Globally renowned Interventional Cardiologist
Dr. Marta Bande was born and raised in the south of Sardinia, a beautiful Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. Learning about her childhood in this idyllic place, it is unexpected that this young girl dreamt of becoming an interventional cardiologist.
In layman’s terms, an interventional cardiologist is a cardiologist with one to two years of additional education and training in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease as well as congenital (present at birth) and structural heart conditions through catheter-based procedures, such as angioplasty and stenting. Ischemic heart disease is the leading global cause of death; emergency coronary angioplasty is a potentially life-saving procedure during a heart attack.
Marta had to be steadfastly disciplined and committed to reach her dream. Nonetheless, she also enjoyed several extracurricular activities, like English and music lessons, in addition to a variety of sports, including horseback riding, swimming, skiing, scuba diving, and ballet. When she was 16, she spent one year of high school as an exchange student in Somersworth, U.S.A.; it was a wonderful, transformative year, and she is still very close to her “American family.”
Marta shares a powerful, special bond with her parents and her younger brother Davide, who currently lives in Dubai.
Marta’s mother is a teacher, but she is the real businesswoman in the family; she selflessly dedicated her life to the family and helped Marta’s dad establish his private practice. Her support is Marta’s most precious asset.
Her dad, meanwhile, is a Cardiologist. He was Chief of Interventional Cardiology for several years; he retired from the hospital and still practices as a cardiologist. Inspired by his life-saving work, Marta decided to follow in her father’s footsteps early on.
She graduated from medical school and completed her Cardiology fellowship in Cagliari, Sardinia; a part of her Cardiology training was performed at Mount Sinai Medical Center & Miami Heart Institute in Miami, U.S.A. She pursued a Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the Institute Cardiovasculaire Paris Sud- ICPS in Massy, Paris, then proceeded with another year of fellowship, obtaining her Master in Interventional Cardiology Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan.
Since 2010, she has been working as a consultant interventional cardiologist in Milan, currently at Istituto Clinico Sant’Ambrogio, GSD-Gruppo San Donato. She is a Fellow of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) and a member of several professional societies. She has been a faculty member and speaker at national and international conferences. Being passionate about supporting women in Cardiology, she is involved in advocacy groups.
Interventional Cardiology is traditionally a male-dominated field; women are underrepresented and still face gender inequity in terms of opportunities and pay gap. As a woman herself, Marta experienced firsthand that one of the main challenges in this environment is earning professional respect and being recognized as a serious and competent operator in the cath lab. “Interventional Cardiology is an extremely fascinating and rewarding field, but it’s also a very demanding and competitive one. It requires extensive availability due to on-call obligations and gives little flexibility with unpredictable and strenuous working hours”. Marta persevered by working hard with consistent dedication. “Finding balance is a constant struggle; it’s important to develop strong relationships with colleagues and be part of a team so that you can mutually count on each other and help can be reciprocated,” she adds.
No obstacle could halt the progress of the go-getter that Marta is. Recalling those who inspired her and made a positive impact along the way, she says, “My dad has been my first mentor and has inspired me with his dedication, compassion, and strong work ethic. I was then mentored by someone I profoundly admire, the iconic Dr. Antonio Colombo (Milan). Two amazing women interventional cardiologists have been my mentors and pivotal role models: Dr. Francesca Gallarello (Miami) and Dr. Marie-Claude Morice (Paris). Their guidance and support are treasured sources of inspiration and strength for me.”
During her personal time, Marta strives to prioritize self-care. On a weekend morning, you may find her practicing Ashtanga yoga, “It keeps me grounded and physically fit,” she shares. Marta loves reading and, when she’s in Sardinia, enjoying the sea and the company of her long-time friends.
What is her greatest passion? “Caring for others. I am privileged to do this job”.
And biggest weakness? “Circumstances beyond my control might overwhelm me, but I’ve learned that how I respond is key; taking care of my own wellbeing allows me to give my best to others. Setbacks are an extraordinary opportunity for growth”.