Linda Andrei was born the youngest of five children. Her father was forced to leave the family farm in the Midwest during The Depression and move to NYC. There he trained as a welder and steamfitter and his Union job allowed him to support a family of seven. Linda’s mom worked as a bookkeeper to afford to send the children to Catholic school. Her mother developed breast cancer when Linda was sixteen and died soon after Linda’s graduation from Hunter College CUNY. Linda credits her mother’s spirit of determination for her own approach to life’s obstacles. “Linda, where there is a will, there is a way.”
Dr. Linda Andrei became a Cardiologist at a time when fewer than 25% of women were admitted to medical school and even fewer into Cardiology. She first dared to dream of becoming a doctor after reading the biography of Elizabeth Blackwell (the first woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S.). Linda began preparation for medicine by volunteering to help others. First, when she was 13 years old, working at a summer camp for children with Down’s Syndrome. Throughout high school and college, she volunteered in NYC hospitals to be sure she understood what a career in medicine would mean. Finally, she applied to medical school after graduating with Honors in Biology and Honors Research in Genetics. Linda was shocked to realize, like many women, that despite good grades and all her hard work she was denied admission.
Her mother’s words resonated in her head. She went to the International Institute of Education and sought admission to a well-respected medical school in Mexico. That the course of study was in Spanish did not deter her. Hard work and perseverance enabled her to pass the Federal Licensing Exam that permitted her to return to the U.S. She remembers this as a challenge that led to fluency in Spanish which served her well in diagnosing and treating patients in NYC.
Linda’s first residency was in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she was awarded the leadership position of Executive Chief Medical Resident. Subsequently, she was awarded a Fellowship in Cardiology (the only female in her program) at Mount Sinai Services, City Hospital at Elmhurst. After one year of teaching, Linda was awarded a Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at The University of Wisconsin Medical School. Subsequently, she returned to NYC to teach and serve as Director of The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Elmhurst (the only female director of a Cath lab in NYC at the time) and as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical School, NYC.
After an academic career and an opportunity to conduct Grand Rounds at Chongqing University in China, Linda went into private practice in North Carolina. By this time she had started her family and sought a small-town community in which to raise her two-year-old son Justin. A community that was like the one she grew up in. She found it in New Bern, North Carolina, where Linda practiced medicine for seven years. There, she became familiar with the lives of farmers and loggers in the rural area of Eastern North Carolina. It was during these years that she became the doctor she imagined herself becoming years ago, when she was nine. She connected with her patients and came to understand their struggles and the amazing capacity for the body to heal itself.
After 9/11, she felt she needed to move closer to her family and found just the right community in The Finger Lakes region of New York. Linda has worked in Elmira, Corning, Painted Post, Bath, Watkins Glen and Ithaca.
After her retirement from medicine, Linda pursued a second successful career as an artist after attending the NYAA. She feels now is the time to leave her retirement and use her experience, expertise and energy to serve our country. She is committed to addressing the major issue of our time, health care, which intersects economics, education and safety.
She is uniquely qualified to address this issue both as a physician and a patient. Her dogged insistence in the face of multiple challenges, her ability to learn quickly and her discipline and dedication make her a formidable opponent to Mr. Reed.
To this end, she has the wholehearted support of her husband, a Cornell Emeritus Professor who owns an Ithaca-based cybersecurity company and her son Justin, a recent college graduate now working.