Dr. Howard H. Weitz

Howard H. Weitz, MD, epitomizes the ideal physician: compassionate clinician, exceptional educator. He has brought distinction to the University since graduating from Jefferson Medical College more than three decades ago.

Dr. Weitz received his degree in 1978, completed his residency as chief medical resident in 1982 and finished his fellowship in cardiovascular diseases in 1984. Today he serves as the Bernard L. Segal Professor in Clinical Cardiology; director of the Division of Cardiology and the Jefferson Heart Institute; and senior vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Medicine. He is the clinical director of Jefferson’s Heart and Vascular Service Line.

Dr. Weitz’s profound effect on the practice of internal medicine started early, before he finished his training, when he and fellow alumnus Geno Merli became interested in developing techniques to lower the risk of medical problems in patients who undergo surgery. Dr. Weitz and Dr. Merli, now senior vice president and chief medical officer for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, designed a Jefferson course addressing the issues and then wrote a textbook, Medical Management of the Surgical Patient, that has given guidance to many thousands of physicians and students. Their course has become the national forum and is now held annually in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Weitz’s influence extends to his entire field as co-director of the American College of Physicians’ annual course for recertification in internal medicine and as associate editor of the American College of Physician’s Medical Knowledge Self Assessment Program. He serves on the task force that sets national competency and training benchmarks for the entire spectrum of cardiovascular specialties.

In 2003 he was honored by his alma mater, Muhlenberg College, with an honorary doctor of science degree, and in 2008 he received the Laureate Award from the American College of Physicians. In February 2012 he will receive the American Heart Association’s Edward S. Cooper Award, which is presented to a physician, researcher or medical professional whose outstanding contributions in their field improve the daily lives of the residents of the Philadelphia region.

For Dr. Weitz, the interest of the patient is first and foremost, and the joy he derives from healing and teaching infuses all he does. As he recently said, “The rewards are so phenomenal when you not only can help people but also can teach others to do so.”

Dr. Weitz lives in Elkins Park, Pa., with his wife, Barbara, an attorney and coordinator of volunteers at Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center in Montgomery County. They have three children. Hannah is a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis; Aaron, a 2011 graduate of Haverford College, is currently a Boston Teaching Resident; and Ben, a 2011 graduate of Middlebury College, is a Washington, DC, Teaching Fellow.