Vera Rigolin, MD
- Former Chief Resident, Northwestern University
- Co-associate director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Health
- Medical Director, Echocardiography Laboratory at NMH
What is your current role at Northwestern?
I currently have multiple responsibilities at Northwestern. The need to wear different hats can sometimes be difficult to juggle but it’s what keeps my job exciting. I am currently an Associate Professor of Medicine. For the academic portion of my job, I am involved with clinical research, particularly in the area of echo and valvular heart disease. I was the Program Director for the cardiology fellowship program for several years. The opportunity to play an influential role in the careers of the fellows was both an honor and a privilege. I then stepped down as program director when I was offered the position of Medical Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Learning how to navigate the complexities of the hospital administrative system and maintaining a cohesive and collaborative environment amongst the large number of echo lab staff and physicians has been an rewarding challenge. I am also involved with all of the major cardiology national societies such as the American Heart Association, The American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Echocardiography. I am involved in several committees and task forces within those societies.
In the future, I plan to remain in an academic institution. I wish to stay involved with teaching students, residents and fellows. Patient care will also be an integral part of my career. I will also continue to remain active in the academic side of cardiology and involved with national societies and activities.
Please elaborate on your clinical interest in Women and Heart Disease.
Over the past few years, there have been great gains in the knowledge and awareness of heart disease in women. We are also beginning to understand the differences in the pathophysiology of coronary artery disease in women compared to men. However, we have a long way to go. We still need to work harder in educating our patients and ourselves about the intricacies of the woman’s heart. We also need better research and treatment specifically targeted at the female heart.
Primary research interests:
- Noninvasive assessment of outcomes in patients with valvular heart disease.
- Clinical utility of 3D echocardiography
What do you enjoy to do outside of work?
- Active participation in sports (especially biking); Any activity outdoors;
- Cooking, trying new and interesting restaurants
My involvement with the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s Center for Women’s Cardiovascular health allows me to help make a difference in the care of the female cardiac patient.