Dr. Sindhu Koshy is a champion for women facing heart disease and is frequently in the community giving talks or a guest on news segments speaking to women about preventative tips or symptoms. But this heart disease champion did not always hear her calling to be a cardiologist.
A Change of Heart
Dr. Koshy was always familiar with the medical field; her mother built her career as a nurse, which originally inspired Dr. Koshy to pursue medicine. “I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist,” explained Dr. Koshy. “I had a clear plan as to what I wanted to study. I knew my path before I even started medical school.” But she experienced a change of heart after her father had an unexpected heart episode, resulting in bypass surgery. “After that, I knew I needed to change my area of study and become a cardiologist,” said Dr. Koshy. Which is exactly what she did. Dr. Koshy is a board certified cardiologist at Cardiovascular Consultants and board certified in nuclear cardiology, cardiovascular disease, and adult echocardiograms.
Why She Loves What She Does
Dr. Koshy is a huge proponent of educating women about heart disease and its symptoms. “Most women do not know that heart disease is still the number one killer of women,” said Dr. Koshy. “I stay very passionate because I love being able to educate people about what they can do for their health. You can see people learning.” She further explained, “Doctors only do half the work. We can medicate you , but it’s the patient who needs to do the rest. That means making the right nutrition and lifestyle choices and understanding their risks or symptoms. That is what creates a true partnership between a physician and patient.”
Dr. Koshy encourages all community members to ask questions and take an interest in their health, but she especially encourages women to listen to their body. “Women can tell when something is wrong. They are very in tune with what their body tells them,” she explained. Unfortunately, Dr. Koshy also believes that women are more likely to ignore their symptoms and treat other family members first. “Women’s symptoms are often different than men’s. I had a women who was told she just had anxiety for years. She finally came in for an examination and it wasn’t anxiety. It was her heart. And it was something that we could fix. Knowing and understanding your symptoms is key in fighting heart disease.”
The Heart of the Matter
When asked for one thing that she would like to encourage the community to do for their health, Dr. Koshy’s immediate answer was exercise. “I don’t like to tell people they can’t eat things. Rather than restrict foods, everything should be enjoyed in moderation. I encourage the community to exercise. It’s just something that you need to schedule into your day like anything else.”
She always explains that exercise can mean a number of things, and it doesn’t mean you need a personal trainer or even a gym membership. What you do need? A pedometer. “The first thing I tell my patients to get is a pedometer. You can get a $5 one from any general store. Then your goal should be to walk 10,000 steps a day,” said Dr. Koshy. For those unfamiliar with steps, that’s about 5 miles a day. But Dr. Koshy insists that patients should not be intimidated by that number. It is a goal and a way to get started. “If you walked 2,000 steps instead of 10,000 steps, you were still active. And that is the goal,” explained Dr. Koshy.
Out of the Office
Outside of the office, Dr. Koshy sees patients at Crittenton Hospital. “There is really great care at Crittenton Hospital. Crittenton has amazing nurses, especially in the ICU (intensive care unit.) That’s where you want someone to really be able to take care of you.”
Outside of the hospital, she enjoys logging steps on her own pedometer with her husband and new baby in the stroller. She is also a voracious traveler, and both she and her husband enjoy international travelling as well as exploring the continental United States.
About Dr. Koshy
Dr. Sindhu Koshy received her medical training at the Saba University School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Missouri and completed her fellowship in cardiology at the University of Missouri.