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James Marsh, Internal Medicine Chair, Settles into New Job and State


James Marsh, M.D.
 James Marsh, M.D., the new chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine, is looking forward to discovering Arkansasí outdoor adventure.

AUG. 23, 2004 | Almost two months into his position as the new chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), James D. Marsh, M.D., says Arkansas is treating him well.

Marsh came to UAMS July 1. “In the short time that I have been here, I have realized that the leadership at UAMS is even better than I had thought,” he said. “UAMS is vibrant healthy and growing and the many opportunities the campus and its affiliate institutions had to offer were what attracted me.”

Becoming the chair of a department was a natural step in his career, he said. He came to UAMS from the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, where since 1993 he has served as the professor and director of the division of cardiology, a professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and vice chair for research of the Department of Medicine.

Marsh earned his baccalaureate degree from Harvard University, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and he completed an internship, residency and fellowship at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital at Harvard Medical School. After completing his formal education and training in 1979, he served as instructor, assistant professor and associate professor of medicine at Harvard until he was recruited to Wayne State University in 1993.

“I spent 26 years at Harvard,” he said. “I originally just went there to get my degree and then I just couldn’t leave,” he said, laughing.

Marsh, who was raised in a Chicago suburb, said he is looking forward to finding a house soon. His wife, Susan, who works as a rehabilitation counselor, will be joining him in September. The couple has two sons, Adam, 20, who is a sophomore at Vassar College in New York and Eric, 25, who is an engineer in Detroit.

Marsh said he and his wife are looking forward to discovering the outdoor adventures Arkansas has to offer. “We like to hike and cycle, and I’m a runner. I like living in a state with a warmer climate that offers more opportunity to enjoy those kinds of activities.”

The friendliness of the people he has met in Arkansas is something that has impressed Marsh. .“People have been very welcoming to me,” he said. “And I’ve even discovered a few of my old friends and former colleagues from Harvard are here at UAMS.”

Marsh said his challenge as chair of internal medicine will be taking a strong department and making it better. “The internal medicine department at UAMS has national stature. Dr. Andreoli really put it on the map. I have some big shoes to fill.”

Marsh succeeds Thomas Andreoli, M.D., who stepped down as department chair Jan. 1 and was named distinguished professor of the Department of Internal Medicine by the UAMS Board of Trustees.

Marsh said he would like to continue to grow the clinical and research programs within the department, such as the cardiology, gastroenterology and pulmonary divisions. “The teaching program is terrific,” he said. “I just want to keep that humming along.”

Holding board certifications in both internal medicine and cardiology, Marsh also serves on several editorial boards, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Some of his research interests include using gene therapy to improve the function of a failing heart and stroke prevention.

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