Role Models: Heart Failure & Imaging

Dr Catriona Bhagra
I would encourage trainees interested in these sub-specialities within cardiology to seek opportunities both nationally and internationally.

I was appointed as a consultant cardiologist in 2016, as a joint appointment between Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth Hospitals in Cambridge. I am the clinical lead for heart failure at Addenbrooke’s hospital, and have a varied and interesting job working across the two sites, now neighbouring each other on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

My interest in maternal medicine was founded as an intercalated medical student, I always knew I wanted to be involved in the management of cardiac disease in pregnancy. I trained in heart failure and MRI in Glasgow and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, before moving to Toronto for a ACHD and pregnancy and heart disease fellowship. There I had the privilege of working alongside a dedicated and research driven team of maternal medicine experts, the opportunities were endless, and my fellowship was the height of my training. Now I work as part of our busy maternal cardiology service at the Rosie and am a council member of the recently established UK Maternal Cardiac Society. I am passionate about improving the care of women with cardiac disease in pregnancy.

I enjoy the variety within my job, my typical week involves both a heart failure and a congenital cardiology clinic, alongside a maternal cardiology clinic once or twice a month, cardiac MRI sessions and MDTs. My on-call weeks encompass all aspects of general cardiology, are incredibly busy and invariably exhausting!

I would encourage trainees interested in these sub-specialities within cardiology to seek opportunities both nationally and internationally, and am happy to be sounding board, or to help guide.

Outside of work I have my hands full looking after our two young children (and my cardiologist husband). I enjoy sport and can often be found in the CrossFit box at 6 am, or pedalling through the streets of Cambridge on the school run. Maintaining balance is never easy and becomes harder with consultant life, but working my fulltime job over 4 days (when not on-call) allows me greater quality, and more family time.

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