Meet the Doctor: Saima Dean, MD
Saima Dean, MD is a cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia and Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park. She sees patients at the Einstein Cardiology office on Tabor Road in Philadelphia and on Township Line Road in Elkins Park.
Dr. Dean is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and cardiac CT. She is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.
We recently spoke with Dr. Dean about her career, her interests, and cardiology at Einstein.
Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: From an early age, I was exposed to the medical world due to personal family experiences. While in middle school, my brother required open heart surgery. Later, my father also required bypass surgery. This would become the foundation for my interest in medicine that continued to grow throughout my educational path.
Q: Tell us about your education background
A: I went to college at the University of California, Davis, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in cell biology. From there, I went to medical school at Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. After medical school, I completed my internal medicine residency, including a chief residency, at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. I did my cardiology fellowship here at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, where I was also chief fellow.
Q: Why did you choose your specialty?
A: I have had multiple close family members affected by heart disease, so cardiology has always been a personal interest of mine. The cardiovascular system is very intriguing, with complex physiology that sparked my interest. It’s a field where small changes can make a great impact on someone’s life.
Q: What are your clinical interests?
A: I am a general or non-invasive cardiologist. I see patients in the office and in the inpatient setting. You will see me consulting on patients admitted to the hospital or in the emergency room. Also, part of my inpatient service is attending on the telemetry floor. When I’m not in the office or inpatient setting, I am in the echo lab reading echocardiograms, performing transesophageal echocardiograms or conducting stress tests.
My clinical interests including women’s cardiovascular health and preventive cardiology. I run the Lipid Clinic here at Einstein Medical Center. We evaluate patients who have high cholesterol that is not controlled by oral medications. We can prescribe newer injectable medications, called PSK9 inhibitors, to help control cholesterol. We also focus on nutrition, changing diet and incorporating exercise to help lower cholesterol.
Q: What drew you to Einstein?
A: After completing my fellowship, I choose to stay at Einstein because of the good experiences I have had here. It has a strong cardiology division and a strong emphasis on education in terms of our residency and fellowship programs. Its location in the city provides ample opportunities to serve the community and its needs.
The needs of this population include access to healthcare. We have a large population with uncontrolled high blood pressure and high cholesterol. We also have a large population of females whose pregnancies are complicated by a condition called pre-eclampsia, which requires cardiology care.
Q: Why should people choose Einstein for their cardiology care?
A: People should choose Einstein because we have excellent cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who work together to provide the best care. Einstein provides access to state-of-the-art technology. We have various newer treatments including non-invasive approaches for valvular disease. We treat complex coronary disease, so we see patients who get their procedures done here after being turned down by other centers.
Q: What are your interests outside of work?
A: Although I spend a lot of time at work, I have a busy home life as well. I am married, with three children. My youngest is 7 months old. My interest outside of work is to spend time with my family and explore the outdoors with them.
Q: Who was an early role model for you?
A: My parents were my early role models. They immigrated to the United States from Pakistan. It is through their struggles, sacrifices and hard work that I am here today. From them I learned dedication, responsibility and a strong work ethic.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I used to read a lot of John Grisham books. Now, the reading I do is with my kids, and it’s all about colors, numbers and animals.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Armageddon, because it’s filled with a lot of action and emotions.
Q: What is your favorite sports team?
A: I’m originally from California, so my favorite team is my hometown Sacramento Kings.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot?
A: California. The weather is great and the scenery is beautiful. It feels like home.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant?
A: Manekeesh Café and Bakery, because it has an amazing selection of simple Middle Eastern food.
Q: What is an interesting fact about you?
A: I love to cook. In fact, if I wasn’t a doctor, I would consider opening my own restaurant.