•  Dr. Wassel Earns Board Certification
    in Sleep Medicine

    April 8, 2010

    Anwar Wassel, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P., medical director of Rome Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center, has earned his board certification in sleep medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

    Dr. Wassel is also board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary disease and critical care medicine. He specializes in the care of patients who have different sleep disorders and lung disease, as well as patients with complex medical conditions and critically ill patients who require intensive care.

    ABIM works to enhance the quality of health care by certifying internists and subspecialists who demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for excellent patient care.

    Board certification demonstrates to the public that physicians have met the highest standards for their field of specialty. Certification is voluntary and includes an exam that tests a physician’s ability to diagnose and treat patients with a broad range of conditions. A growing body of research suggests that board certified physicians deliver higher quality care.

    “I am honored to be certified by this prestigious board,” said Dr. Wassel. “Sleep medicine is quickly evolving and is being recognized as one of the fastest growing fields in medicine. There are a limited number of physicians who are board certified in sleep medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.”

    Dr. Wassel notes that about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems, such as sleep apnea, a condition characterized by snoring and interruption of breathing at night; restless legs syndrome; insomnia and narcolepsy.

    Sleep deprivation is associated with injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, poor quality of life and well-being and lost work productivity. “Sleep apnea not only interferes with a person’s ability to carry out their daily functions of life, it also has many medical consequences and increases the risk for high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases,” he explained.

    According to Dr. Wassel, there are many factors which can lead to significant sleep disturbances. Some common complaints include disturbed sleep, frequent awakenings, early morning awakenings, and undesired daytime sleepiness.

    Conditions associated with sleep disorders include medical and psychiatric conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, gastroesophageal reflux, or depression, and many of the drugs used to treat them. Aging is risk factor for sleep problems, according to Dr. Wassel. “Primary sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and rapid eye movement behavior disorders tend to occur with increasing frequency in older adults,” he said.

    When symptoms of a sleep disorder are present, a sleep study is used to help pinpoint the cause and plan appropriate treatment. The painless test monitors brain waves, eye movement, chin movement, chest and leg movements, air flow, and oxygen levels while the patient sleeps. Data collected from the sleep study is interpreted in a report for the referring physician.

    Dr. Wassel earned his medical degree at the Damascus University School of Medicine in Syria. While completing his internship and residency in internal medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, University Hospital of Brooklyn, he chose to advance his training with a three-year fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Because of his special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, Dr. Wassel also pursued a fellowship in sleep medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians and a member of the American Thoracic Society, Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

    Dr. Wassel opened his practice in Rome in August 2008. His office is located in Rome Medical Plaza, 1617 N. James St., across the street from the hospital. He is accepting new patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 337-3071.