Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC, USA
How long have you been a member of HRS?
I've been a member since 2001 and have been volunteering since 2005.
My Society is...
My home. HRS provides a platform for me to interact with other EPs and HRS staff. I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Trustees and that afforded me the unique opportunity of interacting with other EPs and HRS staff to build a vision for the Society and think strategically about the future. I've grown as a physician by taking advantage of opportunities to contribute and interact with other HRS members and learn from their experiences, which ultimately benefits our patients.
What was your first job?
My initial job was at the Durham VA Medical Center, but I've been with Duke University for 24 years, where I started my training in internal medicine and cardiology before subspecializing in electrophysiology.
Why did you choose the field of electrophysiology?
Practicing EP is very gratifying for me. In my career, I have focused on the prevention of sudden cardiac death. I remember as an intern, I wanted to take charge running as many codes as possible on patients. I have been passionate about preventing people from dying suddenly and improving their survival.
What advice do you have for professionals entering the field of EP?
My advice is to do what you love and love what you do. If you're doing something you're not excited about it, you may need to rethink your career choice. My other advice would be to surround yourself with good mentors and advisors who can provide sage advice on your career, research, and clinical work. I'm fortunate to have had a team of mentors, including Edward L. C. Pritchett, MD,Robert M. Califf, MD, and Daniel Mark, MD, MPH. More recently I have had the pleasure of collaborating with William G. Stevenson, MD, FHRS from whom I have learned a lot.
My advice is to do what you love and love what you do. If you're doing something you're not excited about it, you may need to rethink your career choice. My other advice would be to surround yourself with good mentors and advisors who can provide sage advice on your career, research, and clinical work. I'm fortunate to have had a team of mentors, including Edward L. C. Pritchett, MD, Robert M. Califf, MD, and Daniel Mark, MD, MPH. More recently I have had the pleasure of collaborating with William G. Stevenson, MD, FHRS from whom I have learned a lot.
What is one of your favorite cities and why?
I love to travel, learn about new cultures, and meet new people. Within the US, my favorite city is San Francisco. My two favorite cities abroad are Vancouver and Vienna.
Do you have any hobbies?
I've been running since my 20s, but it wasn't until recently that I started running half-marathons. On October 14, 2017, I ran the Cannonball Half Marathon in Greensboro, NC to raise awareness for SCA. I set a new half-marathon personal record with a finishing time of 1 hour, 56 minutes and 49 seconds, ranking second among women in my age group.
Thank you to the following donors for support my effort:
Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, FHRS
Joseph E. Marine, MD, FHRS
William G. Stevenson, MD, FHRS
T. Jared Bunch, MD
James P. Daubert, MD, FHRS
James H. Youngblood
Samir F. Saba, MD, FHRS
Sean D. Pokorney, MD
Jodie L. Hurwitz, MD, FHRS
Nancy Allen LaPointe
Hugh Calkins, MD, FHRS
Melissa H. Kong, MD, FHRS
Emelia J. Benjamin, MD
More about Sana M. Al-Khatib, MD, FHRS, CCDS
Sana M. Al-Khatib, MD, FHRS, CCDS is a tenured Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center (DUMC). She received her MD degree from the American University of Beirut and trained in internal medicine, cardiology, and cardiac electrophysiology at DUMC, where she also received her Master’s in Health Sciences degree.
Dr. Al-Khatib has expertise and experience in the diagnosis and management of heart rhythm disorders including ventricular arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation. She has focused on the study of rhythm management devices including the implantable cardioverter defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization therapy. She has investigated risk factors, prevention, and treatment of sudden cardiac death (SCD), the leading cause of death in the United States. Dr. Al-Khatib is a board-certified clinical electrophysiologist and an experienced clinical researcher in cardiac arrhythmias. As a graduate of the NIH-funded Clinical Research Training Program, she is one of a few electrophysiologists nation-wide with expertise in quantitative research methods. Her research expertise lies in the design and conduct of clinical trials, outcomes research, and cost-effectiveness analyses. She is a recipient of a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s R-01 grant titled “Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Therapy in Patients with Heart Failure” (2009-2013) and an American Heart Association Career Development Award (2002-2006). She is a co-Principal Investigator of a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute T-32 grant for Postdoctoral Training in Cardiovascular Clinical Research. She has more than 220 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her work has had a wide influence on medical research and health policy, the latter being demonstrated by its influence on the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Device Performance Policies and Guidelines.
Dr. Al-Khatib has served on several professional society committees including the HRS’ Board of Trustees and Health Policy committee and the American Heart Association (AHA)/American College of Cardiology (ACC) Guideline Development Task Force. She was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigators (ASCI) in 2013. She is currently chairing the ACC/AHA/HRS’ guideline document on the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death and ventricular arrhythmias.