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People make a difference in all walks of life. And that’s particularly true for Christy Kaiser, MD, an attending physician in Cardiology with MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The Kansas City, Mo., native credits an engaging, “larger than life” attending physician at Baylor University’s School of Medicine for sparking her interest in cardiology.
"The heart and vascular system are very dynamic,” Dr. Kaiser explains. “His knack for breaking down the physiology of a disease helped me to reason through how the disease processes work, and why we use the treatments we do.”
After completing an Internal Medicine residency at Duke University, Dr. Kaiser came to Washington for her cardiology fellowship at the Hospital Center/MedStar Georgetown University Hospital program. She says the opportunity to join the faculty following completion of the fellowship was appealing on many levels, including the opportunity to treat a wide variety of patients and pathologies, as well as to keep up with advancements in echocardiography and new percutaneous treatments, such as options for valve repair.
The Joy of Teaching
Serving as associate program director of the Hospital Center/MedStar Georgetown Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program also adds a teaching aspect that Dr. Kaiser particularly enjoys. She designed and implemented a two-day “bootcamp” for new cardiology fellows, who use simulation to become familiar with specific conditions and procedures. Dr. Kaiser also established an international elective for MedStar cardiology fellows to deliver health care at a teaching hospital in León, Nicaragua, and developed online teaching modules to help residents get a strong head start on their cardiovascular ICU rotations.
Dr. Kaiser hopes she can be a role model delivering high-quality clinical care, while building a strong partnership with patients based on mutual trust and respect.
“Setting a positive example is also particularly important for female trainees,” she says, “as women currently make up only about a quarter of cardiologists.”
Outside of Work
A willingness to learn extends to Dr. Kaiser’s personal life as well. Proficient in Spanish and French, she enjoys learning dances from salsa to hip-hop, cooking, and travel with friends.