Dr. Smolens shares how women can advocate for themselves when talking with their doctors about heart disease. Dr. Smolens is a Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.
I think the key to this whole process is education and this is my big theme when I go out and educate people is, I think we need to educate the community, the consumer, the patients, and women need to be their own advocates. So do men, but I think we all need to be advocates for our own healthcare, especially as our healthcare system changes. If you don’t advocate for yourself in your own healthcare, you are not going to get good or adequate healthcare.
So I think the first step is when a woman discusses issues with her own physician, either a primary care doctor, her OB/GYN, she needs to discuss issues related to risk factors of heart disease and discuss with her doctor whether she needs a stress test at this point in her life or not. And then if that’s the case and if they agree, then she needs to be referred to somebody who is familiar with working with women and women’s heart disease because the classic treadmill stress-test really isn’t accurate in women and I still think some physicians really aren’t aware of the differences either. And so, not only does the community need to be educated; physicians still need to be educated in these differences as well.
About Dr. Smolens, M.D.:
Board Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon Iva Smolens, M.D., serves as medical director of the Women's Heart Center at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona. She currently serves on the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors for the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Condition: Heart Attack, Heart Palpitation, Heart Disease
Related Terms: Chest Pain, Stress Test, High Blood Pressure, HDL, LDL, Body Mass Index, Cardiovascular Exercise, Angiography, Stent, Heart Bypass Surgery, Open Heart Surgery, Vascular Disease, EKG
Expert: Dr. Iva Smolens, Iva Smolens, M.D., Doctor Iva Smolens, Cardiologist Iva Smolens
Expertise: Cardiology, Heart Specialist, Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Attack, Heart Palpitation