February Is American Heart Month
When asked why she decided to become a noninvasive cardiologist, Catherine
Dao, MD, responds, “Becoming a cardiologist gave me the opportunity
to combine my passion for the science of cardiology with my desire to
help people lead healthier lives. I have always been fascinated by the
anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system, and the many advances
in cardiovascular medicine in recent years have made me even more enamored
by the profession.”
Joining Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF) in January, Dr. Dao
now brings that passion and expertise to residents of the Tri-City Area.
“In general, noninvasive cardiologists focus on diagnosing and treating
a wide range of cardiovascular conditions using external tests, medications
and procedures, rather than inserting instruments into the body,”
she explains. “I care for adult patients with a wide range of cardiovascular
conditions, such as coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure,
heart valve disease, arrhythmia and diseases of the heart muscle known
Dr. Dao earned her bachelor’s degree in molecular cell biology at
the University of California, Berkeley and then went on to attain her
medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
“My experience in New York was great,” says Dr. Dao, a native
Californian who was raised in the Sacramento area. “I worked at
hospitals in Queens, the Bronx and Spanish Harlem. Working with diverse
populations helps underscore the need to respect people of various cultures
and the health care issues they face.”
The allure of returning home to California, however, proved stronger than
Dr. Dao’s attraction to the Big Apple. She completed her internship
at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and a residency
in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In
2009, she became a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University Medical
Center, where she completed a research fellowship in cardiovascular imaging
funded by the National Institutes of Health and a clinical fellowship
in cardiac MRI. She remained at Stanford for an additional fellowship
in cardiovascular medicine.
“My extensive training in research and clinical care at Stanford
both expanded my knowledge base and gave me expertise in the latest scientific
advances in cardiovascular medicine,” she notes.
Prior to joining WTMF, Dr. Dao practiced noninvasive cardiology at the
Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula in Monterey. “I wanted
to come back to the Bay Area so I could be closer to the rest of my family,”
“I was attracted to WTMF, in particular, because of its emphasis
on patient-focused, high-quality care. In addition, the foundation connects
me to a network of primary care doctors and other specialists. I believe
in minimizing unnecessary invasive interventions whenever possible, but
I recognize that some cases require surgical procedures or other treatments
that I can’t provide. Being connected to the WTMF network of physicians
helps me review all available treatment options with my patients and refer
them to the proper health care provider.
“I strive to deliver evidencebased, quality care that is personalized
and tailored to each individual’s needs,” she adds. “I
seek to develop a respectful, compassionate relationship with all my patients
while providing them with the skills, knowledge and motivation to take
a proactive approach to improving their health. I try to promote wellness
and a healthy lifestyle by advocating a ‘heart-healthy’ diet,
regular exercise and modification of risk factors.”
In her spare time, Dr. Dao enjoys spending time with family and friends.
She also pursues hobbies such as cooking, international travel, visiting
wine country and hiking along California’s coastal trails.
“I also am an avid Golden State Warriors fan,” she confesses
as yet another reason to return to the Bay Area
Dr. Dao’s clinical practice is located at 2287 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.
If you need help finding a physician, visit the Washington Township Medical
Foundation website at
www.mywtmf.com and click on the tab for “Your Doctor.”