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Role Models: Interventional Cardiology

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Dr Shrilla Banerjee
Surrey
A Professor of Cardiology once told me that “Cardiology wasn’t quite ready for women”…so shocking, considering that there were already influential female Cardiologists around!! I made it my aim to prove him wrong!

I am a Consultant in Interventional Cardiology at East Surrey Hospital, Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust. I love my job! I am based in a busy, district general hospital, with both general Cardiology and complex coronary intervention available. I see my patients, from the door, through their procedure and then afterwards too.

I particularly enjoy Coronary Intervention, as we generally fix people. Cardiology in general has that quality, but also diagnostic challenges are present too. I have also worked for the Civil Aviation Authority as a Consultant Advisor, which was a new and interesting challenge.

I decided I wanted to follow Cardiology, from the early days at medical school, but did not have a particularly academic CV. However, I worked hard and published well and completed my MD. I think you have to demonstrate commitment and willing, and never let people put you off. It is hard work, but the rewards are that I really enjoy my work and it is never humdrum or boring. Even after a long, tiring day, the buzz I get is immeasurable.

A Professor of Cardiology once told me that “Cardiology wasn’t quite ready for women”…so shocking, considering that there were already influential female Cardiologists around!! I made it my aim to prove him wrong!

I have two children. I had both my children as a Consultant. In my day, having children and following a career in Intervention were really discouraged. Looking back, I wish that I had had my children earlier.

My main advice regarding work-life balance is to remember what is important to you. I think the World is a much better place for people to make their choices nowadays, and everyone should make their choices to have or not have children, whenever they wish. And also, be super-organised. I make a list every day of all the things I need to do. Usually a lot gets carried over, but you will find that as you become more senior, families expand, demands increase and it is so easy to forget things and get in a muddle.

I am active in our national societies, both BCS and BCIS and think Cardiology is very much a specialty that transcends gender. I strongly recommend this job to anyone.

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