Several of our female CorPath® GRX users from across the globe have contributed to the American College of Cardiology’s Women in Cardiology section. Featured prominently in the “#ChooseCardiology” column, each of the physicians discusses their path to interventional cardiology and the role that robotic-assisted intervention plays. Read on to learn more about these dynamic women.
On Choosing Interventional Cardiology
Many of the female cardiologists profiled for the column chose the field because it has personal meaning. Dr. Frances O. Wood, an interventional cardiologist with dedicated structural heart training at WakeMed Heart Center in Raleigh, NC, who specializes in complex coronary interventions and valvular disease, said, “Both of my parents had medical issues, so from a young age I knew I wanted to work in a science or medical field.” She also enjoys the freedom the career gives her. “In my five years of practice,” she said, “I have really been able to pave my own path, something that was very important to me not just as a woman but also as a physician looking for a niche practice. I like that I am able to treat patients who need immediate care relating to a STEMI as well as have a long-term relationship with cardiac patients who trust me.”
Others noted that they selected the field for its fast pace and the joy of helping patients. Dr. Rajeshwari Nayak, senior consultant cardiologist at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, India, said, “I love the thrill of challenging emergency and interventional cases and the moments when I know my skills helped push back against imminent catastrophe.” Dr. Kathleen E. Kearney, interventional cardiologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, reflected on a specific case that solidified her love for cardiology, saying, “I remember leaving post-call after caring for a 42-year-old man who had a cardiac arrest in the hospital and underwent urgent revascularization, fearing he might be dead before I returned the next day. Instead, he was extubated, off pressors and anxious to hear every detail of the night he could not remember. He did great and was discharged home shortly thereafter, and I was hooked.”
On the Benefits of Robotics
According to Dr. Nayak, “The advent of vascular robotics is a promising new technology poised to transform the practice of interventional cardiology and provide extra protection to the physician.” Dr. Wood expanded upon that sentiment, saying, “I appreciate not having to wear the heavy lead. The reduced radiation exposure and improved precision are beneficial for both physicians and patients respectively.”
Dr. Kearney discussed how robotic PCI can help women advance in the field. She said, “Do not be deterred because you envision having a family. The field is changing and all the more as more women enter the field. Any physician has challenges with work-life balance – it is easiest done if you love what you do. Fellows often cite radiation exposure as a barrier to entering interventional cardiology but are unaware of data demonstrating safety of occupational exposures using standard precautions. Fortunately, our personal radiation exposure is declining with the availability of modern, low-dose fluoroscopy systems and robotic-assisted interventions.”
Be sure to check out the full blogs written by these inspiring women to learn more about their work!