2015 CSE Annual Achievement Awardee – Dr. James Tam

Congratulations to Dr. James Tam for receiving the 2015 CSE Annual Achievement Award presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Awards Ceremony on 25 Oct 2014.

The Canadian Society of Echocardiography Annual Achievement Award recognizes Canadian cardiologists who have made significant contributions to echocardiography in terms of leadership, teaching or research.

Dr. James Tam is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He is also the Section Chief of Cardiology at the Winnipeg Health Region Authority’s Cardiac Sciences Program, as well as Director of Echocardiography.

He completed his Internal Medicine training at the University of Ottawa, and his Cardiology residency at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He went on to complete a two year Fellowship in Echocardiography at the Ottawa Heart Institute.

His research interests are echocardiography, valvular heart disease and congestive heart failure. “I’ve always been fascinated by physiology and the ability to understand through first principles, “says Dr. Tam. “Echocardiography allows me to visualize the diagnosis and work through the pathophysiology and hemodynamics.”

He is particularly intrigued by the study of the clinical utility of diagnostic cardiac testing. That includes echocardiography and its impact on patient care, as well as health care utilization and resource management. He has also been involved in various multicentre clinical trials as a local principal investigator.

Among his previous awards are Postgraduate Educator of the Year at the University of Manitoba (Postgraduate Internal Medicine Training Program) and Clinical Excellence in Teaching (Cardiology Training Program).

He hopes that the ultimate impact of his work stretches far beyond cardiology. “My goal is to augment the use of echocardiography to the entire health profession. Of course, this starts with standardized high level training of echo specialists, but the knowledge needs to be disseminated to a wider group of primary users including all physicians, physician assistants and nurses.”

That will take time. But Dr. Tam continues to find meaning in spreading knowledge in many ways. “The most rewarding aspect,” he says, “is to teach a new student, and to convey the level of excitement and satisfaction in arriving at a correct diagnosis through simple concepts and first principles.”

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