Oct 2021

A global leader: recognizing cardiologist Dr. John Webb’s outstanding achievements


Featured from PHC News:

As a medical student at the University of British Columbia, Dr. John Webb gravitated towards the heart. It was an organ you could literally see move and function, and mechanical problems you could fix. That fascination kick-started a career in cardiology that has seen Dr. Webb become a global leader in complex coronary and structural heart disease interventions, including pioneering new minimally invasive heart devices and procedures that are now used around the world.

These days, Dr. Webb works as the medical chair of the Transcatheter Heart Valve Program with Cardiac Services BC (CSBC), medical director of the Catheterization Lab at St. Paul’s Hospital and McLeod Professor of Heart Valve Innovation at UBC. He’s now been honoured for his decades of outstanding contributions with the prestigious Canadian Cardiovascular Society Achievement Award.

“Dr. Webb has won every major clinical and research award in cardiovascular sciences in both North America and Europe,” says Dr. Sean Virani, provincial medical director of CSBC. “Despite his global profile, John has successfully mentored local and international faculty for over twenty years. He sets the bar for fostering scholarship training, career acceleration, research excellence and leadership.”

We had a chance to catch up with Dr. John Webb to hear about his work. Learn more about Dr. Webb by reading the Q&A below.

What inspired you to get into this profession?

I’ve always found the heart fascinating. When I was in medical school, I spent a few years studying other things and just gravitated towards the heart. I liked ‘fixing things’ that could be fixed. The heart is alive; it moves and pumps with mechanical issues you can fix, that ultimately, really help people.

How did you feel when it was announced that you’re a CCS award winner?

This isn’t what I ever expected, in so many ways.

What do you find most rewarding about your job? What gets you out of bed each morning?

I really like solving problems and every case is a different problem, which is what keeps the work interesting after all these years. The field is constantly changing and improving and it’s important to continually develop different procedures so we can improve the lives of the people we care for. I love doing what I do.

What is your proudest career accomplishment?

I’m proud of the transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedure I helped develop 20 years ago. It basically allows patients to have heart valves replaced without undergoing invasive open-heart surgery. Patients are usually surprised at how easy it is for them and how much better they feel. The procedure has progressed over the years to the point that most valve replacements around the developed world are now done this way.

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know –  about a hobby or passion, or something surprising.

Cycling is my favourite hobby, but also the source of most of my injuries.

Thank you Dr. John Webb for your leadership and mentorship. Join us in congratulating Dr. Webb on his CCS Achievement Award by leaving a comment or sending a Values in Action Badge​.