030: Music From Her Heart Strings – Dr. Dawn Hui

On this episode, Dr. Dawn Hui shares her journey from a violinist at Juilliard and the Hong Kong Philharmonic to an innovative cardiothoracic surgeon. She connected with Nathan because they are both in a Health Data Science Masters program at Saint Louis University looking to make an impact in the evolving world of healthcare research and the lives of patients.

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Dr. Hui continues to quench her passion for music today by leading the Heart Quartet at Saint Louis University. Through their performances, they educate people about heart health using the life and death of great composers as their motivation.

Throughout the episode, Dawn shares what is fascinating her right now in healthcare and in her research. The heart is the only muscle in your body that can not take a break and understanding how to keep it healthy is of vital importance. Every day she wakes up inspired to help her patients live life to the fullest and find how best to do that.

We encourage you to watch some of Dr. Hui’s performances and learn more about her research through these links: Heart Quartet and SLUcare.edu . You can also connect with her through her email: dawn.hui@health.slu.edu

Enjoy the episode!

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Show Notes:

  • Interview Begins [4:00]
  • When did Dr. Hui’s interest in healthcare begin? [5:17]
  • What drew her away from the music path? [7:11]
  • The Heart Quartet [8:10]
  • Her journey from Hong Kong Philharmonic back to medical school [11:57]
  • How Dawn settled on cardiothoracic surgery as her path. [12:41]
  • How many years has she been a cardiothoracic surgeon and working at St. Louis? [13:58]
  • Her experience when she first saw an open chest/heart [14:42]
  • Difference between heart health in women and men [16:12]
  • Difference in the development of coronary disease.[17:54]
  • What is Dr. Hui researching and focusing on right now? [18:18]
  • The reason why she went back to get her Masters in Health Data Science [20:26]
  • What she thinks is going to happen with the explosion of journals on the Internet [25:10]
  • Dawn’s current motivation [26:55]
  • Patient experiences that stuck with her throughout the years [27:36]
  • Types of changes she foresees with time allowed to spend with patients [31:34]
  • Things that excite Dr. Dawn Hui right now [32:33]
  • Conversations around the costs of surgeries [34:12]
  • What would Dr. Dawn Hui change about our healthcare system if she had all the power in the world? [36:36]
  • Why do we need so much healthcare? [37:58]
  • The newspaper headline she wants to see in the future [39:31]
  • Advice for the next generation of healthcare leaders [42:00]
  • The thing that she’s looking forward to with the holiday season coming up [45:40]

Significant Quotes:

  • “As an academic clinician, I think our responsibility is to not promote irresponsible science.” [25:17]
  • “If I had to take one thing and leave one thing, I would just definitely want to keep operating.” [27:00]
  • “Something is good for somebody but is worse for somebody else.” [36:13]
  • “The world is always changing.” [41:51]
  • “There’s no shortcut to learning how to take care of patients.” [42:10]
  • “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” [42:18]
  • “You can’t learn judgment from a book.” [42:32]

Dawn’s Future Health Headlines

“Cure for Cancer Found”
“Obesity and Diabetes Reduced to All Time Low!”


Heart Quartet

The Lives and Times of the Great Composers

Dr. Dawn Hui’s Information

Health Data Science Masters program at Saint Louis University

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