James Forrester, MD

Emeritus Professor

James S. Forrester, MD, is an Emeritus Professor and former Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai. In addition, he is a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Dr. Forrester joined the cardiology staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as Director of Cardiovascular Research in the early 1970s. Receiving approximately $2 million a year in funding from the National Institute of Health, Cedars-Sinai emerged as a premier program in clinical cardiovascular research. Dr. Forrester directed the development of hemodynamic monitoring using the Swan-Ganz catheter, which revolutionized the care of critically ill patients, and developed the Forrester classification of hemodynamic subsets of acute myocardial infarction.

In the early 1980s, he and George Diamond, MD, led the development of probability analysis in coronary heart disease. This method of analyzing diagnostic test results, called the Diamond-Forrester method, is now used worldwide in cardiology. In the early 1990s, Dr. Forrester led a team that developed coronary angioscopy. This allows cardiologists to see the surface of the coronary artery in patients who have had heart attacks. In these years, US News and World Report recognized Cedars-Sinai Cardiology as the leading program in the West, a position it still holds today.

Dr. Forrester has published over 400 full-length scientific manuscripts. He has served on the editorial boards of all of the principal scientific journals in cardiology. In 2003, his career was reviewed and highlighted in a 10-page interview with the editor of the American Journal of Cardiology. He has or currently seves on the editorial boards of three leading scientific journals of clinical cardiology and the editorial board of ACCEL. In his years of director of cardiovascular research and division chair, he has served as mentor to several hundred cardiologists, a number of whom became international leaders in cardiology.

His honors include being named one of the 10 Medical Scientists to Watch (1989) by Cable News Network, the Leon Goodman Award for excellence in laser research, the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the American Heart Association in Los Angeles, the Jan Kellerman Award for research in preventive cardiology and the Honorary Fellowship of the American College of Chest Physicians. He has served as an invited visiting professor at many of the nation's leading medical universities and has been in the invited speaker at many national and international cardiovascular symposia.

Since 1994, he has been selected for inclusion in Woodward and White's Best Doctors in America. He was selected by Good Housekeeping magazine as one of the 200 top cardiologists in the United States, and is included in Hertage Foundation Publishers' new book, The 2000 Best Physicians in the U.S. He is in Marques' Who's Who in the World. In March 2009, he was the second person selected for the American College of Cardiology's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011 he received the Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In 2013, Cedars-Sinai honored him with the annual Pioneer in Medicine Award. His former mentees posted a video tribute posted on YouTube. He is the author of "Heart Healers: the Misfits, Mavericks and Rebels Who Created the Greatest Medical Breakthrough of Our Lives", to be published in September 2015 by St. Martin's Press.

Dr. Forrester has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association in Los Angeles. He has served as Chairman of the ACC's committee that writes Expert Consensus Documents (which provide guidelines for the best medical care) and Chairman of the ACC's Annual Bethesda Conference (which deals with national and international issues in cardiology). He is former Chairman of the ACC's Young Investigators Award Committee, which gives annual awards to the nation's best young investigators.

Dr. Forrester received his bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After serving an internship at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, he came to Los Angeles as an internal medical resident at UCLA-Harbor Medical Center. Following his internal medicine residency, he completed his cardiology fellowship at Harvard University. He was recruited to the Cedars-Sinai staff, and soon thereafter, he became Director of the SCOR Program (a position he held until he became Division Director in the early 1990s).

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