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One of the few women in her field focusing on the heart health message


Dr. Reema Sheth is no stranger to being the exception to this rule, especially when it comes to her career.

She is an interventional cardiologist, a field where less than 5% are women, has been on staff for 18 months and is a member of the Heart Care Centers of Illinois practice, according to a news release from Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.

“I guess I just do it no matter who I am, and I’ve been very fortunate to find care centers that have a long history with the community,” she said. “I come to work, I try to do my best, I work hard, and I feel like I’m treated well in the Heart Care group. The guys were great. “I enjoy going to work every day.”

Sheth surmised that the nature of his specialty attracted very few women, both because of the experience itself and the hours that resulted.

“I think it might be because it’s more of a procedural technical field, and when you get into internal medicine and cardiology, you focus on the medical aspect rather than the technical aspect. “So I think it’s more of a choice or people can’t choose when they have a heart attack because times can change due to unpredictability,” he said.

“This is not a strict 9-to-5 job. Procedures can be planned throughout the day, but emergencies can arise at any time.”

His father and sister also work in the medical field – they are both psychiatrists – but he chose a different path.

“I am the weird one,” Sheth shared. “But they are very supportive. Interventional cardiology has different hours, so I was lucky to have a family that celebrated and supported my accomplishments. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

His interest in a medical career was sparked in part by his family’s career, but also by his experiences as a baby trying to correct the heart defect he was born with.

“I definitely started my education with an open mind, but I always gravitated towards cardiology,” he said. “I love working with my heart, working with my hands, and doing procedures, so cardiology was a really good fit.”

Sheth attended medical school at Michigan State University and completed his training in Michigan after earning his degree.

“After medical school, I specialized in internal medicine. Immediately afterwards, I specialized in cardiology and then received interventional training by doing non-stop procedures in the heart field every day for a year.”

He really enjoys working as an interventional cardiologist.

“Not only do I help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease, but I also help treat progression. I can help identify existing disease, treat existing disease, and take it one step further; if there is severe damage, I can treat the disease with a coronary stent and improve blood flow to the heart.” “Good, I can help him be more efficient.”

Continuing advances in cardiology also make Sheth’s job rewarding; for example, the trans-radial approach for cardiac catheterizations, coronary angiograms from an artery at the wrist.

“This is another great thing about cardiology as a field; not only achieving the best results and the best care, but also constantly advancing with technology. “It is more appropriate to perform the procedure from the wrist rather than the groin,” he said. “It’s more comfortable for the patient after the procedure, plus there’s less downtime… and there’s less risk of bleeding because the artery is smaller than in the groin.”

Sheth, who is board certified in internal medicine and has studied cardiac echocardiograms, cardiac nuclear stress tests, general cardiology and interventional cardiology, is just beginning to present and teach others.

“I have only been in the area for about 18 months and now that I have my feet on the ground, I have started to do more for the community. “I am open to teaching more classes when the opportunity arises,” he said. ‘I helped train female interventional cardiologists at one of the hospitals I attended. “I offer whatever guidance I can.”

The cardiologist gave a presentation focusing on women and heart disease at the Lincolnway Area Business Women’s Organization in New Lenox on Feb. 20, and a program for the community on heart disease prevention is planned for Feb. 28 at the Silver Cross Conference Center in New Lenox. . Registration is required. Both are provided as part of American Heart Month.

More than 140 people signed up for the program on Feb. 28, which Sheth described as “exciting.”

“We focus on general cardiac prevention and general cardiovascular care. “I hope to keep this a conversation that is educational but also open with questions,” he said. “I will present the PowerPoint slides, but there will be broad-based points for general discussion to keep the flow of what we are talking about. “Sometimes I feel like we know the general idea of ​​being healthy, but not the details.”

These details are important, he said, because the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, “so the education we can get only helps in the long run.”

“It is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially for women. There are documented studies showing that they are under-represented, especially among women. There are conditions in women that they may not be aware of,” Sheth explained. “Symptoms may be more common in women than in men. It is very important for women to know all this information.

He believes that in-person presentations are important to provide accurate information. “This may not be the typical thing offered on the internet,” he said. “You may not be able to get this information just by Googling the internet.”

Additional information about heart health can be found in Seth’s episode of Silver Cross’s “iMatter Health” podcast, “Is Heart Disease Genetic or Environmental?” It can be found by viewing or listening to the episode titled. via the hospital’s YouTube channel or a podcast platform.

Melinda Moore is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.


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