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Narratives in Cardiology

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Welcome to the Narratives in Cardiology Series Page! 

The CardioNerds Narratives in Cardiology series features cardiovascular faculty representing diverse backgrounds, subspecialties, career stages, and career paths. Discussing why these faculty chose careers in cardiology and their passion for their work are essential components to inspiring interest in the field.

Each talk will feature a cardiology faculty from an underrepresented group, within at least one of several domains: gender, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, international graduate status, disadvantaged backgrounds, etc.

Featured faculty will also represent a variety of practice settings, academic ranks, subspecialties (e.g. clinical cardiology, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, etc), and career paths (e.g. division chief, journal editor, society leadership, industry consultant, etc).

Faculty will be interviewed by fellows-in-training for a two-part discussion that will focus on:

1) Faculty’s content area of expertise
2) Faculty’s personal and professional narrative

As part of their narrative, faculty  will discuss their unique path to cardiology and their current professional role with particular attention to challenges, successes, and advice for junior trainees. Specific topics will be guided by values relevant to trainees, including issues related to mentorship, work-life integration, and family planning.

To help guide this important initiative, the CardioNerds Narratives Council was founded to provide mentorship and guidance in producing the Narratives series with regards to guests and content. The CardioNerds Narratives Council members include: Dr. Pamela DouglasDr. Nosheen RezaDr. Martha GulatiDr. Quinn Capers, IVDr. Ann Marie NavarDr. Ki ParkDr. Bob HarringtonDr. Sharonne Hayes, and Dr. Michelle Albert.

The Narratives Council includes three FIT advisors who will lead the CardioNerds’ diversity and inclusion efforts, including the current project: Dr. Zarina SharalayaDr. Norrisa Haynes, and Dr. Pablo Sanchez.


CardioNerds (Amit Goyal & Carine Hamo) discuss the past, present, and future of Women’s Heart Health & Women in Cardiology with Dr. Nanette Wenger, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Wenger is a true leader in the field of women’s heart health and a strong proponent for women in cardiology and medicine. Her passion, dedication, and advocacy have inspired countless trainees to carry this torch and continue to build on her truly impactful work. Special introduction by Dr. Martha Gulati and birthday wishes to Dr. Wenger by the entire CardioNerds Team! Special thanks to Dr. Kimberly Manning for her invaluable mentorship.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder) introduce the CardioNerds Narratives in Cardiology Series which will feature the stories of amazing cardiovascular faculty and trainees representing diverse backgrounds, subspecialties, career stages, and career paths. To kick this series off, Dr. Pamela Douglas, who heads the Diversity and Inclusion task force for the American College of Cardiology, provides valuable insights in the field and shares her personal story. We are joined by the CardioNerds Narratives #FIT Advisors, Dr. Zarina Sharalaya, Dr. Norrisa Haynes and Dr. Pablo Sanchez for this very important discussion.

Special messages by: Dr. Vanessa Blumer, Dr. Robert Harrington, Dr. Richard Chazal, Dr. Nosheen Reza, Dr. Neha Pagidipati, Dr. Mary Norine (Minnow) Walsh, Dr. Melissa Daubert, Dr. Gerald Bloomfield, Dr. Angela Lowenstern, Dr. Ralph Brindis, Dr. Michael Valentine, Dr. Anna Lisa Crowley, Dr. Malissa Wood and Dr. Geoffrey Ginsberg.

Click here for references, show notes, and more!

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder) join Dr. Bryan Smith (Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist at the University of Chicago) and Dr. Shirlene Obuobi (rising cardiology fellow, CardioNerds ambassador for the University of Chicago, and creator of ShirlyWhirl, M.D.) They discuss the story of a patient with end stage heart failure due to peripartum cardiomyopathy that highlights racial disparities in healthcare and advanced heart failure. They emphasize the importance of providing mentorship for Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and share personal stories of their journey to Cardiology. Dr. Andi Shahu joins us to read his AHA blog titled “Let’s Ban the Phrase “Social Issues”: Social Justice and Advanced Heart Failure Therapies”. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy internPace Wetstein.

Click here for references, show notes, and more!

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder) join Dr. Christine Albert (Professor of Medicine, Founding Chair of the Department of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai, and President of Heart Rhythm Society) and Dr. Rachita Navara (FIT at Washington University, soon to be EP fellow at UCSF) for a Narratives in Cardiology episode. We learn from their experiences as physician scientists and women in cardiology, and specifically in electrophysiology.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder) join Dr. Gina Lundberg (Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Clinical Director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, and Chair Elect for the ACC WIC Section) and Dr. Zarina Sharalaya (interventional cardiology fellow at CCF, CardioNerds Narratives FIT Council Member) for a Narratives in Cardiology episode. Dr. Lundberg highlights the disparities that exists with representation of women in cardiology and cardiology subspecialties, and how to navigate the challenges that exist for women in cardiology. Dr. Lundberg takes us through her career journey and gives several pearls for fellows-in-training regarding achieving career goals, networking, mentorship, and the use of social media to further your career. Special message from Dr. Annabelle Volgman. Audio editing and episode introduction by Gurleen Kaur.

CardioNerd (Amit Goyal), Narratives in Cardiology FIT representative Dr. Zarina Sharalaya and Cleveland Clinic fellow Dr. Gregory Ogunnowo join Dr. Quinn Capers IV, UTSW as Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Faculty Diversity, and the inaugural Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Internal Medicine, for an important and moving discussion about diversity, implicit bias, and #BlackMenInMedicineSpecial thanks to Dr. Kimberly Manning for her introductory remarks for Dr. Capers. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternDr. Maryam Barkhordarian.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder) are joined by Dr. LaPrincess Brewer and Dr. Norrisa Haynes for a Narratives in Cardiology episode, with a special introduction by Dr. Sharonne Hayes. They discuss health inequities especially in communities of color, impact of projects utilizing community based participatory research (including FAITH! and SHARP founded by Dr. Brewer and Dr. Haynes respectively), and their experiences as underrepresented minority women physician-scientists.

This special discussion is brought to you in collaboration with the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC). The ABC’s mission is to “Promote the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease, including Stroke, in Blacks and other Diverse Populations and to Achieve Health Equity for all through the Elimination of Disparities.” You may join and support the ABC at

CardioNerds Cardio-OB series co-chairs University of Texas Southwestern Cardiology Fellow, Dr. Sonia Shah (FIT, University of Texas Southwestern) and Dr. Natalie Stokes, (FIT, University of Pittsburgh) join  Dr. Nanette Wenger, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine and a consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases and founder of the Women’s Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic for an in depth discussion about lifelong advocacy for women’s cardiovascular health. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternDr. Leticia Helms.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder) join fellow lead, Dr. Giselle A. Suero-Abreu (FIT, Massachusets General Hospital), Dr. Isadora Sande Mathias (FIT, Houston Methodist and CardioNerds Academy Fellow), and Dr. Victor Nauffal (FIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital) for a discussion with Dr. William Zoghbi about international medical graduates in the cardiology workforce. This episode focuses on the narratives of international medical graduates (IMGs) who have trail-blazed amazing careers in cardiology. Listen to the episode to learn the state of IMGs in the US physician workforce and the field of Cardiology, an overview of factors that influence IMG selection when applying to residency and fellowship training programs in the US, the impact of recent changes in licensing exams and immigration restrictions, and how to address challenges and support IMGs throughout their medical careers. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternDr. Leticia Helms.

Narrative In Cardiology Episode Pages

Meet Our Guests!

Dr. Pamela Douglas - CardioNerds

Dr. Pamela Douglas

Duke University School of Medicine

Pamela S Douglas MD is the Ursula Geller Professor of Research in Cardiovascular Diseases in the Department of Medicine at Duke University. She has led several landmark and pivotal multicenter randomized clinical trials and outcomes research studies funded by government, professional societies, and industry. She is renowned for her scientific and policy work in improving the quality and appropriateness of imaging in clinical care, clinical trials, and registries and through development and dissemination of national standards for imaging quality, utilization, informatics, and analysis. Dr Douglas helped to establish several important specialty areas including heart disease in women, sports cardiology, and cardio-oncology. Dr. Douglas’ wealth of experience includes authorship of over 500 peer reviewed manuscripts and 30 practice guidelines, service as the President of the American College of Cardiology, President of the American Society of Echocardiography, and Chief of Cardiology at both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Duke University. She has also previously served on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. She has served on the External Advisory Council of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Scientific Advisory Boards of the National Space Biomedical Institute and the Patient Advocate Foundation.
Dr. Zarina Sharalaya - CardioNerds

Dr. Zarina Sharalaya

Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Zarina Sharalaya is an interventional cardiology fellow at the Cleveland Clinic. She completed medical school at The Ohio State University and then completed her residency at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She moved back to her home state of Ohio to do general cardiology fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic. Zarina has been very involved with the Ohio ACC and this year has served as co-chair of the FIT Council. She is passionate about the Women in Cardiology initiative has been able to help formulate the first WIC chapter for Ohio ACC. She enjoys traveling, music, and spending time with her husband and new puppy Zuma.

Dr. Norrisa Haynes - CardioNerds

Dr. Norrisa Haynes

University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Norrisa Haynes is a senior cardiology fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). She attended Yale University for her undergraduate studies where she received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She went on to complete her medical school and internal medicine training at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. During medical school, she received a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Harvard University. After residency, she worked for Partners in Health (PIH) in Haiti for 2 years at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) as a junior attending. During those two years, she also worked as a Harvard Medical School instructor and Brigham hospitalist. After spending 2 years in Haiti, she started cardiology fellowship at UPenn. She is interested in imaging and is currently obtaining a Master of Science in Health Policy (MSHP). Dr. Haynes is a member of the ACC/AHA joint guidelines committee and is a member of UPenn’s Women in Cardiology group (WIC). Dr. Haynes also serves the fellow representative to the board of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC).

Dr. Pablo Sanchez - CardioNerds

Dr. Pablo Sanchez 

Stanford University Medical Center

Dr. Pablo Sanchez is a cardiology fellow at Stanford University Medical Center. He completed medical school The University of Arizona, in Tucson. He completed Internal Medicine training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and served as Chief Resident from 2018-2019. He is devoted to furthering diversity and inclusion, and passionate about using compelling and effective methods to aid medical education. His clinical and research interests encompass critical care cardiology, end-stage heart failure, respiratory failure and ARDS. He plans to pursue further training in critical care medicine. Outside of medicine, his time revolves around his wife/family, friends, Latin American music and mambo/salsa dancing.

Bryan Smith MD - CardioNerds

Dr. Bryan Smith

University of Chicago

Dr. Bryan Smith is an Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist at University of Chicago. Dr. Smith completed his medical school training, residency and Cardiology fellowship at University of Chicago, then traversed Lake Shore Drive to complete his advanced HF fellowship at Northwestern. At University of Chicago, he serves as the director of the hemodynamic Cath lab, on the Chicago board for AHA, and as a faculty mentor for SNMA (Student National Medical Association.) Dr. Smith’s interests lie in community-based interventions for heart failure management and racial disparities, and he is the face of several mentorship programs, including the Heart and Vascular Mentoring program here in Chicago.
Dr. Shirlene Obuobi - CardioNerds

Dr. Shirlene Obuobi

University of Chicago

Shirlene Obuobi, M.D. is a current PGY3 IM resident and rising cardiology fellow. Born in Accra, Ghana and bred in Chicago, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and The Woodlands, Texas, Shirlene completed her medical school training at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and has remained at the University ever since. She is passionate about narrative medicine, health equity, and health disparities, and espouses these passions via her medical comic platform, ShirlyWhirl, M.D. Outside of medicine, she also loves to write. Within Cardiology, she is most interested in Prevention, but is remaining open minded.

Dr. Christine Albert is currently President of Heart Rhythm Society. She recently transitioned from Professor of Medicine at Harvard and Director of the Center of Arrhythmia Prevention at the Brigham to now Founding Chair of the Department of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai. She is an Epidemiologist and R01-grant funded physician scientist with over 200 peer-reviewed publications – with landmark contributions demonstrating the role of lifestyle and genetics on heart rhythm disorders. She has served as PI for numerous large-scale award-winning clinical trials, her latest studying primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer in 25,000 patients across the country. She has served as the associate editor for Circulation, and continues to serve on the editorial board of numerous journals in not only cardiology but also epidemiology, clinical nutrition, and endocrinology and metabolism.

Rachita Navara - CardioNerds

Dr. Rachita Navara

Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Rachita Navara is a bioengineer and senior cardiology fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. She is excited to enter her dream specialty of electrophysiology at UCSF, the birthplace of catheter ablation for arrhythmias. Her interest in EP emerged during bioengineering training at the innovative Olin College of Engineering. She went on to medical school at UT Southwestern, where she was the lead singer of her med school band “The Pacemakers.” Dr. Navara completed her internal medicine training at Stanford University, where she was accepted into the inaugural Biodesign Pathway of Distinction and researched complex atrial fibrillation mechanisms under the mentorship of Dr. Sanjiv Narayan. She joined cardiology fellowship at Wash U, where she researched novel noninvasive cardiac radioablation under the mentorship of Dr. Phillip Cuculich. Dr. Navara’s startup company “SafeBeat Rx LLC” was competitively selected into BioGenerator’s Grants-to-business program, and she recently submitted her first NIH STTR grant. She was appointed as the youngest member of the National ACC EP Leadership Council, and she is currently an HRS representative to the AMA. Dr. Navara aims to lead a research lab conducting trials on EP devices and mapping/ablating technologies she has designed herself. In her free time, she enjoys painting, singing and tandem biking with her husband, and competitive scrabble tournaments (nerd level: ultimate).

Dr. Gina Lundberg

Dr. Gina Lundberg

Emory University

Gina Price Lundberg MD FACC FAHA is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and has served as the Clinical Director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center since it was founded in 2013. She is a Preventive Cardiologist and specializes in heart disease in women, lipid abnormalities and cardiovascular risk reduction. She founded the first women’s heart prevention program in the state of Georgia in 1998. Dr Lundberg’s service at Emory University includes improving outcomes for women with cardiovascular disease but also improving gender equity for women in cardiology and encouraging more women to choose cardiology for their careers. She attended the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center. Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She is active with the ACC, AHA, and NLA. She is the Chair-elect for the ACC Women in Cardiology Leadership Council and is the co-chair for the WIC Communications and Social Media Committee. She is the Co-chair for the NLA Social Media and Communications committee and the co-Chair for NLA DE&I Committee. She serves on the AHA Clinical Cardiology Communications and Social Media committee and the AHA Familial Hypercholesterolemia and Hyperlipidemia working group. And she serves as the Social Media Supervisor for JACC Case Reports.

Dr. La Princess Brewer is an assistant professor and preventative cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic college of medicine. She is an innovative physician-scientist whose research focuses on creating visionary strategies to reduce heart disease and health disparities in minority populations and underserved communities.  Dr. Laprincess Brewer also leads the Fostering African-American Improvement in Total Health (FAITH) program which she started as a cardiology fellow and has since brought to the Mayo clinic.  The Faith program has since grown and evolved.  It is now a mobile application which continues to improve cardiovascular health through the use of technology and digital health but now also focuses on COVID-19 education and COVID-19 mitigation in the African American Community.   Dr. Brewer is also a member of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC).

Dr. William A. Zoghbi

Dr. William A. Zoghbi

Houston Methodist Hospital

Dr. William A. Zoghbi, a renowned cardiology, echocardiography and cardiac imaging expert, has developed noninvasive heart function and valve disorder evaluation techniques. As a result, Dr. Zoghbi has overseen national and international heart valve evaluation guideline development.He built his reputation on his ischemic heart disease, myocardial function and hibernation research, as well as his development of echocardiographic techniques to evaluate valvular dynamics and measure valvular regurgitation. Dr. Zoghbi has authored more than 300 publications and lectured at every major cardiology conference worldwide.

Dr. Giselle Alexandra Suero Abreu

Dr. Giselle Alexandra Suero Abreu

Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr.Giselle Alexandra Suero Abreu is a cardiology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was born and raised in Dominican Republic where she received her M.D. from the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC). During medical school, she discovered a passion for research and then attended New York University School of Medicine where she pursued a MSc in biology, physiology and neuroscience and then a PhD in biomedical imaging. During her PhD, she studied angiogenesis and tumor development in cancer models using multimodality molecular imaging. She went on to complete an internal medicine residency at Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School and is currently completing a chief resident year. She plans to pursue a career as a physician-scientist in the fields of cardio-oncology and cardiac imaging, and is interested in furthering diversity in academic medicine.

Dr. Victor Nauffal

Dr. Victor Nauffal

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. Victor Nauffal is a Clinical Fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was born in Sydney, Australia and earned his medical school degree from the American University of Beirut. He completed his internal medicine training at the Osler Housestaff Training Program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He will be pursuing subspecialty training in cardiac electrophysiology. His research efforts in cardiovascular epidemiology are focused on the intersection of  genetics and cardiac arrhythmias. In his free time he enjoys skiing and playing basketball.

Dr. Isadora Sande Mathias

Dr. Isadora “Isa” Sande Mathias

Houston Methodist Hospital

Dr. Isadora “Isa” Sande Mathias is a cardiology fellow at Houston Methodist Hospital and completed internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic. She was born and raised in the diverse city of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, where she completed her medical school in 2017. Isa has always been upbeat, outgoing, making friends everywhere, and thus interested in connecting with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and that combined with a strong passion for cardiology and education attracted her to CardioNerds. In her free time, she likes to cook and try new restaurants, run, hike and practice yoga outdoors, and spend time with her cat Caju.