Two years of intensive learning

Foundation, in collaboration with Dr. Laura Vidales, fellow cardiologist at the Institute

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This article is adapted from the Foundation’s magazine

From Argentina to Montreal, Dr. Laura Vidales continues her specialization in congenital heart defects.

Each year, cardiologists from around the world come through the doors of the Montreal Heart Institute to join one of 11 fellowship programs under the supervision of high-level experts.

In 2020, Argentinian cardiologist Laura Vidales began her second year of fellowship at the Institute, where she continued her superspecialized work in congenital heart defects. This innovative branch of cardiovascular medicine has blazed a path for itself with rapid advances over the last few years. Thanks to the support of the Foundation’s donors, Dr. Vidales and many other doctors have become acquainted with the Canadian healthcare system.

The ability to adapt—an essential skill in 2020

Dr. Vidales can attest that the upheavals of the past few months have had an impact on the teaching, care and research typically offered at the Institute. It implemented measures to protect patients and staff, and whatever can be done remotely is done so.

But for her, it’s far from being the first foray into the unknown.

In the last year, she had to overcome a series of challenges that strengthened her expertise, including mastering a new language and a new environment, not to mention working in a field that seems to evolve every day.

Dr. Vidales highlighted the patience, respect and compassionate approach of the doctors who welcomed her at the Institute. These things inspire her on a daily basis, not to mention lend themselves well to her subspecialty.

Everyday empathy

“Since the day they were born, the majority of my patients with congenital heart defects have had to endure countless medical appointments, percutaneous procedures,

surgery, and the list goes on. This is a harsh reality for both them and their families. It’s essential to not only provide them with medical care, but also treat them with compassion and a positive, empathetic attitude,” said Dr. Vidales.

She admires this duality she’s observed in experts at the Montreal Heart Institute— they are at once elements in a well-organized system and warm-hearted individuals who always see the patient behind the illness.

It’s true that there are many differences— resources, systems, approaches—from one country to the next. But Dr. Vidales believes this vision of medicine is something we can all agree on. And she’ll surely bring it with her when she returns home.

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