The Go Red For Women Luncheon here in the Bay Area of Houston was a huge success. All the heart throbs were excited to participate and help spread the word about the silent killer of women… heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the # 1 killer of women each year. Heart Disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.
Let me introduce you to the third 2013 Bay Area Go Red For Women official heart throb…
Dr. Rakesh Shah is The Cardiologist… Rakesh is a doctor with the Cardiovascular Associates of Clear Lake. I sat down with Dr. Shah in his office at Texas Gulf Coast Medical Building a few weeks back to discuss his passion for his profession, his drive to run and how he handles 3 daughters.
The Cardiologist was photographed on location in Seabrook, TX. His shoot was inspired by his love of running half marathons.
How has your work with the American Heart Association changed your views on your health?
Although, I have been intermittently involved with AHA, this is perhaps the most sincere attempt on my part. I must thank Kindred Healthcare and CEO Meridale for sponsoring me. I have always been quite conscious about my health since heart disease runs in my family. This has given me new energy to not only promote it to others but also take better care of myself. The lame excuses of being busy, suffering from minor injuries (planter fasciitis) are no longer preventing me from running. I enjoy running. Realizing recently I need it not only for physical health but mental health as well.
I know that you work with the Heartwalk event, but what propelled you to join in the Go Red For Women event?
Yes, I have been involved with heart walk, educational events on coronary artery disease, and stroke. As a cardiologist, I have had first hand experience of how heart disease affects women. Amazingly enough despite high prevalence of disease, there is low awareness leading to delayed diagnosis. Ultimately resulting in poor outcome among women with heart disease. With my experience, knowledge of disease, and my position as a cardiologist I do feel I can contribute with education and hopefully play a role increasing awareness.
Do you have any female family members with heart disease? If so, what specifics?
Fortunately, no females in my family have been affected. We do have very strong history of premature heart disease in males, including my father.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
A day full of fun, laughter, company of close friends and family while enjoying good food!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My father was an engineer for the government. Like many young boys I guessed I would follow in his path. I often dreamed of teaching. I had such respect and admiration for my teachers. I put them on a pedestal. Their knowledge and influence on others impressed me. I did find as I grew older that I enjoyed electronics. I have a natural ability of understanding the functions and mechanics of technology. This does aide me in my current occupation as the technology for diagnosing and treating disease can be quite advanced. Although the idea of building, analyzing, and developing computer programs did interest me my parents were quick to guide me to medicine. I do believe it to be fate that I was directed to cardiology, it has become my passion.
What historical figure do you most identify with ?
Identify with may not be the best choice of words. I would say aspire to be like Sardar (Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai)Patel. He received the title “Iron Man” of Indya due to his persistence in standing up for the little man. He was known for his wisdom and political foresight. He organized efforts with his tenacious nature to form unity of his country. I’m sure Many of you may not be familiar with this gentleman but I encourage you to study him. In summation of his character integrity, selflessness, and tenacity are the impressive traits that prompt my admiration.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I am not truly an extravagant person. I like to do for others who are close to me. I do consider myself to have a giving heart and I like to have friends and family around. saying that though I do enjoy buying personal computers and electronics gadgets, lots of it!
What is your greatest regret?
I have made mistakes but believe they have made me who I am. Truly, my biggest fear is the future regret that I have worked so many long hours, trying to be the best cardiologist for my patients, that one day I will blink and my three beautiful daughters will be grown women standing before me. I want them to know I have passion for my work, yet my heart is always with them.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I do realize most would guess being a cardiologist. Honestly, my greatest achievement is being a father to three beautiful , intelligent, and loving daughters. I am not able to take full credit for the magnificent individuals they are becoming, my wife is thankfully ever-present to help guide them. I just feel blessed to be able to share in the awesome journeys of their lives.
How did you end up in your current job industry?
I have an inquisitive and competitive nature. Cardiology, I found very intriguing. It is one of the more competitive branches of medicine. I have confidence in my thirst for knowledge. My competitive spirit drives me to continuously want to be the best. My father had heart disease and my admiration for the doctors who cared for him influenced me. The excitement of the interventional procedures, the instant reward of treating a patients having AMI (acute myocardial infarction) and knowing I could make such an impact on an individual’s life. I was determined to make a difference considering heart disease is biggest killer of mankind.
Who is one of your favorite authors?
Michael Crichton and Dr Robin Cook
What was the last movie you saw at the theatre?
Skyfall – The most recent James Bond movie
What is the one place outside the United States that you would most like to visit?
Switzerland. I recall seeing images in movies when I was young and found the landscape to be absolutely breathtaking! I have investigated further through books, magazines, and internet. Touring Switzerland is ranked high on my “bucket list.”