Meet Dr. Sinha: “Be Your Own Inspiration”

If needed, even the tiniest babies and those with the most severe heart problems can undergo heart surgery at Connecticut Children’s – including via minimally invasive techniques like video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, or VATS.

Helping lead the way is congenital cardiac surgeon Raina Sinha, MD, MPH, FACC, one of just 17 female pediatric cardiac surgeons practicing in the United States.

Raina Sinha, MD, MPH, FACC, meets with a patient and their family

What advice do you have for girls and young women who want to someday be leaders in medicine?

Dr. Sinha:

  • Be your own inspiration
  • Find supportive mentors
  • Follow your passion
  • Be aware of the hurdles and make a plan to overcome them
  • Identify your weaknesses in order to turn them into your strengths

> When newborn Delilah needed surgery for a rare heart defect, Dr. Sinha led the team.

What’s something surprising about you?

Dr. Sinha: I was born and grew up in Bihar, India, a part of the country that ranks the lowest in female literacy and highest in child brides. Contrary to those statistics, my family has a strong legacy of education, specifically women’s education and financial independence. Both men and women in my parents’ generation all hold graduate-level degrees from India, and our next generation (both in the U.S. and India) have all dedicated themselves to pursuing higher education in a similar fashion.

I was in the 10th grade when I decided to become a doctor. I felt medicine was a multifaceted career that could use a variety of skills, from seeing patients to performing research, teaching, or becoming a part of administration.

What drew you to Connecticut Children’s?

Dr. Sinha: I was attracted to the culture of growth and innovation, and the opportunity to be mentored in my career. Connecticut Children’s is a great place to be a woman in medicine, and moreover, surgery. We have a female department chair and surgeon-in-chief, which is quite rare. It’s also wonderful to see so many women in surgery among my colleagues in the divisions of Urology, Orthopedics, Ear, Nose & Throat, Ophthalmology and General Surgery — much more so than other health systems.

Raina Sinha, MD, MPH, FACC, performs cardiac surgery

You have an 8-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. How does being a mother influence your work?

Dr. Sinha: Empathy is an invaluable asset for patient care, and as a mother of two young children, I think that’s one of my strengths. I can understand the fear of losing a child or the guilt of being a bad parent when it comes to medical decision-making. By staying focused on the child’s best interests, we can help to make this process a little less difficult for their families.

Dr. Sinha’s expertise includes complex neonatal cardiac defects, palliation of single ventricle lesions, valve repair and adult congenital heart surgery. She joined Connecticut Children’s in February 2020.

Learn more about Connecticut Children’s cardiology & cardiac surgery services >

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