Karen Fagan, a PH Doctor
Meet a PH Doctor: Karen Fagan
Dr. Karen Fagan is an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology, chief of the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine, and director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Center at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Fagan has been involved with PHA for the past 10 years, serving on PHA's Scientific Leadership Council (SLC) for the past six.
What sparked your interest in PH?
As a first year fellow in pulmonary medicine, I was working with Dr. David Badesch. At the end of our usual workday, he asked if I wanted to go with him to see his PH patients. I was fascinated, intrigued and inspired by the patients and PH. Soon this became my favorite part of the day, and I was "hooked" on PH from that time forward.
Do any cases or patients really stand out to you?
Yes — all of them! I have always said that being a doctor is an honor. This is never more true than in PH. I am always inspired and amazed by my patients.
There is one recent event that does stand out for me. At PHA's International Conference in Orlando in 2012, I brought my daughters (who do not have PH) along and enrolled them in the Kids' Room so I could attend the meeting. Before the meeting, we talked about PH and that some of the kids in the Kids' Room might not be able to do everything that they could but that, just like my daughters, they would want to make new friends and have a good time. My kids had a great time in the Kids’ Room! As I picked them up at the end of the first day, one of my daughters was so excited for me to meet her new PH friend. As we were heading up the elevator, she said, "Mom, you work in PH right? My friend has PH, and you need to work harder so she can feel better!" So true!