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Public Profile

Karol Watson, MD, PhD
Karol Watson, MD, PhD
  • Professor of Medicine/Cardiology
  • Co-director, UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology
  • Dir., Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Health Prog.
  • David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA - LA, CA

Dr. Karol E. Watson is board certified in the fields of internal medicine and cardiology. She currently practices as a cardiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, magna cum laude, and her doctoral degree in physiology from UCLA. She completed both a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at UCLA, and continued there as part of the UCLA Specialty Training and Academic Research program and as chief fellow in Cardiovascular Diseases.

Currently, Dr. Watson is director of the Women's Cardiovascular Center at UCLA, co-director of the UCLA Program in Preventative Cardiology, and director for the Center for Cholesterol and Hypertension Management. She is an associate professor of medicine in UCLA's Division of Cardiology and a member of the executive committee for the UCLA Fellowship Program in Cardiovascular Diseases.

Dr. Watson contributes nationally on a number of fronts as well. She is a principal investigator for several large National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies, and serves on the national steering committees of both NIH and industry-sponsored clinical trials. She was a member of the National Cholesterol Education Program Coordinating Committee and has severed as a past officer for the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), and currently serves as chair of the ABC Cholesterol Committee and as a member of the Internal Medicine steering committee for the National Medical Association.  Dr. Watson has received many honors, including "America's Top Physicians" designation from Black Enterprise magazine, and a "Super Doctors" designation from Tu Ciudad and Los Angeles magazines. Dr. Watson has been quoted in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Woman's Day, and Redbook magazines, among others. She has appeared in interviews on Lifetime television, NBC News, and PBS, among others. Also, Dr. Watson was one of the physician hosts of the TLC television series "Guardian Angels, MD," as well as an advisor to, and featured in the Emmy award-winning PBS series "The Mysterious Human Heart."

The American Society of Hypertension recognizes Dr. Watson as a specialist in hypertension; she chairs the cholesterol committee of the Association of Black Cardiologists, and serves on several committees and NIH panels, including serving on the NIH Expert Panel for the Integrated Clinical Guideline for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction. She is chairperson of the national advisory board for WomenHeart (a national organization dedicated to women with heart disease), a former member of the advisory board for the California Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program, and chairperson of the Food and Drug Administration's Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices Panel.

Dr. Watson's more than 80 publications and presentations have addressed many subjects, including prevention of heart disease, vascular calcification, hormone replacement therapy,  the metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and cardiovascular disease in African Americans.

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