By Desiree Williams
Dr. Pantila Vanichakarn Bateman, a cardiologist at IU Health North in Carmel, always wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps by traveling to the U.S. for her education after growing up in Bangkok, Thailand.
“I really wanted to pursue my career and have the best education,” she said. “My parents are my models, and they did their education in the United States, so I felt like I really wanted to have the opportunity to do that.”
After graduating high school, Vanichakarn Bateman received a scholarship to study abroad and completed one year of “prep school” in Andover, Mass. She stayed with a host family and still keeps in touch with them.
“I was homesick a lot and I had to do all the things I never had to do on my own,” she said. “It was challenging, but I felt like I had good support and I was really fortunate to have a host family to help with that transition.”
Vanichakarn Bateman remained in the U.S. after the study experience to finish her schooling. She studied chemistry and pre-med at Harvard, completed medical school in 2005 at the University of Chicago and pursued an internal medicine residency at Boston University.
When she discovered her passion for cardiology, Vanichakarn Bateman went on to complete a fellowship at Dartmouth.
“Cardiology was really one of the fields that fascinated me,” she said. “I love taking care of the patients with heart disease and the physiology of it.”
She returned to Thailand with her husband, Daniel Bateman, to practice before returning to the U.S. once again after IU Health recruited Daniel, a geriatric psychiatrist. They moved to Carmel in 2015.
Vanichakarn Bateman specializes in women’s health, something she said is very important to her because it is more challenging to diagnose women with heart disease because they rarely present typical symptoms.
Because February is American Heart Month, Pantila Vanichakarn Bateman offers the following tips to stay heart healthy:
1. Exercise, including a lot of walking.
2. Maintain a low salt and low sugar diet full of fruits and vegetables.
3. For women: listen to your body and seek medical care early if something changes.