Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jeremy Waddell graduated from Duke University in 2014 as a Nurse Practitioner, and completed his doctorate there in 2015. Starting as a Registered nurse in 2006, his entire career has been dedicated to the study and management of Cardiovascular disease. He worked for the University of North Carolina health system for five years before moving to the Crystal Coast. He has also held faculty appointments at the University of Mount Olive and Campbell University. In 2018 he authored his first cardiology textbook, Waddell's Theory of Cardiology, which is now being used by multiple colleges and Universities around the country to teach students how to correctly assess, diagnose, and manage various heart conditions.
While visiting friends and family in Swansboro, NC he realized that there were no specialists in cardiovascular disease in the area, yet one was desperately needed with the growing and aging population. Realizing the need was greatest in the area between Jacksonville and Morehead, he and his wife Amy began the process of planning and relocating their family to the area in 2018. After nearly 15 months of planning, the first Cardiology practice on Emerald Isle was born.
Some of his favorite hobbies include woodworking, welding, and building Jeeps, Hummers, and anything else he can drive on the beach. He is quite the animal-lover, and would own a zoo in his backyard if his wife would let him. For now, he has his dog and a pet duck.
So what kind of Doctor is he?
We are often asked what kind of Doctor Jeremy actually is. Jeremy holds five college degrees and certificates... A diploma (similar to an associate's degree), Bachelor's, and Master's in Nursing, a post-Master's certificate in Nursing Education (similar to a second Master's degree), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. He received the last three from Duke University. Combined, he was in college for a total of 13 years. He is not a Medical Doctor (MD), but does hold a doctoral degree, similar to many other professional doctorates. While most Nurse Practitioners have a Master's degree, some have chosen to continue their education to the doctoral level.
A common question is whether non-medical doctors should be allowed to use the term "Doctor". "Doctor" is not a term that Medical Doctors own. Dentists, Psychologists, Podiatrists (foot doctors), Oral surgeons, Orthodontists, Chiropractors, and Optometrists are not MDs. They are all referred to as Doctors though, because they all hold professional doctorates in their field. Many college professors have doctorates in education and are referred to by names like "Dr. Smith" in their classrooms.
Similarly, the term "Cardiologist" is reserved for physicians who specialize in Cardiology. Dr. Waddell's degree is "Adult and Gerontology Primary Care with a focus in Cardiovascular disease". For that reason, he does not use the term "Cardiologist", and never has. As with all Nurse Practitioners in North Carolina, Dr. Waddell is required to have a Collaborating Physician... An MD who agrees to collaborate with him in case he encounters a patient situation in which he is not sure what to do. This physician does not have to be in the office, but does have to be able to be reached by phone in case of emergency. The majority of states in the US no longer require this agreement at all, and recognize Nurse Practitioners as having full authority to practice. North Carolina is one of only 12 states still requiring this type of Agreement. There is currently legislature in both the NC house and the NC senate looking to do away with this outdated requirement.
In the office setting, there is not much of a difference between what DNPs and MDs can do. Their education and training paths are quite different, but their capabilities in the office setting can be similar. Dr. Waddell assesses patients, orders tests, diagnoses problems, and prescribes medications. Our office does EKGs, ultrasounds, and stress tests just like any other cardiology practice. He can diagnose Pacemaker problems and make programming changes as necessary. He also treats conditions like chest pain, palpitations (forceful or irregular heart beats), and heart failure.