FIT September Spotlight: Sandeep Krishnan, MD

September 21, 2016 | Sandeep Krishnan, MD
Career Development

Each month, the Fellows in Training (FIT) Section newsletter, ACC On-Call, will highlight the achievements of one cardiology FIT. The Section would like to recognize Sandeep Krishnan, MD, an interventional FIT at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, as the 'star FIT' for the month of September. Krishnan has been actively involved with the activities of the ACC over the past few years. He describes his research interests, hobbies, career goals and involvement with the ACC in a short interview below.

What are your future plans after completion of training?

I plan to pursue further training in structural heart disease intervention and complex, high-risk PCI procedures.

What are your research interests?

I am interested in vulnerable plaque imaging, novel device development, and healthcare reform.

How do you approach work-life balance?

Work-life balance is something that will remain a life-long learning objective for me. I am so fortunate to have a loving group of family and friends and my number one rule is that I will always make time for the important things in my life. I love my job, so it is easy for me to get wrapped up in my work, but I try to make sure that I always set aside time to exercise before work and time to talk to family and friends throughout the day.

What do you enjoy doing outside of cardiology?

When I am not working or spending time with family and friends, I enjoy snowboarding, scuba diving, swimming, salsa dancing, golfing, hiking, spelunking, weightlifting, biking, and playing piano.

Who do you consider to be mentors?

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some great leaders in cardiology and within the ACC, including John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, past ACC president; Ralph G. Brindis, MD, MPH, MACC, past ACC president; and Norman Lepor, MD, FACC, member of the ACC Board of Governors. I was also fortunate to have had some amazing mentors during residency including Kim Manning, MD; Joyce Doyle, MD; and Danielle Jones, MD.

Are you working on any of ACC's committees?

I am currently the FIT representative on ACC's Health Affairs Committee.

How did you become involved with the ACC?

I have always been passionate about health care reform and for advocating for my patients and profession at local and national levels throughout my career, so getting involved with the ACC was one of my goals as I started my cardiology fellowship. During my second year of fellowship, I went to TCT to present some research and one of my friends was in town (Washington DC) for the ACC Legislative Conference. He invited me to participate in the legislative visits on Tuesday and I had a blast. Since then, I have gotten more involved in advocacy efforts at the local and state levels, and I started meeting other mentors who got me more involved in other leadership opportunities at both the state and national levels.

Describe your past and current ACC activities:

I started out by joining my colleagues on the Hill during ACC's Legislative Conference. After attending several other ACC meetings, I was fortunate to be selected for the College's inaugural Emerging Advocates program where I got to interface with like-minded FITs and early career physicians who shared similar interests in the arena of health care reform. I then got a chance to visit with my state (California) ACC executive and expressed my interest in getting more involved with the College and offers to join the California Chapter's PAC board and the Chapter's Quality Committee soon followed. I also looked into other opportunities that the ACC had to offer, including on the research front and was selected to be an ACC/Merck Fellow for 2015-2016.

In my third year of fellowship, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the ranks of ACC's Leadership Academy Cohort II and also was invited to join the Health Affairs Committee as the FIT representative. I also was blessed with living in an area with a very active local ACC chapter and through the California ACC Governor, Dr. Norman Lepor, I was able to meet my Congressman, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and form a relationship with him through various meetings both in Los Angeles, CA and in his Washington DC office.

What is your message for incoming FITs who are interested in getting involved with activities of the ACC?

The ACC has something for everyone. I strongly encourage my co-fellows around the country to talk to their senior fellows and faculty who are involved in the ACC and to get involved either locally, regionally, or nationally. I often heard the same refrain around the Heart House whenever I would go visit ACC headquarters in DC—"Once we know who you are and what you are interested in, we will keep you in the loop and get you more involved than you could ever have time for." And I have found this to be very true. The ACC staff is amazing and we are blessed to get to work with such a dedicated and wonderful team on so many levels.

I would also like to give a shout out to Kristin West who is the main contact for FITs at the ACC. She is a great resource and an awesome person who can always point you in the right direction and connect you with people in your state who will be able to help you get more involved. And, of course, don't forget about your FIT members from around the country. Take the time at ACC meetings to network and meet as many people as possible; cardiology is a close-knit community. And if you have any questions or want to talk about ways you can get involved don't hesitate to reach out to me via e-mail,