Meet Our Team

Meet Vivian Y. Mo, MD

Originally published February 4, 2015

Last updated June 20, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dr. Mo is a cardiologist at Keck Medicine of USC, who specializes in cardiology and echocardiography.

Here’s what you won’t find on her resume.

She wants to increase awareness of women’s cardiovascular disease.

“Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the country. The USC Women’s Cardiovascular Center (WCVC) focuses on the prevention of cardiovascular disease for women. Screening for cardiovascular disease is very important, regardless of the woman’s age, and especially if she has diabetes or hypertension or is obese.

The signs and symptoms of a heart attack are really well known in men, but women do not present with the same symptoms. Most women won’t have chest pain and are more likely to complain of nausea, weakness or throat fullness. Therefore, they won’t recognize what they are experiencing as a heart attack, until it’s too late. At the WCVC, we want to teach women how cardiovascular disease can affect them and find ways to prevent it from happening.”

She believes patient care should be interactive.

“I believe that patient treatment involves not only my expertise and experience but also patient involvement. I spend a large part of my clinic time explaining disease processes and engaging with each patient. More than simply diagnosing and treating patients, I always try to involve them in their care. In general, I feel that patients who do well are those who know and understand their disease process, how we treat it and why we prescribe the medicines we do.”

She traded the Lone Star State for the Golden State.

“I grew up in Texas and did most of my schooling and training there. Even though I loved my time in Texas, I needed something new. I moved to Southern California largely for my family and am fortunate that many of my close friends from different phases of my life live here also.”

Even if she weren’t a physician, she would still be an educator.

“Part of my job is training fellows and residents, and to me, that’s one of the best parts of my job. I would still be involved in teaching, even if I weren’t in medicine.”

Her specialty is a combination of disciplines.

“When deciding where to apply for residency, I had a really hard time deciding between medicine and radiology. Ultimately, I chose medicine, because I love learning and seeing how all parts of the body work. During my residency, I decided to specialize in cardiology, because cardiac physiology was interesting and stimulating to me, and I enjoyed caring for cardiac patients. What’s funny is that although I am a cardiologist and I treat patients, most of the time I am actually a radiologist, because I read cardiac studies. In the end, I came full circle combining both disciplines. I love what I do, so I found the right thing.”

She grows her own food.

“It’s pretty amazing when a little seed becomes an awesome cabbage. Having a garden teaches you many things about nature and nurture. When there is so much abundance of harvest, you have to think of different ways to cook zucchini, or you realize why people can their tomatoes. It’s so fulfilling to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Fresh tomatoes, right off the vine, taste better than anything I’ve ever had at a restaurant.”

View Dr. Mo’s full biography and schedule an appointment.