What still fascinates you about interventional cardiology?
The real joy of interventional cardiology is the pace of change. In my lifetime I have been lucky enough to witness the breakthrough of truly “disruptive” technologies. Bare metal stents, drug-eluting stents and now TAVI have truly revolutionised the way patients can be treated by interventional means.
Could you name one moment in the history of cardiology that you found overwhelming?
I think the first time I saw an aortic valve replaced with a beating heart and the patient talking, I was totally blown away. The patient had extremely poor lung function so we were doing the case under regional and not general anaesthesia. The patient was very chatty and did not lose consciousness during the rapid pacing and as the valve was deployed. He was talking to me as we replaced the valve... amazing!
What are some of your proudest achievements?
I think my best achievement is having been able to create two fantastic TAVI teams during my work both at King’s College Hospital and now at St Thomas’ Hospital. A Cardiovascular Department is made up of a team of people, not a number of individuals. When I watch the team working so professionally and calmly during difficult TAVI cases it makes me very proud. Visitors to our department always comment on the teamwork. This makes me feel that at least I have achieved something.
What are your interests outside of medicine?
I am a bit of a sporting nut! I have been a season ticket holder with Crystal Palace Football Club for 15 years. I have travelled all over the world watching the English football team. In addition I love to watch test match cricket. I have been as far as the MCG in Melbourne to watch England vs. Australia. I used to play a lot of sports when I was younger and at one stage got to a golf handicap of four. Nowadays I do not have time to play so I just watch all types of sport. The Olympics in London in 2012 will be unbelievable.
My job has allowed me to travel all over the world but I also like to travel for enjoyment. During a recent trip to Singapore, my partner and I visited Vietnam and Cambodia. Finally I love to spend an evening eating good food with nice company and I love French Burgundy. Last year, I visited Montrachet and Meursault in France to taste the best Burgundys in the world. Fantastic!
Current and past positions
2007–present Clinical director of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Services, Department of Cardiology, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK
2003–2006 Clinical director of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Services Department of Cardiology, Kings College Hospital, London
1982–1983 House physician in General Medicine, Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, London
1983–1983 House surgeon in Urology, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London
1983–1983 House surgeon in General Surgery, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London
1983–1984 Senior house officer in Accident and Emergency, King George Hospital, Ilford,
UK SHO Medical Rotation, St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth, UK
1984 Senior house officer, Dept Medicine for the Elderly, St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth
1984–1985 Senior house officer in Medicine and Cardiology, St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth
1985–1985 Senior house officer in Medicine and Respiratory Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth
Medical Registrar Rotation, St Mary’s Hospital, London
1985–1986 Registrar in General Medicine and Neurology, St Mary’s Hospital, London
1986–1987 Registrar to the Medical Unit, St Mary’s Hospital, London
Registrar Rotation in Medicine/Cardiology, Hastings/King’s College Hospital
1987–1988 Registrar in Cardiology/Gastroenterology/Endocrinology, St Helen’s Hospital, Hastings, UK
1988–1989 Cardiology registrar, King’s College Hospital, London
1989–1992 British Heart Foundation Research Fellow, Department of Cardiology, King’s College Hospital, London
2004–2008 President, British Cardiovascular Intervention Society (BCIS)