#ChooseCardiology: Gillian Nesbitt, MD, FACC

Gillian Nesbitt, MD, FACC

Why did you choose cardiology?

I was drawn to the specialty in my first months on cardiology during my intern year. The diversity of patients and the ability to treat the disease processes to truly make a difference in their lives was inspiring. Cardiac physiology is logical and guides us in the pharmacology, imaging and interventions when things go wrong. Cardiology as a specialty allows for a diverse practice that can be adapted to your skill set as a physician. Areas of specialty in cardiology span imaging, intervention, electrophysiology, cardio-oncology, congenital, structural and rehabilitation. 

Who has been a role model or mentor for you?

Mentors have been imperative in my journey. I have been blessed with mentors that have helped me through every stage of my career. I would like to thank Sharon Mulvagh, MD, FACC; Jae Oh, MD, FACC; Rick Nishimura, MD, MACC; Sunil Mankad, MD, FACC; and Heather Ross, MD, FACC, in particular for their continued guidance. Mentors inspire and guide you through the decisions that come up as you choose fellowships and help you shape your practices. They are sponsors who open doors. They support you in all aspects. Seek out the right mentors for your journey.

Why did you choose echocardiography as a subspeciality?

I pursued a fellowship in echocardiography after completing my cardiology training. Echocardiography lets me see the heart in real time, is portal and uses ultrasound. I can assess the structure and also gain insight into the cardiac physiology. This allows the guidance of clinical care in both the outpatient and inpatient setting. The field of echocardiography is dynamic with the development of technology allowing for strain imaging, 3D imaging, point-of-care ultrasound, artificial intelligence, and supporting the growing field of interventional procedures. I have enjoyed evolving my practice as the field evolves. 

What advice would you give women considering cardiology?

Follow your dreams! Have a growth mindset. Find the focus that fits you. Set boundaries. Believe in yourself. Be resilient.

Would you choose cardiology again?

I would absolutely choose cardiology again. It is a career that has allowed me to facilitate real differences in patients' lives with regards to morbidity and mortality. I can truly say I love my work. I have a diverse academic practice with an educational focus. I have had to follow my own advice as I continue to define and redefine my cardiology career while I raise my two young sons. It has been very rewarding seeing that my boys recognize that I have pursued my passion and they are proud that I help people. Each day is a new adventure.

Gillian Nesbitt, MD, FACC

This article was authored by Gillian Nesbitt, MD, FACC.