James J. Heffernan, MD, MPH

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Primary Care Section Chief, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Dr. James Heffernan is a graduate of Harvard College and the Boston University School of Medicine. He did a Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency at Boston City Hospital, where he also served as a Chief Medical Resident before he joined the faculty there in 1981. Dr. Heffernan has worked as a primary care physician for the past 30+ years with an extensive clinical skill set related to his core primary care practice but also extensive experience delivering inpatient care and medical consultations. He also served as an emergency department physician earlier in his professional life at Boston City Hospital. Since 1996, he has worked at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, first as the Medical Director of Healthcare Associates (HCA), the hospital-based, academic primary care practice of BIDMC and most recently as Primary Care Section Chief. He remains committed to medical education and has served as a primary care preceptor since 1981. He has also maintained an active teaching role on the inpatient service and serves as the Kurland Firm Chief, with oversight responsibilities for one-quarter of the medical housestaff at BIDMC. He has received numerous teaching awards throughout his career. He delivers frequent lectures and workshops to housestaff, medical students and at CME courses, with special interest in the alcohol withdrawal syndrome, in the cost-effective evaluation and treatment of back pain, in the primary care evaluation and management of venous thromboembolism and on the effective use of evidence-based resources to support clinical decision making and clinical practice. He has had an abiding interest in care innovation and quality improvement.