A cardiologist in Nashville, Tennessee, is healing people through the power of medicine and music. Dr. Suzie Brown is breaking barriers as a doctor and an acclaimed singer-songwriter. CBS News senior medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula has the details for the "CBS This Morning" series A More Perfect Union.
GAYLE KING: A series, A More Perfect Union, aims to show that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us. This morning, our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Tara Narula, shares the story of a cardiologist in Nashville who's healing people through the power of Medicine and music.
SUZIE BROWN: (SINGING) Lord, I'm a jack of all--
See, I need place to go--
TARA NARULA: Suzie Brown is a Renaissance woman.
SUZIE BROWN: (SINGING) --to escape how I feel.
TARA NARULA: Who saves lives as a transplant cardiologist.
SUZIE BROWN: I meet people who are basically dying from heart failure, and with transplant we can give them their lives back.
TARA NARULA: And is breaking barriers with a second career as an acclaimed singer songwriter.
SUZIE BROWN: (SINGING) You could be falling apart and who would know it?
You don't know the battles people are fighting, and I feel that way a lot. Sometimes it's hard for people to know all you're going through just under the surface.
TARA NARULA: Suzie says she discovered her love of music in Med School, and today it's what keeps the doctor, mom, and wife balanced.
SUZIE BROWN: It was the only way I had found to express my vulnerability and to express some of these parts of myself that I couldn't at work, and the loneliness I was feeling as a career woman having to act tough all the time.
TARA NARULA: Why do you feel as a doctor you can't express your vulnerability?
SUZIE BROWN: As it is, there aren't a lot of female cardiologists, and I felt like I needed to be taken seriously.
SUZIE BROWN: (SINGING) Got a million things pulling on my heart strings-- (SPEAKING) but music has taught me the importance of being vulnerable. And I am absolutely so much more vulnerable at work, with my house staff, and with the patients.
JENNY THOMAS: She's my hero.
TARA NARULA: One of those patients is Jenny Thomas. A few years ago Jenny developed cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that required a heart transplant. She credits much of her recovery to Dr. Brown.
JENNY THOMAS: I didn't even realize how talented she was and then I found out that she, too, had a singing career along with being a cardiologist and a mom. And she just wears a lot of hats.
SUZIE BROWN: (SINGING) Lord, I'm a jack of all trades--
TARA NARULA: Jenny believes music makes her an even better doctor. And Suzie agrees.
SUZIE BROWN: It gives me more strength to have the hard, end-of-life conversations, and to handle all the sadness, and still be strong for the family, and for the patient, and my team.
(SINGING) Sometimes you find your dream--
TARA NARULA: When do you feel the most like you, the most free?
SUZIE BROWN: The most free is when I'm singing. And I also feel the most like me when I've made a really good call at work. When a patient comes in and says, I don't know how I'll ever repay you. You know? So I just feel lucky that I can do it all.
TARA NARULA: And for her, that means dividing her time between the hospital, and the studio, and home. What are you going to teach your children from what you've learned?
JENNY THOMAS: That there are no rules. It's all just made up. That you have to work full time in medicine, and you can't do other things. What matters is that you're happy. And I like to say if you're happy you win.
SUZIE BROWN: (SINGING) I've been trying--
TARA NARULA: For CBS This Morning, I'm Tara Narula in New York.
GAYLE KING: I love everything about you, Suzie. Wearing a lot of hats and wearing them all very well.