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American College of Physicians Recognizes Jefferson Physicians with Prestigious "Master" Designation

April 11, 2013
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Howard Weitz, MD, FACP, FACC, director of the Jefferson Heart Institute and Bernard L. Segal Professor of Cardiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Geno Merli, MD, FACP, senior vice president, chief medical officer and co-director of the Jefferson Vascular Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital will be recognized as Masters of the American College of Physicians (ACP) on April 11th at the ACP annual meeting in San Francisco.

The “Master” designation is reserved for those physicians who are among the most outstanding internists and medical teachers of their day.

Drs. Merli and Weitz, both graduates of Jefferson Medical College (JMC) have excelled in their respective specialties during their careers as professors at Jefferson Medical College and as clinicians at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

“Geno and Howard both exemplify the ideal physician,” says Gregory Kane, MD, professor of medicine and Interim Chair of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Kane will host a reception in celebration of their accomplishment in San Francisco. “Both are compassionate clinicians and exceptional educators,” adds Kane.

For nearly four decades Howard Weitz, MD, has been focused on and passionate about caring for patients.

Dr. Weitz is a career-long Jeffersonian. He received his degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1978, completed his residency as Chief Medical Resident and his fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases, all at Jefferson. He has been a practicing cardiologist and physician- leader at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital since.

Even before he earned his medical degree, Dr. Weitz was striving to improve care for patients.  Dr. Weitz made an impact on his field before leaving medical school. He and fellow alumnus, Merli, now senior vice president and chief medical officer at Jefferson, became interested in techniques to lower the risk of medical and cardiovascular problems in surgical patients. Their book, Medical Management of the Surgical Patient has been instrumental in educating many physicians and students. Their course on the topic is now held annually in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

“The big secret is that it’s about the people: yourselves, your colleagues, your teachers, your friends and family, and your patients,” Dr. Weitz told the incoming Jefferson Medical College class of 2016 in the annual White Coat Ceremony.

He considers himself an “in the trenches” clinician caring for patients, but Dr. Weitz has certainly had an impact far beyond patient care.

He is on the American College of Cardiology-American Heart Association-American College of Physicians task force that sets national competency and training benchmarks for the entire spectrum of cardiovascular specialties and was one of only three physicians to serve on a federal commission convened to identify opportunities to stabilize and strengthen healthcare delivery to the poor.

In February 2012, he was recognized with the American Heart Association’s Edward S. Cooper Award, presented to a physician, researcher or medical professional whose outstanding contributions to the field improve the daily lives of the residents of the Philadelphia region. His career was celebrated earlier this year when he was honored with a portrait given by his Jefferson colleagues. It will hang among the many influential Jefferson physicians dating to its founding in 1825.

Also a lifelong Jeffersonian, Dr. Merli became Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer in 2006 after a serving as director of the Division of Internal Medicine and vice chair of Clinical Affairs.

He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1975 and completed his residency in Rehabilitation Medicine and was chief resident in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in 1978 and completed a residency in Internal Medicine in 1980.

He was named clinical assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine in 1981, clinical professor at JMC and the College of Nursing, then Vice-Chair of Primary Care in the department of Medicine and the Ludwig A. Kind Professor, an endowed chair, of Medicine.  He is a recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the dean’s citation for significant contribution to the advancement of education.

As a board-certified specialist in Internal Medicine and Co-Director of the Jefferson Vascular Center, Dr. Merli is integral to the medical management of vascular patients.

He is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of prophylaxis for and management of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (DVT/PE), as well as for the medical consultation of surgical patients. His research interests have focused on prophylaxis for DVT/PE and the management of DVT in medically ill patients, total joint replacement, trauma, and high-risk cancer patients.

Dr. Merli serves on the editorial board for Journal of the Society of Hospital Medicine and Hospitalist News.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of Hospital Practice.  He is also a reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Chest, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Thrombosis & Haemostasis, and Journal of Thrombosis & Thrombolysis.

He and Dr. Weitz are co-editors of the 3rd edition of Medical Management of the Surgical Patient.  He also Co-Chairs the Jefferson-Mayo Clinic national course on the perioperative care of the surgical patient with medical problems. In addition, Drs. Merli and Weitz present an innovative program called “Consult Talk”—modeled after the popular radio show, Car Talk—at the Annual American College of Physicians Meeting.

Dr. Merli is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, Society of Hospital Medicine, and Society of Vascular Medicine.   He is a member of American Venous Forum, the Society of Hospital Medicine, and the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis.

Jefferson congratulates Drs. Merli and Weitz on this highest honor and recognition of their clinical and educational achievements. They are two of only 27 Masters in the state of Pennsylvania and among the best physicians in the nation.

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Jefferson University Hospitals
Phone: 215-955-6300