Letters of Inspiration: Jan 14th, 2012

I am always thrilled to hear from women pursuing a career in cardio:


Hi Dr. Magliato,

I was lucky enough that my mom heard one of your interviews on the radio last year in Massachusetts on Valentine’s Day, and she gave me a copy of Heart Matters. I loved it!! Thank you so much for telling the truth of your inspiring journey through your training and career in medicine.  It is amazing to hear the story of female role models who have paved the way for the rest of us, and also rather humbling in hearing how you really manage to do it all!  I am currently a 3rd year medical student at Tufts in Boston, and trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. I wonder if you have any advice for a student with a variety of interests, definitely leaning towards surgery, but finding it hard to decide what track to take.I started my career on a completely different place, working as an engineer for Boeing in El Segundo. In fact I lived in Redondo Beach for four years, and volunteered at Torrance Memorial since all along I had an inkling that I belonged in medicine instead. I’ve now returned to Massachusetts for med school, and have been frustrated that in my 3 years so far haven’t been able to find a place where I can blend my skills learned from engineering with further development of my medical career. I have always thought I would end up in Orthopedic Surgery and indeed am still considering that as a specialty.  My only two reservations are 1) likelihood of getting into ortho with less that stellar board scores– even though I have Honored all of my clinical rotations and 2) I really love the heart! This is part of why I found your book so captivating! I’m not sure if Cardiothoracic surgery is a realistic goal for me though. For starters, it is LONG road of training and I’d be starting residency at 30. I honestly worry about what this means for starting a family. I suppose you just cross that bridge when you get to no matter what your specialty. I also know that this is one of the most demanding specialties that exists, and I’m not sure that I can handle that later in life. Plus I know that this field has undergone significant changes in the past 10-15 years with increasing interventional cardio procedures as well as medical therapies. I think many people are unsure of the direction CTS will end up in the future, and that is a bit scary as a career choice now.  I am getting in touch with an engineering professor at Tufts who works with Biomedical design for cardiovascular problems, so maybe this will open me up to the connection between engineering and medicine that I have been looking for and make the decision much easier. Sorry for such a long email, but I would appreciate any words of advice you have. I know you are extremely busy. Thank you again for being such an inspirational role model.Sincerely,
-L S
M.D. Candidate
Tufts University School of Medicine