Raven Voora (USA)

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine

Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
ISH Americas Regional Advisory Group (RAG) member

What is your role at your work?

I am a clinician educator. I see patients with chronic kidney disease including end stage kidney disease on renal replacement therapy. In addition, I have a specialized interest in hypertension and care for patients for routine and difficult to manage hypertension at the UNC Hypertension Clinic. Lastly, I am the Associate Program Director for the Nephrology Fellowship Training Program. In this role, I educate and support nephrology trainees.

How did you get interested in your career path?

I was inspired to become a nephrologist after my positive interactions with the nephrologists at my medical school. I found them to be thoughtful and truly invested in the long-term care of their patients. Thereafter, I developed an appreciation for the complexities of the kidney and the impact of kidney disease on health. I am especially interested in the intersection of cardiovascular and kidney disease which has inspired my specialized interest in hypertension. Despite effective pharmacotherapies being available and despite our knowledge of the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviour, blood pressure control rates are low in the US. Uncontrolled hypertension contributes to the kidney disease that I see every day and inspires me to be involved in opportunities to improve hypertension care.

What are you most proud of in your career or otherwise?

I come from a family of educators. Therefore, I am most proud that I am continuing the family tradition in that I am also an educator in the field of medicine. I enjoy the opportunities that I have to teach students and providers at all levels and positively influence behaviours and thoughts. It’s quite powerful and invigorating to teach.

What important career challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

While I am proud to be a Mother, it has been difficult to balance work and family responsibilities. I never have or feel like I have enough time for either. Honestly, I continue to struggle with work and family life balance and have not totally overcome this challenge. I have found it helpful to speak with other working women to get advice and to appreciate that the challenge is not unique to me.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be confident and believe in yourself. There is nothing you cannot do. Do not underestimate your abilities.

Have you had any significant career mentors? If yes, please provide further details.

I have had many career mentors along the way and at various times in my career. Each mentor that I have had has been interested in my professional effectiveness and success with the ultimate goal of growing my career. Most recently my mentors have been Dr. Debbie Cohen at UPENN and Dr. Alan Hinderliter at UNC. Both of them have extensive experience in hypertension and each has involved me in hypertension research, education and other scholarly activities. My mentors have never doubted my ability to contribute to the field and this has ultimately helped my confidence to grow.

How can we support the next generation of women scientists?

There needs to be increased efforts to promote the work of women scientists. This can be done in many ways like inviting women to talk about their work or give presentations at both local and national conferences. Increased gender diversity at conferences (as well as in leadership positions) helps to promote current women in science and can also inspire the next generation of women scientists.