schatz earned his bachelor of psychology from the University of California, Irvine. He studied at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara before earning his doctorate from the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

He spent his internship and residence in internal medicine at USC-Los Angeles County Medical Center and completed a cardiology fellowship at UC Irvine and Veterans Administration Hospital-Long Beach. His continuing education includes professional training in all aspects of non-invasive cardiology, including stress testing, echocardiography, and pacemaker evaluation.

Dr. Schatz has served at multiple hospitals throughout California.

Over the years, he has seen many changes in the tools and technology that provide insight and analysis into the diseases and conditions that impact the heart. “I think we are moving from a heuristic form of analysis and diagnostics to a more algorithmic approach because of artificial intelligence,” he said.

But the technology is just part of the story. Computers still cannot exercise judgment, which is why we still have medicine.”

Dr. Schatz noted that many people need a better idea of what lifestyle decisions impact the heart. One of his favorite ways to stay heart-healthy is going outside for walks.

“That’s such a freeing activity — and one of the best forms of exercise you can get. It’s good for your heart and mind.

He has another activity that helps his spirit and body: “During the pandemic, I picked up the harmonica. I practice a little bit every day, and I still get a kick out of it. It’s a wonderful instrument — you can carry it around in your pocket, then make music and improve your breathing and airflow at the same time.”

You may not see him at Open Mic Night soon, but he is open and delighted to see new patients. If you would like to make an appointment, contact 760-499-3277.

“We are happy to welcome Dr. Schatz and his wife to town,” said RRH CEO Jim Suver. “Recruiting quality healthcare providers remains our top priority, and we are pleased that Dr. Schatz has decided to serve our patients and community.”