Med School/Year Graduated: University of Arizona, 2000
Years in Practice: in private practice since 2007
Who or what inspired you to go into cardiology?
Great experiences: In the mid ‘80s I was picked along with other Scottsdale middle school students to watch Dr. Ted Dietrich perform a live open-heart surgery and I was inspired.
Great parents: “Finish with a bang” is my mother’s best advice.
Great mentors: My initial program director for cardiology, (the late) Dr. Hassan Loutfi at Mayo Clinic, told me, “Christina, you are a great doctor; I believe in you. You will be an even better cardiologist.” Dr. Christopher Appleton at Mayo Clinic advised me, “You always want to be a good ambassador for cardiology.”
What is the distinction between the fields of cardiology and cardiovascular disease?
Cardiology focuses primarily on the heart and issues with this organ. Cardiovascular disease adds the component of all the arteries that make up the pipelines for blood to be carried through. In my mind, it is all one system but each area can have very specific problems.
What’s a myth about heart health you’d like to debunk?
Once you have had a stent or bypass surgery, you are not “cured.” You have been given a new set of rules to live by since it is the first of many potential problems if you cannot change.
What are your main interests outside of work?
My world revolves around my boys: my husband Eric, my sons Adlai and Henry. Anything that involves them interests me.
“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be...”
A chef. This is a creative way for me to channel nervous energy.
If you could change one habit in all Americans pertaining to their heart health, what would you change?
I would ban soda pop.
Do you envision a day when stem cell therapy is routinely used to repair heart tissue?
No. I envision a day when individuals take better care of themselves from youth onward.