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Professor Zamorano; life, achievements and view on CV imaging in general



Currently head of Cardiology at Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, Professor Zamorano has worked in many hospitals and has contributed extensively to national and international research and medical publications. His desire to become a doctor stems from early childhood and he has pursued his dream ever since, moving into cardiology after his qualification cum laude as doctor in medicine.

In the early days

He started his cardiological career at the Department of Cardiology at the University Complutense of Madrid. It was there that he came into contact with Professor Pedro Zarco, Professor Luis Sánchez Harguindey, and Professor Carlos Macaya, who made him enthusiast for cardiology by     introducing him properly to a world of knowledge, fascination and interest evolving around the heart. Professor Zamorano had found his true destiny and later went to Germany (the Department of Cardiology, University Clinic Essen, Essen, Germany) to receive specialist training in transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiography.

Echocardiography and the development of 3D

Upon his return to Spain, he started work in the echocardiography laboratory in the University Clinic San Carlos, Madrid and became director of the lab in 1999. His ideas for the Clinic were ambitious: to be one of the best within Europe.

Together with a dedicated team, he achieved this and more, as they soon had a reputation for being innovative as well as they were one of the first to use 3D echo.

He has been actively involved in   developing creating guidelines for the use of 3D echo and published extensively about this topic. In the years to come, the focus shifted to cardiac imaging where good use was made of newer techniques and       devices and where many training sessions were conducted.

The Virtual Heart

Another enjoyable project that Professor Zamorano undertook was working on the production of the ‘Virtual Heart’, an extensive collection of DVDs which depict both anatomy and physiology of the heart, as well as its pathology and treatments (see more information and a detailed view at http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo-salud/especiales/2008/01/anatomia_corazon/localizacion_anatomica/index.html).

It took 3 years to make and really was a futuristic achievement in itself at the time.

Teaching and lessons to be learned

Since 2007, Zamorano is Professor of cardiology and the role he likes best is that of clinician as well as   being a teacher. It is the combination that attracts him: helping patients and spreading and developing knowledge in young doctors. He strongly feels that it is about bringing them forward, by helping them and paving the way for new directions and lines of interest to expand knowledge in general and bringing it to a higher level. This might also     include undertaking projects that may not be successful in the end. Even so, one should therefore not forsake them as they one way or   another, these experiences will be valuable and young doctors will   definitely learn from these projects.

Looking back as well as forward

Professor Zamorano is still amazed by the development of invasive cardiology and more particular, the possibility of intervening in the working heart without actually opening the chest and sees this is as one, if not the most promising development in cardiology in recent years.

Better outcomes for patients are   the ultimate goal which is why he feels strongly about combining     cardiovascular risk factors with    imaging to better assess the real risks. Improvements can be achieved on stratifying risks in which cardiovascular imaging is ­essential.

Pride and joy; professionally and personally

Professionally, he is most proud of his time as President of the European Association of Echocardiography and the General Secretary of the   European Society of Cardiology. In everyday life, it is his team at the University Hospital which fills him with pride. Despite being a busy man, Professor Zamorano likes to play golf in his spare time.

He likes to spend time with his family which he credits as being ‘incredible’. His wife also works as a physician, and he has three children who he regards as his best achievements. There are two sons, one of which works at KPMG and the other is just finishing his studies to be an industrial engineer and his daughter – keen to follow in her father’s footsteps – is now in her second year. She is studying medicine at the University of ­Madrid, Spain.