Dr. Branch’s educational achievements are impressive. She obtained her MD from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Her residency training in Internal Medicine took her to both the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
Her dedication to cardiovascular health led her to pursue a fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where she made history as the first African American female in the program. As many people are attempting to embark on a healthy lifestyle we had the honor of gaining some insight from Dr. Branch as well as learning a little about her journey. 


Can you share your journey of becoming a cardiologist and what inspired you to pursue this field?

Dr. Branch: Briefly, I am privileged to be a fourth-generation African American physician. My mother is an infectious disease specialist and aided with my strategy. I considered other professions, but this was the most stable with people that I admired.  I followed one of my mother’s colleagues around to learn about different specialties. I shadowed a cardiologist and immediately fell in love with cardiology.

In your opinion, what are some key lifestyle changes that individuals can make to improve their heart health?

Dr. Branch: Start small. Start with 1,000 steps per day and aim to increase this. Physical activity and diet trackers are the best way to go. For changing your diet, start with eating half of what you eat now each meal. You will lose weight and save money.

What do you define as success?

Dr. Branch: Doing what you want, when you want; with those you love to do it with. Serving your designated purpose with gratitude and humility.

Do you believe in work- life balance? If so how do you maintain it?

Dr. Branch: I do. I set boundaries on my time. I articulate if one side is too off balance and negotiate ways to get a better balance (at home and at work). I’m intentional about downtime (Netflix on the couch; wordle, worldle, sudoku). I schedule my health (meals/exercise). I keep a running to do list with my priorities in check. I cut the fat when need be and feasible (people/relationships, projects). I match energies in terms of productivity. If no one is demanding it, I don’t need to emphasize my time on it. I really try to focus my 100% effort on top priorities and not over stretch.

How can our readers connect with you online? 




Photo Credits: Courtesy of Dr. Mary Branch