To support Healthcare Science Week 2024 we will be showcasing several cardiac scientists inspirational career journeys.

Dr. Nolan Stain-Montalvo – SCST Vice-President,
Head of Cardiorespiratory Physiology at Barts Health
North-East London Healthcare Science Lead: Physiology

“I was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where I originally studied accounting and considered further education to become a lawyer. However, I always had an interest in health and science. In the late 1990s, I moved to the UK. I first worked in finance for a logistics company in Swindon, followed by a telecommunication company in London before making the change to cardiac science. I was alerted to our profession through reading an A-Z list of careers in the library – the internet was not quite as developed and accessible as it today. I started my training as a cardiac scientist in the early 2000s. I went on to gain experience across all disciplines in cardiology before specialising in cardiac devices. Later, I trained to implant loop recorders, reported direct access diagnostics, and led a chest pain pathway. In 2014, I became a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered clinical scientist via the equivalence process. My interest in research led me to complete a doctorate in health sciences, exploring patient pathways into accessing chest pain services managed by healthcare scientists.

Over the past two decades, I have worked in a variety of cardiac diagnostic settings, encompassing acute NHS Trusts, community clinics, the private sector, and, more recently, the Integrated Care Board (ICB) environment. I also had the privilege of being part of a team that facilitated device implantation and follow-up clinics in Gibraltar – flying out twice a year. Currently, my focus is on integrating wearable technologies into clinical pathways and developing scientist-led diagnostic reporting. The latter initiative aims to provide protocolised advice and guidance for primary care, ultimately improving patient access and turnaround times. Additionally, I am involved in developing a local Quality Assurance Programme for non-invasive cardiac diagnostics and working with colleagues to establish a physiological science network to harness our collective voice in my locality.

I have also actively been involved in equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) serving on the Chief Scientific Officer’s EDI committee, in a dual role as the SCST representative as well as a Neurodiverse and LGBTQIA+ champion. I have a special interest in raising awareness of the challenges and indeed the strengths of LGBTQIA+ individuals living with neurodiversity and other invisible disabilities. I am one of the co-chairs of the LGBTQIA+ network within my organisation.

I have been the Vice-President of the SCST council for over 3 years. In this capacity, I have led several projects including the registration of the SCST Logo (Professional Body for Cardiac Scientists) as a trademark to promote our branding as cardiac scientists. I also jointly led a project to redraft our Articles of Association to align them with current practices, as well as to amend the society name. The name change and new articles were adopted at our annual general meeting (AGM) in November 2023.
My goal is to raise the profile of all cardiac scientists, associate practitioners, and cardiographers by highlighting the essential work we undertake in diagnostics and healthcare more generally”.



Interesting facts about cardiac physiology:
Cardiac physiology is an international profession with variant roles in over 50 countries across the global, using more than 20 different titles. The longest professional title is found in Germany where we are known as “Medizinischer Technologe für Funktionsdiagnostik.”