Meet the Doctor: James Fitzpatrick, MD
James Fitzpatrick, MD, is a cardiologist in Einstein Healthcare Network’s Heart & Vascular Institute. He sees patients at the Einstein Cardiology office on Township Line Road in Elkins Park. Dr. Fitzpatrick is board certified in cardiovascular disease and in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.
We spoke recently with Dr. Fitzpatrick about his career, his interests, and cardiology at Einstein Healthcare Network.
Q: Tell us about your education.
A: I received my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and my medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. I completed an internal medicine residency at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester. Then I did a fellowship in cardiology at Temple University Hospital and a fellowship in heart failure and transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Q: Why did you choose your specialty?
A: I chose to specialize in cardiology after enjoying my cardiology rotations during my internal medicine residency. I believe that having a background in engineering made learning about hemodynamics, electrophysiology and cardiac physiology interesting for me. I was also glad to go into a field with the variety of disciplines of cardiology, including clinical patient care, interventional procedures, imaging and intensive care.
During my cardiology fellowship, I found the care of patients with heart failure to be the most gratifying and interesting to me. In treating those with advanced heart failure, we often get to see that patients who are most limited due to their heart disease have the greatest improvement after treatment in the quality of their lives and survival. Earlier in my career, while working in the field of heart transplant, I also enjoyed managing patients with suppressed immune systems and treating different types of transplant rejection.
Q: What drew you to Einstein?
A: I enjoy working in the outpatient office and hospital at Elkins Park, in a community hospital setting, while having all of the resources of a large academic medical center. It’s nice to get to know patients over a long period of time, and our practice probably offers more opportunity for that than a large referral academic center. As part of our division, I can offer patients the comprehensive cardiac care of Einstein Cardiology, including advanced heart failure, nonsurgical interventions for artery blockages and valve conditions, excellent cardiothoracic surgery, etc.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I really enjoyed reading 1776 by David McCullough. It’s a great story about the year July 1775-76, mostly through the life and correspondence of George Washington.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I can’t say that any one stands out. However, I’ve always enjoyed watching movies that take place near home. There are a bunch of scenes in The Sixth Sense from two neighborhoods in which I’ve lived in Philadelphia. And, of course, Rocky is the ultimate Philly flick.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot?
A: It wasn’t entirely a vacation, but I spent a month in Dublin during medical school on an elective rotation. It provided a springboard for backpacking trips around Ireland and a couple of spots in Europe. These days, I would say my favorite vacation spot is on an Avalon beach.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant?
A: Maggiano’s in King of Prussia has been a favorite for family birthdays as well as a midway point for us to meet up with our out-of-town friends.
Q: What is your favorite sports team?
A: My family and I follow most of the Philly teams, especially the Eagles. But as a Villanova alum, by far my favorite sport is college basketball. We’ve been fortunate to have great Wildcat teams and two national championships recently.
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you ?
A: My last job before entering medical school was as an electrical engineer at the construction site of the Taj Mahal casino. Since my undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering, I worked for Honeywell as a building control systems engineer for a few years after college.
Learn more about heart and vascular care at Einstein.