Top Doctors 2021: A Life-Changing Experience

Her father’s heart attack persuaded Dr. Sara Weiss to become a cardiologist

By Edited and Condensed by Rob Smith May 17, 2021


This article originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Name: Sara Weiss, M.D. 

Practice and Hospital Affiliation: Cardiology, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Why did you pick your specialty? When I was in college, my father had a heart attack but didn’t recognize the symptoms. He did not seek medical attention until a significant amount of heart damage had occurred. Thankfully, with the help of his cardiologist, he is doing well now, almost 30 years later! Ever since, I have wanted to understand the heart and help people thrive despite their cardiac disease. There are so many things we can do now to help men and women with heart disease to live well. Getting to know my patients and their families, and helping them to find that silver lining, brings a lot of meaning to my work as a physician.

What do you wish people knew about your specialty? I specialize in heart failure, which is a terrible name for a very treatable and manageable condition. I would like people to know that even though heart failure is not curable, with the right treatment plan, most people get better and live for many years. New therapies and treatment advances over the last 30 years have revolutionized this field of medicine.   

How will the pandemic change your practice? During the pandemic, a large number of patients chose to use our telemedicine option rather than in-office visits. I expect virtual visits will remain a popular choice for many patients because they are efficient and convenient. As a physician, telemedicine is another important tool I have for staying in touch with my patients. On a personal level, the pandemic has reinforced the importance of my loving family — I would not have been able to remain on the front lines without their support. Additionally, I am grateful for our strong community — only by working together, wearing masks and getting vaccinated, will we be able to beat this virus!

This feature is a part of our 21st annual list of the region’s best physicians. View the list here. 

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