Casey Gazda, MD is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology. She is a non-invasive cardiologist, who specializes in advanced cardiac imaging, including cardiac CT and structural/interventional echocardiography. She is the only person in her family to have gone to college, so she is proud to have carried herself through all the education and training required to finally become an academic cardiologist. Becoming a mother to her beautiful son is the best thing that she’s ever done.
1. What brought you to UNC Medical Center?
I originally came to UNC Medical Center for my fellowship training in Cardiology. My husband is a U.S. Army Officer whose career will be focused at Ft. Bragg for the foreseeable future, so we knew North Carolina was where we wanted to start our family. I was immediately drawn to the camaraderie and collaboration I saw amongst the people in the Division of Cardiology. I loved it so much that I stuck around for an advanced imaging fellowship and was fortunate enough to be offered a position as faculty afterwards.
2. Where are you from?
I grew up in a tiny town with no stoplights in central Illinois. When I moved to North Carolina, I soon found out that a couple of my cardiology colleagues grew up within an hour or so of my hometown (Dr. Joseph Rossi and Dr. Alan Hinderliter). It’s a small world!
3. Did you always want to be a doctor?
In high school, I loved science class, but I had also taken a job at a nursing home and enjoyed taking care of people. I decided then that becoming a doctor would allow me the best of both worlds.
4. How did you choose your specialty?
My first rotation of residency was inpatient cardiology and I remember being scared to sign an oral potassium chloride order for a patient we were diuresing. I had wonderful attendings who took the time to teach and helped me truly understand the heart and what an elegant organ it is. I enjoyed the critical care aspect of cardiology and the ability to use life-saving medications and procedures to help folks in the direst of situations.
5. What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is helping people make remarkable recoveries from severe cardiovascular disease and then go on to become empowered to maintain their health. I get to be involved in that recovery at the bedside making real-time decisions, following my patients from the hospital to the clinic, reading imaging studies, and helping with cardiac procedures.
6. What are some of the new developments in your field of specialty?
Advanced cardiovascular imaging is a rapidly evolving area of our field. We are using cardiac CT and MRI more than ever before to make the diagnosis of coronary atherosclerosis, structural and infiltrative diseases, and to plan and guide transcatheter cardiac procedures.
7. Is there a particular achievement (professional or personal) that has been most gratifying to you?
I came from humble beginnings and am the only person in my family to have gone to college, so I am proud to have carried myself through all the education and training required to finally become an academic cardiologist. Becoming a mother to my beautiful son is the best thing I’ve ever done.
8. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Listen to the patient.
9. If you weren’t a physician, what would you like to be doing?
Running a cozy café and book store.
10. What hobbies do you enjoy?
I enjoy hiking and reading (almost anything)…. and eating donuts.
11. What was the last book you read?
“Memoirs of Cleopatra” by Margaret George.