10 Minutes with...
10 Minutes with...
1. Why did you decide
to study medicine?
I always preferred the sciences when
I was at school. My brother was at
medical school when I was in my
teens and I was fascinated by his
stories when he came home. I don’t
think I ever seriously considered any
2. What made you pursue
I did three cardiology attachments in
the first 18 months after I qualified and
thoroughly enjoyed every minute of
every job. I was very fortunate to work
for, and with, some very inspirational
people and that shaped my future.
3. What is the most
rewarding part of your job?
The knowledge that the vast
majority of what we do makes a
difference. Frequently, that is not often
appreciated immediately by patients –
for example diagnosing and successfully
treating hypertension, or encouraging
smokers to stop. As an interventional
cardiologist, I perform procedures
on acutely ill patients, such as those
having heart attacks. Rescuing a life-
threatening situation is probably the
most rewarding aspect of my job
4. What do you enjoy doing
in your spare time?
I was fortunate to have the
opportunity to compete in a variety
of sports in Hong Kong and my
passion for sport has never left me. I
love taking my son and daughter to
football and cricket matches and
I follow most sports with enthusiasm.
I am usually lucky enough to be able
to spend time with my wife and our
kids at the weekend when we go
cycling or play tennis together, or
see what’s on at the cinema.
5. What is the title of your
‘best read’ so far?
A book called ‘Bounce’ by the Olympian
andTimes journalist, Matthew Syed.
It explores (and supports) the theory
that expertise in any field can be
achieved by practice, at the same time
largely dispelling the concept of ‘natural
ability’. It predominantly looks at sports
but also provides examples from a
wide range of fields such as medicine,
firefighting and chess.
6. If you could invite three
people to dinner, living or
dead, who would they be?
My son suggested Luis Suarez and
Patrice Evra, but could not think of
a third person! I’m not sure I would
enjoy the atmosphere so I would
invite Charles Darwin, John McEnroe
and Michael Jackson. Ideally, it would
be Darwin after he wrote ‘On the
Origin of Species’, McEnroe after he
wonWimbledon for the first time and
Jackson after ‘Thriller’ was released.
7. What is special about
where you grew up?
I grew up in Hong Kong, which was
(and still is) the most fantastic place.
There is always something going on.
It’s a cliche, but the city really never
sleeps. Growing up there was great
as it was a diverse melting pot of
nationalities and cultures. I attended
a truly international school with
students from all continents.You are
never more than a walk or short bus
or tram ride away from most things.
8. Where is your favourite
place in the world?
No prizes for guessing – Hong Kong!
I lived there for 18 years before I
came to medical school in the UK
and it is home to me.
9. Who would you get to
play yourself in a movie?
I guess it would depend if George
Clooney or Brad Pitt could carry
off wearing a turban! Seriously, Art
Malik plays a very convincing Sikh
in the current version of Upstairs
Downstairs and I would be happy and
honoured if he was given the role.
Dr Balvinder SinghWasan
qualified in Medicine from
Imperial College (St Mary’s) in
1994, attaining Membership of
the Royal College of Physicians
(London) in 1997.
He trained in Cardiology in the
NorthWest Thames region,
achieving his completion of
specialist training in 2004. He
was appointed as a Consultant
Cardiologist to Queen Elizabeth
& St Thomas’ Hospitals the
same year. He was awarded
the Fellowship of the RCP in
2008. His specialist interests are
all aspects of coronary artery
disease, from screening to
prevention to intervention.
BSc MBBS FRCP
Queen Elizabeth and
St Thomas’ Hospitals
Secretary: Rosemary Gray
T: 020 7234 2255
F: 020 7234 2998[email protected]