Dr. Steve Rechenmacher has always been fascinated with the way things work. As a kid, he disassembled and reassembled his Nintendo just to better understand how it functioned. In middle school, his interest in engineering evolved to include “the greatest machine of all—the human body.” By the time he was twelve he knew he wanted to devote his life to medicine, where he could satisfy his intellectual passions while changing people’s lives for the better.
Dr. Rechenmacher pursued his dream, graduating from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Southern California and completing an internal medicine residency at the University of California Davis Medical Center. He then served as the chief cardiology fellow at the University of Utah, where he also completed a fellowship in clinical cardiac electrophysiology. He joined Vancouver Clinic’s Cardiology Department in 2017.
As an electrophysiologist, he treats problems with the electrical circuits of the heart. If a heart beats too fast, too slow, or out of sync, he’s the cardiologist to help.
“Cardiac electrophysiology (EP) is a logic puzzle. You’re given all these little clues that you have to piece together to find the answer. I fell in love with it because of the mechanics of it—the logic of it,” he said. “I also love that EP is in real time. Every heartbeat counts. There’s an urgency that makes the job feel truly important, which is so gratifying.”
EP is a fast-moving field with huge advancements in the tools and technologies used to treat heart conditions. Each year brings new devices that are smaller, safer, and better. But while the specialty is changing quickly, when it comes to patients, Dr. Rechenmacher likes to take his time. Sometimes that means offering patients reassurance when a condition sounds scary, helping people understand what’s going on inside their chest, or carefully explaining the risks and benefits of the different medical options available.
“I think medicine works best when patients have ownership over the treatment plan. I want to help them tailor the specific plan that will work best for them, and I want to be there to help them succeed,” he said.
As a physician, one of the things Dr. Rechenmacher has noticed is how people tend to take better care of their loved ones than themselves.
“It comes from a selfless place,” he said. “But ignoring symptoms and delaying care can be so detrimental. Listen to your body when something isn’t right, and listen to your loved ones when they urge you to see your doctor.”
Outside of work, Dr. Rechenmacher, who up until now spent most of his life in Northern California, has been exploring the Northwest with his wife and three children. He’s excited to live in such a beautiful, family-friendly area and to build his practice at Vancouver Clinic.
“I’m proud to be part of such an effective, community-oriented organization that is changing lives for the better, and a place that’s practicing great medicine on the cutting edge,” he said.