Meet the Doctor: Rajesh Movva, MD
Rajesh Movva, MD, is a non-invasive cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. He sees patients at the Einstein Cardiology Associates office on Tabor Road. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, as well as certified by the National Board of Echocardiography, the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology and the American Board of Clinical Lipidology.
Dr. Movva is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom.
We recently spoke with Dr. Movva about his career, his interests, and cardiology at Einstein.
Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: I grew up in a family of physicians, including both my parents and an aunt and uncle. I always say, my dad had one job (a surgeon); whereas my mom did three jobs, being a mom to three unruly boys, a wife, and a physician. It was tough simply being a woman in India in those days, and there were many barriers to women pursuing higher education. So, I have a lot of admiration for her.
Growing up in India, back in the 1980s, it seems as though one is either good at math and then goes on to become an engineer or takes biology and becomes a physician or a dentist. I excelled in math when I was in high school, scoring in the 99th percentile, which remains the proudest moment in my educational career. I have done a lot of other things since, but nothing beats that moment! So, it was somewhat of a paradox that I ended up becoming a physician. My dad challenged me in a subtle way. Deep down, I didn’t want a family of three engineers (both my brothers are engineers). Fortunately, it worked out in the end.
Q: Tell us about your education background.
A: I went to Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India. We go to medical school after 12th grade. After medical school, I went to England and worked and trained there for five years, and in the process, obtained my MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) diploma.
I then came to the United States and did my internal medicine residency at Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. I completed two years of research in the field of lipids at the University of Pennsylvania.
After that, I did my cardiology fellowship at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. After my fellowship, I pursued advanced training in cardiac MRI through a fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.
Q: Why did you choose your specialty?
A: The human heart is a beautiful machine. Assuming a person’s heart rate is 70 beats per minute, one would be astonished to find out that it contracts and relaxes, and the heart valves open and close nearly 37 million times in a year, and nearly 3 billion times if you were to live for 80 years. The intricate electrical systems, the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle, and the valves that regulate the blood flow, were all extensively studied by the pioneers in the field. I feel I am fortunate to live in an era when I can use all this knowledge to serve the patients.
Q: What are your clinical interests?
A: I have expertise in cardiac imaging (echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and cardiac MRI). I am also interested in the field of lipids. Above all, I enjoy spending time with the patients and families, explaining things in a way that they can understand. This gives me the most satisfaction.
Q: Why did you choose Einstein?
A: I trained at Einstein, so I know some of the faculty members, including the leadership. Returning to Einstein was an easy decision for me. Einstein Cardiology has won many accolades under the leadership of Dr. Sumeet Mainigi. He is such a down-to-earth person, and I am just happy to be on his team.
Q: Why should patients choose Einstein for their cardiac care?
A: We have state-of-the-art technology and are doing various types of cardiac ablations and procedures such as TAVR (aortic valve implantation without the need for surgery), the Watchman procedure (an alternative to blood thinners to prevent blood clots in the heart), and the MitraClip (to treat valve leakage without surgery). So, we really are a one-stop shop for all our patients’ cardiology needs.
Q: What are your interests outside of work?
A: I travel a lot. I have been to 20+ countries and hope to travel to many more. I enjoy hiking and watching sports and movies.
Q: Who was an early role model for you?
A: My parents – mainly my mom. I have yet to see a person who works harder than her.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I am not much of a book reader. But I vividly remember a couple of books that I read when I was young that had a lasting impact on me. One was about the Wright brothers, who invented the airplane, and the other was about the Mayo brothers of the Mayo Clinic. Both are very inspiring stories. I didn’t know how to read English then, so these were books translated into my mother tongue.
I also like the Ayn Rand brand of fiction-philosophy found in her books The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I am fascinated by her in-depth analysis of the characters. For a woman in living in that era, to be able to write such widely acclaimed novels, speaks volumes about her intellect and her ability to analyze the human mind.
Q: What is your favorite sports team?
A: The Indian cricket team, FC Barcelona and the English Premier League.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot?
A: Each one has its own beauty, but I love visiting America’s national parks. They are such a treasure!
Q: Is there a person you’d particularly like to meet?
A: I saw the Pope from five feet away, so I think I am set!