Today the heart is the double protagonist of this report and, as if that were not enough, in all its variants. The first of them it has to do with your health. Because it focuses one of the preferential attentions of the scientific investigation, dedicated to teaching all the preventive measures that safeguard it, but also to use the better precision diagnostic techniques to bring to light the evils that lie in wait, as well as to achieve the most effective treatment under the umbrella of the best personalized medicine. And there is, of course, another aspect, the one that always comes to mind when it is mentioned: love.
“Together they abandoned the dream of practicing the profession in the United States to bring us the knowledge acquired on the other side of the Atlantic”
And both variables converge almost perfectly in two cardiologists, Dra. Leticia Fernández-Friera and Dr. Jorge Solis. She is a researcher at the National Center for Cardiology Research (CNIC), under the baton of Dr. Valentín Fuster, and is the Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Unit of the HM Hospitales Group. He is director of the area of Non-Invasive Cardiology and of the Valvulopathies Unit in the University Hospital October 12, Madrid. Both also belong to the CIBER-Cardiovascular national network.
Unable to summarize their CVs. Dr. Fernández-Friera received the highest accreditation from the European Society of Cardio-Magnetic Resonance and Cardiac CT, which has allowed her to consolidate an international benchmark training program. Between his main lines of research highlights the study of atherosclerosis, with special interest in prevention, cardiovascular disease in women and non-invasive imaging techniques, and has published more than 90 scientific articles in high-impact journals (‘Nature’, ‘NEJM’, ‘JACC’, ‘Circulation’, etc.).
While Dr. Solís was nominated in the Young Investigators Awards by the American Heart Association and the American Society of Echocardiography (2007 and 2008) thanks to their achievements in the field of valvular heart disease. He is the principal investigator of the PROMESA study, whose objective was to analyze the prolapse of the mitral valve. His group managed to establish the genetic basis of this pathology and their conclusions were published in the journals’Nature‘,’ Nature GenePc ‘and’ Nature Cardiovascular Review ‘. His dedication and interest in research has been seen reflected in more than 50 scientific articles published in international medical journals.
Training in the USA
They both met at the Harvard University when they were investigating thanks to a scholarship. Leticia was there for a year and, in addition, two more at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, the place where the Dr. Fuster is director of the Cardiovascular Institute and Physician-in-Chief. In addition, he is the editor-in-chief of the ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC)’, the main source of clinical information in the area of cardiovascular medicine and flagship publication of the American College of Cardiology.
Jorge, after his stay at the University of Montana experimental surgery laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Carlos G. Duran, continued his training for four years at Harvard University (as mentioned above), where he focused his scientific activity on the development of the Three-dimensional echocardiography and new therapies in valvular heart disease.
Leticia and Jorge seem to have been born for each other. They have been married for 10 years and they are parents of three children (two, six and eight years old). Together and by mutual agreement abandoned the dream of practicing the profession in USA to bring us the knowledge acquired to the other side of the Atlantic and thus be able to work hard for the health of Spanish hearts.
Everyone’s heart is vulnerable
Side by side, they published the book ‘The health of your heart’ (The Sphere of Books). Without losing sight of what the health authorities calculate that in the year 2030 about 23.6 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases and that they will continue to be the main cause of death globally for many years, this editorial effort that takes us into the knowledge of the heart, teaches to prevent diseases and manages to reveal the hottest news in cardiology. Furthermore, Fuster himself makes the prologue because, as he himself says, “this is how we understand how our heart is and works, we will know where and why you can get sick … We are all vulnerable ”.
A phrase that the doctor needs to emphasize: “It is always believed that it happens to others, despite the statistics. We are not or we do not want to be aware that you only have one heart and it has to last your whole life in the best conditions. ”
And, if you have come this far, you will be curious to know the reasons that led them to give up the ‘American dream’ in the last moment. Part of that decision is due, and rightly so, to the footprint left by ADN. Dr. Solís explains: “My father was also a cardiologist and from him I learned how important it is to be next to the patient, his dedication.” Another, of weight, is that Dr. Fuster, mentor of both and director of the CNIC, “despite his insistence to stay, gave in because at that time the Spanish center emerged and told us it was an opportunity to transfer to the foundations of that great project all the training received ”. But above all, the “faith in the enormous talent of Spanish cardiologists and researchers, and one way to contribute wealth is to train the youths in transnational research “.
Face to face, with them you feel your passion and devotion for their professional careers in harmony with personal and family needs. “I fell in love with his passion for what he did, its ability to break molds “says Leticia. He answers: “Almost nobody has understood me and she has. And it must be said, it has great strength. In fact, always three steps ahead”.
Mutual admiration, determination and a clear objective: to raise the knowledge of the population and place national cardiology at the top of the world ‘ranking’. A career that has already paid off if we take into account that the vision of both specialists is long-term. To show a button: look back at the heart feminine. He acknowledges that the myth still persists that heart attack is only a man’s thing, although the first cause of death in women is cardiovascular: “The problem is that they take longer to ask for help in part because they don’t recognize the symptoms. For example, chest pain is not always the sign. They even take the pain more. ”
But the incidence is increasing, “especially because they smoke more than they do. All this if we also assess the risk factors that are triggered by current life (cholesterol, hypertension, stress, obesity, lack of exercise …) and the specific factors of unknown women (complications in pregnancy, hormonal causes …) “, he adds.
The reef of technology
If there is also another reality that we must know as patients, that has to do with assimilating the concept of personalized medicine, which does not focus only on cancer. In this sense, Dr. Solís is blunt in two aspects of the technology that are revolutionizing the care of cardiovascular diseases: “Imaging techniques that allow non-invasively detect pathologies early and offer early treatment. On the other hand, technologyUsed well, it allows us to get closer to patients, dedicate more time to what is important to them and develop our work in multidisciplinary teams. In other words, technology helps us to humanize medicine. “
“We are behind a health forum, but much more innovative, related to the economy, biotechnology, information technology”
And he puts as an example: “One of the tools that is revolutionizing the workflow in cardiology is the echocardioscopy. Connected directly to a ‘smartphone’ or ‘tablet’ allows remote connection in time real between healthcare professionals in different locations. The image quality is very good, it is very versatile and portable. They join it advanced echocardiography, cardiac CT and cardio-magnetic resonance imaging “, he documents.
The protagonists of this story advocate the use of technology to be able “To have tools that allow, from telemedicine to international scientific communication, to share advances, ideas, doubts”, they declare. It is understood then that passion for approaching the training of future Spanish doctors, but from a broader angle: “The new generations must break the taboo of ‘classicism’ that speaks of health or education public and private “.
Not only. “We are exploring the realization of a health forum, but much more innovative, related to the economy, biotechnology, Computing and management. The ultimate goal is how we can improve the health of our country “, says the expert in valvular heart disease.
And, as a final touch, the best advertisement, the opening of a clinic that combines knowledge, technological innovation, personalized assistance … a lot to talk about.