Dr. Derek Human

Where did you complete your training?
Although I grew up in Southern Africa, I went to Oxford University for my medical training, and then back to South Africa for a few years, completing my Pediatric Cardiology at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. There I worked with some remarkable early pioneers in Congenital Heart Disease, including Christian Barnard, who was a great pediatric cardiac surgeon, as well as the world’s first transplant surgeon.

What is your special area of interest?
The natural and unnatural course of Congenital Heart Disease – how surgical and medical interventions have changed over the years, and through long term studies, understanding how we can make things better.

What is the best thing about working in the Congenital Heart Disease specialty?
Diagnosing, managing and following the amazing progress of babies and children into their adult years in the PACH clinic.

What is one thing that you think that all patients with Congenital Heart Disease should know?
You are the experts in your heart condition! Make sure all your health professionals understand as much as you do, ask questions, understand the ‘what and why’ of everything being suggested to you.

If you weren’t a doctor, what would you be?
An architect specializing in the design of wineries and country homes!

Do you have any interesting hobbies or talents or pets?
An avid wine collector, and taster, and tourist of wine growing regions.