Mark Josephson

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Mark Josephson
Born January 27, 1943
Died January 11, 2017
Residence Boston
Citizenship United States
Fields Cardiac electrophysiology
Institutions Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
Alma mater Trinity College, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Known for Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology: Techniques and Interpretations authorship

Mark E. Josephson, M.D., (1943-2017) was an American cardiologist and writer, who was in the 1970s one of the American pioneers of the medical cardiology subspecialty of cardiac electrophysiology. His classic text, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology: Techniques and Interpretations, is widely acknowledged as the definitive treatment of the discipline. He was the Herman Dana Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Harvard-Thorndike Electrophysiology Institute and Arrhythmia Service.[1] He was also until 2016 the chief of cardiology at Harvard University's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.[2]


Dr. Josephson is a graduate of Trinity College[3] and subsequently went to medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and his fellowship training in cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.[4]

After spending two years as a research associate with Dr. Anthony Damato at the Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital, he published articles on the electrophysiologic basis and anatomic location of AV nodal reentry and map-guided subendocardial resection to cure ventricular tachycardia, a procedure Time dubbed "the Pennsylvania Peel" in honor of the Penn cardiology department's surgical innovation.[4] Dr. Josephson's work helped to transform electrophysiology from a research field to a powerful clinical discipline for treating patients.[5]

Dr. Josephson has published over 400 original journal articles and 200 book chapters and reviews and is the author of the fundamental textbook of clinical cardiac electrophysiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology: Techniques and Interpretations.[4]

Throughout his career at Penn and more recently at Harvard, Dr. Josephson inspired and trained over a hundred electrophysiologists. He first published "Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology: Techniques and Interpretations" in 1979 and the textbook now in its fourth edition remains one of the definitive electrophysiology textbooks. This voluminuous text is unusual among medical textbooks as it is a single-author text, written completely by Dr. Josephson.

Josephson worked closely over the years with European cardiac electrophysiology pioneer Hein J. J. Wellens, M.D., chief of cardiology emeritus at the University of Limburg in Maastricht, Netherlands. For over 30 years, they coached together at high-yield "How to Approach Complex Arrhythmias" course for cardiologists [6] and EP fellows.[7] In the 2000s, they initiated an advanced course "Intracardiac Unknowns" which was attended by almost all electrophysiology trainees in the USA for over 10 years.


Throughout his career Dr. Josephson won numerous awards. This includes the Career Achievement Award from the University of California San Francisco Medical School as well as the University Medal for Excellence from Columbia University as well as the Distinguished Teacher Award. He has been given the Pioneer Award in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology from the Heart Rhythm Society. Most recently, Dr. Josephson received the American Heart Association's Paul Dudley White Award as well as the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award.[8][9][10]


Dr. Josephson and his wife, Joan, married in 1967 and remained married until her death in June, 2016. They have two children and three grandchildren. Dr. Josephson is well known for his calm, patient demeanor with patients and colleagues alike. He passed away in January, 2017.