For the media

Love at first spark

By The Health News Team | February 14, 2022
Dr. Steven Carlson or Dr. Meena Narayanan with Sharp HealthCare

Dr. Steven Carlson or Dr. Meena Narayanan met at the University of Southern California, and now practice medicine at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.

Most marriages develop between two individuals whose goals, core values and interests are aligned. However, the love story between two Sharp-affiliated doctors began when they shared the desire to dedicate their careers to enhancing the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease.

As two driven cardiology fellows at the University of Southern California, Dr. Steven Carlson, medical director of electrophysiology, and Dr. Meena Narayanan, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation, met while completing their fellowship. Their friendship evolved into a beautiful union. They both now practice at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and the Cardiovascular Institute of San Diego, where they can relate to the extensive work hours, the complexity of patient cases and the value of being able to grab a bite to eat together in between rounds.

“Luckily, we trained together, so it was an easy transition to working together,” says Dr. Narayanan. “We both have an understanding of the demands at work, so we constantly try to assess the day at hand and adjust our support as needed.”

Often, a career in medicine means that it can be easy to become so wrapped up in your work that your time with your family is shuffled down the priority list. That is not the case with these exceptional cardiologists.

Because their professional lives and personal lives are deeply intertwined, they both understand their lifestyle. This allows them to provide symmetric support and develop systems to optimize their time and energy to thrive in love, at work and at home.

“As new parents, we used all our training skills — multitasking, time management and communication — on the home front,” says Dr. Carlson. “When we get home from work, it is divide and conquer with both kids to make sure everyone is fed, bathed and asleep. When we have a difficult and tiring day, we try to focus on all the positives in our lives.”

Together, Dr. Carlson and Dr. Narayanan have created a life in medicine that even their patients can appreciate.

“We are so fortunate to provide both preventive and acute treatment in our clinic and complex treatment in the hospital setting,” says Dr. Narayanan. “The relationships we form with our patients allow them to lead healthier and happier lives. We couldn’t imagine having a more fulfilling job.”

Dr. Narayanan says that it is also great working in the same practice and sharing patients. When their patients hear that the two doctors are married, they get excited and at each visit, ask them about each other and their kids. “It’s a great feeling having a caring relationship with our patients,” she says.

With the added layer of patient care and the measurably greater challenges that dual-physician couples may face, Dr. Carlson and Dr. Narayanan take their shared experience and intimate understanding to prosper in many aspects of their lives.

For the news media: To talk with Dr. Steven Carlson or Dr. Meena Narayanan for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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