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Dr. Monica Patel on Heart Matters and Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease is becoming increasingly prevalent with the rise of more sedentary lifestyles coupled with unhealthy habits. Cardiovascular health is vital, and a lot of heart problems are preventable with the appropriate lifestyle changes. Dr. Monica Patel is a quadruple board-certified cardiologist who advocates for better cardiovascular disease prevention. 

Dr. Monica Patel is a cardiologist who has spent her entire career serving the Houston community. She is a first-generation Indian American and native Houstonian. Dr. Patel is an active member of her community and is very involved in several local and national philanthropic organizations and events. “I love the community which I am a part of, and I feel it is only right that I give back to help others in need,” she shares. She has also volunteered in medical mission trips in Guatemala, providing basic care for underserved communities.

Dr. Patel received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry in 1999 at Houston Baptist University as an Endowed Academic Scholar. She then attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 2003. She completed her Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology Fellowship at the McGovern Medical school, formerly known as The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical school. 

“Cardiology interested me from the start, and that is why I chose to specialize in it.” Dr. Patel is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Cardiology. She is a cardiologist at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and the Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

Aside from working with patients on a daily basis, Dr. Patel is also an academic. She is the co-program director of the cardiology fellowship at the McGovern Medical School. There, she has a hand in the training of future cardiologists. Her primary focus is on cardiovascular disease prevention and advanced cardiovascular imaging, including echocardiography and cardiac PET scans. “A cardiac PET scan is an imaging test where a specialized dye is introduced into the bloodstream. This test gives doctors detailed information on which areas of the heart might be injured or diseased,” Dr. Patel shares, “A cardiac PET scan is an important tool, and it can provide more information compared to other stress tests.”

In line with Dr. Patel’s commitment to improved heart health, she joined the PET center as a co-investigator of the CENTURY Health Study in 2012. In this study, Dr. Patel and her co-investigators focused on the effects of a combined intense pharmacological and lifestyle treatment in the prevention and reversal of coronary heart disease. “We used PET scans to see the effects of the treatment the research subjects went through. The results showed us just how much a change in lifestyle and diet could impact a person’s cardiovascular health,” she says.

Dr. Monica Patel is a brilliant doctor and academic, and her stellar work has not gone unnoticed. She has been a three-time recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award. In 2019, Dr. Patel was invited to her first international lecture on cardiac PET scans. 

“Cardiovascular disease affects so many Americans. Through various studies, we have learned that implementing simple lifestyle changes and committing to them reduces the chance of getting heart attacks. It can also help people bounce back better from their previous heart ailments,” Dr. Patel shares, “As they say, prevention is better than cure.”

Dr. Monica Patel aims to use her platform to promote health and well-being for all. “Working with many patients, I see how a disease impacts someone’s life. If we can change things in our lives to help keep us healthy, then we should make those changes,” she says, “Health is wealth, and we should do everything we can to take care of our bodies.”

Dr. Monica Patel is a quadruple board-certified cardiologist specializing in cardiovascular imaging and the prevention of heart disease. For more information about her work and advocacy, you may visit her Instagram page.

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