Exploring the brain-heart connection
Why I became a cardiologist: One reason is because I am passionate about helping women who have or are at risk for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women. Cardiology is an exciting field that is constantly changing. Over the past 20 years, new technology has advanced our knowledge and treatment options for women’s heart disease.
My research focus: I’m interested in how stress impacts heart disease. There truly is a brain-heart connection, and this is what I plan to study. I am constantly amazed at how much a woman can handle in her busy life and not stop to think about herself, even when symptoms of heart disease finally arise.
The best thing about clinical work: Being at a center of excellence, I enjoy taking care of patients who are suffering from constant chest pain and have been undiagnosed. It is incredibly rewarding to help a woman feel better as well as decrease her heart attack risk.
The importance of a fellowship: The Constance Austin Women’s Heart Fellowship is designed for young physicians who are interested in advancing their knowledge of heart disease under the guidance of C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, FACC, FAHA. This one-year fellowship allowed me to learn research and clinical skills specific to women’s heart disease that I will carry throughout the rest of my career. Specifically, I learned about diagnosis and treatment of coronary microvascular disease, an often under-recognized problem in women. This generous fellowship will further many young physicians and provide an opportunity so vital to the advancement of women’s health.