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Dr. Mark Josephson, Chief of Cardiology – CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Recipient of 2013 American Heart Association‘s Paul Dudley White Award for Contributions to Cardiac Electrophysiology

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

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Dr. Josephson Recognized for Contributions to Cardiac Electrophysiology

  • Date: 5/1/2013

The American Heart Association presented its prestigious Paul Dudley White Award to Mark E. Josephson, MD, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, at its annual gala in April.

The award is given annually to a Massachusetts medical professional physician who has made a distinguished contribution to the American Heart Association’s mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“The AHA is pleased to honor Dr. Josephson,” said N. A. Mark Estes III, MD, director of the New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Tufts Medical Center, chair of the selection committee. The award “is a fitting tribute for his professional accomplishments, personal attributes, and contributions to the AHA.”

Transformed His Field

Dr. Josephson is credited with transforming the field of cardiac electrophysiology from an intriguing scientific idea to a robust diagnostic and therapeutic tool for the management of arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms. His research into the physiologic basis of these conditions has led to revolutionary achievements in their diagnosis and treatment.

A passionate educator, Dr. Josephson in the late 1970s wrote the definitive textbook on the practice of electrophysiology. It is now in its fourth edition and one of the rare single-author textbooks in any field. Since 1982, he has co-taught a seminal bi-yearly seminar on the interpretation of complex arrhythmias. The course has been attended by nearly 6,000 physicians, including 85 percent of electrophysiologists in the United States, for whom it is considered a rite of passage. He is also one of the busiest clinicians in BIDMC’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Having trained more physicians in his specialty than anyone else in the world, Dr. Josephson is fond of saying that his greatest legacy is the successes of his “academic children and grandchildren” and the subsequent generations of clinicians and researchers they have gone on to teach.

Dr. Josephson is the author of 444 original articles in peer-reviewed scientific publications, such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Circulation, a journal of the AHA. He is the author of more than 200 chapters, reviews and editorials.

Unfailing Dedication

“The selection of Mark Josephson as the 2013 recipient of the Paul Dudley White Award is a fitting recognition of the impact he has had on cardiology in Boston for the last 20 years,” says cardiologist Peter Zimetbaum, MD, a BIDMC colleague and member of the AHA selection committee. “He, like Paul Dudley White, inspires us through his unparalleled clinical and research insights and his unfailing dedication to the practice of medicine.”

Dr. Josephson shares a number of attributes with Dr. White, who was one of Boston’s most revered cardiologists and a founding father of the AHA. Their shared experiences include an association with Harvard, a sustained tenure at his medical institution, and early military experience that helped launch his career.

Perhaps most significantly, they share an unbridled passion for saving and enhancing the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease.

Pamela Lesser, one of Dr. Josephson’s patients who endorsed his nomination, said, “I don’t know how old he is, but he has an enthusiasm and love for what he does that is like he’s in his 20s, just out of medical school and ready to conquer the world. He’s on the edge of discovery. He has a passion for his work that spreads to the patient and that feeds into that whole feeling of ‘I’m in the best hands possible.’”

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