10 Questions with Cardiologist Deborah Sundlof, DO
BY EMILY SHIFFER
Yesterday, cardiologist Deborah Sundlof, DO, with LVPG Cardiology–Muhlenberg, was honored by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania with the Take the Lead award. The award honors female leaders in the local community, inspiring women and Girl Scouts alike with their courage, confidence and character.
“I am so proud to be honored with this award,” Sundlof says. “To be thought of as a mentor to our next generation (our most important commodity!) is the highest of honors!”
She hopes that she can inspire young women to persevere through tough challenges.
“Throughout my schooling, I was told many times that I would not succeed – from college to medical school to residency. I want our girls to know that if you are told that ‘You Can’t,’ then find someone to show you that ‘You Can!’ And I hope that person is me!” she says.
Get to know Dr. Sundlof with her answers to 10 questions she selected from our vault of questions (including a bonus 11th question):
What inspired you to get into medicine?
My mom has been the biggest influence in my life. She is the kindest, smartest, most amazing person I know. She is a pediatrician, and I grew up watching and experiencing how rewarding the field of medicine was for her. My twin sister and I grew up just “knowing” we were going to be physicians.
What is your proudest career accomplishment?
The proudest accomplishment of my career was standing at my medical school graduation side by side with my identical twin sister. Our mother was able to “hood” us on stage at graduation.
What's one thing you hope patients take away from their time with you?
I always want patients to know that this is a partnership. I would like my patients to learn something about themselves or about their health or health in general that will help them live a healthier, happier life.
What is your family like, and how do you balance work and family life?
My husband, Johan, is my best friend. (He does not work in medicine.) We run together and enjoy hiking, skiing and traveling. He grew up in Sweden and brings a great flavor of Europe to our family.
My daughter Annika is 23 years old and is a first-year medical student at Temple Medicine. She does not know what field she is going into yet – hopefully cardiology! Our son Erik is a junior at Villanova. We are so proud that he is a business major and has been offered a full-time job at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The balance for a professional woman is often difficult. But all I can say is that when I am home, I concentrate on my family. And when I am at work, I give that my all as well.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am a marathon runner, and I love hiking and skiing.
What's your favorite food?
I love ethnic foods. My family is Thai, and my mom tends to cook with a lot of fresh veggies and seafood. Anything with Thai curry would be a favorite.
What’s your favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends to reflect on the prior year and give thanks.
Are you a tea or coffee person?
I actually do not like hot/warm drinks, so I don’t drink either! But I love coffee ice cream.
What is your favorite book?
I am a geek. My favorite books are the “Harry Potter” books. I have read them many times and just love the series. I think they are brilliant.
What’s one interesting fact about you that would surprise us?
I went bungee jumping two summers ago! I have no idea what came over me.
What is one of the most rewarding things you do?
I volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps of Bethlehem. This wonderful group of people, including the Bethlehem Health Bureau, has been working tirelessly to vaccinate our community members. Volunteering for them is one of the most rewarding endeavors.
Learn more about Deborah Sundlof, DO, and watch her video, at LVHN.org/Sundlof.