It’s Go Red for Women Week, and that means that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers around the country are raising awareness about how heart disease affects women, including the growing number of women Veterans enrolled in VA care.

VA’s career physicians — including cardiologists who specialize in treating heart conditions and understanding how military service affects female Veterans’ heart health — know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. Women also often experience different warning signs than men, and so early identification of symptoms and treatment are crucial.

For women Veterans, heart disease awareness is even more important. If female Veterans are diagnosed with other conditions like depression, posttraumatic stress disorder or diabetes, their risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases. Given that women are the largest growing subset of the Veteran population, it is estimated that 80 percent will have at least one serious risk factor for heart disease by the time they reach age 65.

Choose VA for a career on the front lines of heart health

VA cardiologists have been on the forefront of research, clinical care innovation and the training of future physicians since the inception of VA’s cardiology program in 1935. VA cardiologists performed the first successful cardiac pacemaker implant in 1960.

VA cardiologists help run some of the largest, most impactful cardiovascular disease trials in recent years, like the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) MIND study, co-led by VA Dr. William C. Cushman of the Memphis VA Medical Center, which recently found that intensive lowering of blood pressure can reduce a dementia risk factor.

That spirit of innovation and research continues today at VA, where fresh opportunities to choose careers as VA cardiologists abound throughout the continental United States and outlying territories.

With the help of the Women Veterans Health Care program, today’s VA cardiologists now examine how military service and co-occurring conditions affect heart health in women Veterans. Career VA health providers are also designing the future of cardiac rehabilitation by leveraging technologies that let patients recuperate at home with the help of smart phone monitoring.

Choose VA today

Like all VA physicians, cardiologists receive comprehensive benefits and perks. VA physicians with one active license can work at any VA. They may receive market, performance and incentive pay based on education and length of practice. Physicians hired under Title 38 get 49 days paid time off, and more time for continuing their education as permanent, full-time, board-certified physicians. Benefits also include access to the Federal Employees Retirement System.

VA cardiologists pioneer heart healthy treatments for all Veterans, including women Veterans, a growing patient group at VA. See if a VA career as a cardiologist is the right for you.

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Published on Feb. 4, 2019

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