Arthur Garson, Jr., MD, MPH: a conversation with the editor*

        Arthur Garson was born in New York City on February 14, 1949. He attended private schools in New York City until high school and then he went to Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. From there it was Princeton University where he graduated summa cum laude in 1970. His medical school was Duke University from which he graduated in 1974 having been elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. His internship and first-year residency in pediatrics also was at Duke University, and his 3-year fellowship in pediatric cardiology was at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After finishing his fellowship in 1979, he stayed on the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, rising to the rank of Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Medicine in 6 years. At one time, he was director of the electrocardiography laboratory, pacemaker clinic, and electrophysiology laboratory at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. In 1988, he became Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. In 1992, he left for Durham, North Carolina, to be Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Policy and Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center. In 1995, he returned to Houston to be Vice Chairman of Pediatrics for Strategic Planning at Baylor College of Medicine and Vice President of Texas Children's Hospital. In 1996, he became Senior Vice President and Dean for Academic Operations at Baylor College of Medicine. In 1999, Dr. Garson was President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). In June 2002 he moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to become Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He has published 8 books, 160 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, 78 chapters in various books, 29 editorials, 5 public service pamphlets, and 30 invited articles in various medical journals. He is recognized as one of the elite pediatric cardiologists in the world. He and his lovely wife, Suzan, are the parents of 2 girls. They both are art lovers and cook with passion. He is also a nice guy and fun to be around.
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        Further reading

          Articles in Peer-Review Journals

          1. Garson A, Nihill MR, McNamara DG, Cooley DA. Status of the adult and adolescent following repair of tetralogy of Fallot. Circulation 1979;59:1232–1240.

          2. Garson A, Gillette PC. Junctional ectopic tachycardia in children: electrocardiography, electrophysiology, and pharmacologic response. Am J Cardiol 1979;44:298–302.

          3. Garson A, Gorry GA, McNamara DG, Cooley DA. Decision analysis in tetralogy of Fallot. Am J Cardiol 1980;45:108–113.

          4. Garson A, Kugler JD, Gillette PC, Simonelli A, McNamara DG. Control of late postoperative ventricular arrhythmias with phenytoin in young patients. Am J Cardiol 1980;46:290–294.

          5. Garson A, Gillette PC, McNamara DG. Supraventricular tachycardia in children: clinical features, response to treatment and long-term follow-up in 217 patients. J Pediatr 1981;98:875–882.

          6. Garson A, Gillette PC. Electrophysiologic studies of supraventricular tachycardia in children. I. Clinical-electrophysiologic correlations. Am Heart J 1981;102:233–250.

          7. Garson A. Ventricular dysrhythmias after congenital heart surgery: a canine model. Pediatr Res 1984;18:1112–1120.

          8. Garson A, Gillette PC, Titus JL, Hawkins EP, Kearney D, Ott D, Cooley DA, McNamara DG. Surgical treatment of ventricular tachycardia in infants. N Engl J Med 1984;310:1443–1445.

          9. Garson A, Randall DG, McVey P, Smith RT, Moak JP, Gillette PC, McNamara DG. Prevention of sudden death after repair of tetralogy of Fallot: treatment of ventricular arrhythmias. J Am Coll Cardiol 1985;6:221–227.

          10. Ott DA, Garson A, Cooley DA, McNamara DG. Definitive surgery for refractory cardiac tachyarrhythmias in children. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1985;90:681–689.

          11. Garson A, Bink-Boelkens, Hesslein PS, Hordof AJ, Keane JF, Neches WH, Porter CJ. Atrial flutter in the young: a collaborative study of 380 cases. J Am Coll Cardiol 1985;6:871–878.

          12. Zipes DP, Cobb LA Jr, Garson A Jr, Gillette PC, James TN, Lazzara R, Rink L. Task Force VI: arrhythmias. J Am Coll Cardiol 1985;6:1225–1232.

          13. Carpenter RJ, Strasburger JF, Garson A, Smith RT, Deter RA, Engelhardt HT. Fetal ventricular pacing for hydrops secondary to complete atrioventricular block. J Am Coll Cardiol 1986;8:1434–1436.

          14. Zipes DP, Akhtar M, Denes P, DeSanctis RW, Garson A, Gettes LS, Josephson ME, Masson JW, Myerburg RJ, Ruskin JN, Wellens HJJ. Guidelines for clinical intracardiac electrophysiologic studies. J Am Coll Cardiol 1989;14:1827–1842.

          15. Garson A, Perry J, Ott D, Gillette PC, Cooley DA. Supraventricular tachycardia due to multiple atrial ectopic foci: a relatively common problem. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 1990;1:132–138.

          16. Garson A. Stepwise approach to the unknown pacemaker ECG. Am Heart J 1990;119:924–941.

          17. Perry J, Garson A. Supraventricular tachycardia due to Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in children: early disappearance and late recurrence. J Am Coll Cardiol 1990;16:1215–1220.

          18. Moss AJ, Schwartz PJ, Crampton RS, Tzivoni D, Locati EH, MacCluer J, Hall WJ, Weitkamp L, Vincent GM, Garson A, Robinson JL. The long QT syndrome: prospective longitudinal study of 328 families. Circulation 1991;84:1136–1144.

          19. Towbin JA, Bricker JT, Garson A. Electrocardiographic criteria for diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction in childhood. Am J Cardiol 1992;69:1545–1548.

          20. Dreyer WJ, Paridon SM, Fisher DJ, Garson A. Rapid ventricular pacing in dogs with right ventricular outflow tract obstruction: insights into a mechanism of sudden death in postoperative tetralogy of Fallot. J Am Coll Cardiol 1993;21:1731–1737.

          21. Garson A, Dick M II, Fournier A, Gillette PC, Hamilton R, Kugler JD, Van Hare GF, Vetter V, Vick GW. The long QT syndrome in children: an international study of 287 patients. Circulation 1993;87:1866–1872.

          22. Denfield SW, Kearney DL, Garson A. Developmental differences in canine surgical scars. Am Heart J 1993;126:382–389.

          23. Garson A Jr, Allen HD, Gersony WM, Gillette PC, Hohn QAR, Pinsky WW, Mikhail O. The cost of congenital heart disease in children and adults: a model for multicenter assessment of price and practice variation. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1994;148:1039–1045.

          24. King SB III, Frye RL, Fuster V, Garson A Jr, Gay WA Jr, Popp RL. 25th Bethesda Conference: future personnel needs for cardiovascular health care. Task Force 2: academic health centers. J Amer Coll Cardiol 1994;24:290–295.

          25. Martin AB, Perry JC, Robinson JL, Moss AJ, Garson A Jr. Calculation of QTc duration and variability in presence of sinus arrhythmia: a potential solution to a vexing problem. Am J Cardiol 1995;75:950–952.

          26. Garson A, Wolk MJ, Morrin SB, Gold W, Dickstein M. Resource based relative valve scale for children: comparison of pediatric and adult cardiology work values. Cardiol Young 1995;5:210–216.

          27. Epstein AE, Miles WM, Benditt DG, Camm AJ, Darling EJ, Friedman PL, Garson A Jr, Harvey JC, Kidwell GA, Klein GJ, et al. Personal and public safety issues related to arrhythmias that may affect consciousness: implications for regulation and physician recommendations. A medical/scientific statement for the American Heart Association and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Circulation 1996;94:1147–1466.

          28. Gajarski RJ, Towbin JA, Garson A. Fontan palliation vs. cardiac transplantation: a comparison of charges. Am Heart J 1996;131:1169–1174.

          29. Garson A Jr, Kanter RJ. Management of a child with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and supraventricular tachycardia: model for cost effectiveness. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 1997;8:1320–1326.

          30. Speer ME, Lindsay S, Garson A Jr. Use of risk-adjusted outcome measures to determine cost-effectiveness and reduce variation of care using a practice guideline for children with asthma. Dis Manage 1998;1:227–233.

          31. Garson A Jr. Arrhythmias and sudden death in elite athletes. American College of Cardiology, 16th Bethesda Conference. Pediatr Med Chir 1998;20:101–103.

          32. Christiansen JL, Guccione P, Garson A. Difference in QT interval measurement on ambulatory ECG compared with standard ECG. PACE 1998;19:1296–1303.

          33. Garson A, Strifert KE, Beck JR, Schulmeier GA, Patrick JW, Buffone GJ, Feigin RD. The metrics process: Baylor's development of a “report card” for faculty and departments. Acad Med 1999;74:861–870.

          34. Steinwachs DM, Collins-Nakai RL, Cohn LH, Wolk MJ, Garson A. The future of cardiology: utilization and cost of care. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;35:1092–1099.

          35. Stewart MG, Jones DB, Garson A Jr. An incentive plan for professional fee collections at an indigent-care teaching hospital. Acad Med 2001;76:1094–1099.

          36. Skorton DJ, Garson A Jr, Allen HD, Fox JM, Truesdell SD, Webb GD, Williams RG. Task Force 5: adults with congenital heart disease: access to care. J Am Coll Cardiol 2001;37:1193–1198.

          37. Garson A. The U.S. healthcare system 2010: problems, principles and potential solutions. Circulation 2000;101:2015–2016.


          1. Garson A, Gutgesell HP, Pinsky WW, McNamara DG. The ten minute talk; organization, slides, writing and delivery. Am Heart J 1986;2:193–203.

          2. Garson A. Dosing the newer antiarrhythmic drugs in children: considerations in pediatric pharmacology. Am J Cardiol 1986;57:1405–1407.

          3. Garson A. The science and practice of pediatric cardiology in the next decade. Am Heart J 1987;114:462–468.

          4. Garson A. The emerging adult with arrhythmias: management and financial health care policy. PACE 1990;13:951–954.

          5. Garson A. Clinical research on children in the 1990s. J Am Coll Cardiol 1992;19:636–637.

          6. Garson A. Health care policy for adults with congenital heart disease: the patient, the physician and society. Circulation 1992;86:1030–1032.

          7. Garson A. Pharmaceutical policy and children: the time has come. PACE 1993;16:1064–1065.

          8. Garson A. Health care in America 1993: myths, truths and realities. Cardiol Young 1993;3:408–411.

          9. Garson A. The sinking of US healthcare legislation: What have we learned? Acad Med 1995;70:346–347.

          10. Friedman RA, Garson A Jr. Implantable defibrillators in children: from whence to shock. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2001;12:361–362.

          Acc President's Pages

          1. Garson A. Convocation address: Leadership: “We're going there with fire.” J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;33:1432–1434.

          2. Garson A. Personalizing continuing medical education. J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;33:1744–1745.

          3. Garson A. The ACC and subspecialty societies: the beauty of the quilt. J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;33:2085–2086.

          4. Garson A. The great circle: a target for better patient care. J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:294–295.

          5. Garson A. What is advocacy doing for us? What can we do? J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:607–609.

          6. Garson A. Performance measures and our “art.” J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:1229–1230.

          7. Garson A. The ACC Annual Scientific Session — a new meeting for the millennium. J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:1657.

          8. Garson A. Integrating the Internet into your practice. J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:2139–2140.

          9. Garson A. Health care coverage for adults with congenital heart disease: strong, steady steps. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;35:255–256.

          10. Garson A. Back to the future: part III. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;35:535–536.

          11. Garson A. Accountability 2000. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;35:804–807.

          12. Garson A. The U.S. healthcare system 2010: problems, principles and potential solutions. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;35:1048–1052.

          Public Survey

          1. Garson A. The Future of Health Care. New York: Louis Harris and Associates, 1998.

          White House Briefing Paper

          1. Garson A, Eagle KE, Medicare Healthcare Quality Incentive. August, 2001.

          Invited Articles

          1. Garson A. How to measure the QT interval: measurement of repolarization: what is normal? Am J Cardiol 1993;72:14B–16B.

          2. Hart EM, Garson A Jr. Psychosocial concerns of adults with congenital heart disease—employability and insurability. Cardiol Clinics 1993;11:711–715.

          3. Maron BJ, Garson A Jr. Arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in elite athletes. Cardiol Rev 1994;2:26–32.

          4. Berman S, Bogdan J, Buchanan G, Curran J, Garson A Jr, Gross R, Halfon N, Lewak N, Nelson R. Guiding principles for managed care arrangements for health care of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Pediatrics 1995;95:613–615.

          5. Garson A Jr. Teaching tomorrow's doctors to choose cost-effective care. Managed Care 1996;5:47–48.

          6. Garson A, Levin SA. Ten 10-year trends for the future of healthcare: implications for academic health centers. Ochsner J 2001;3:10–15.


          1. Garson A, Gillette PC, McNamara DG. A Guide to Cardiac Dysrhythmias in Children. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1980.

          2. Gillette PC, Garson A. Pediatric Cardiac Dysrhythmias. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1981.

          3. Garson A. The Electrocardiogram in Infants and Children: A Systematic Approach. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1983.

          4. Gillette PC, Garson A. Pediatric Arrhythmias, Electrophysiology and Pacing. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1990.

          5. Garson A, Bricker JT, McNamara DG. The Science and Practice of Pediatric Cardiology (Vols 1–3). Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1990.

          6. Gillette PC, Garson A. Clinical Pediatric Arrhythmias. 2nd Edition. Baltimore: W.B. Saunders, 1999.

          7. Garson A, Bricker JT, Fisher DJ, Neish SM. The Science and Practice of Pediatric Cardiology (Vols 1–2). 2nd Edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1998.

          Book series

          1. Skorton DJ, Garson A. Congenital Heart Disease in the Adult. Baltimore: W.B. Saunders, 1995.

          Book Chapters

          1. Garson A, McNamara DG, Cooley DA. Tetralogy of Fallot in adults. In: Roberts W, ed. Cardiovascular Clinics. Philadelphia: FA Davis, 1979:341–364.

          2. Garson A, McNamara DG. Postoperative tetralogy of Fallot. In: Engle MA, ed. Pediatric Cardiovascular Disease. Philadelphia: FA Davis, 1980:407–429.

          3. Garson A. Supraventricular tachycardia. In: Gillette PC, Garson A, eds. Pediatric Cardiac Dysrhythmias. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1981:177–253.

          4. Garson A. Ventricular dysrhythmias. In: Gillette PC, Garson A, eds. Pediatric Cardiac Dysrhythmias. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1981:295–360.

          5. Garson A. Systematic interpretation of cardiac dysrhythmias in children. In: Leibman J, Plonsey R, Gillette PC, eds. Pediatric Electrophysiology. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1982:136–155.

          6. Garson A. Sudden death in children. In: Morganroth J, Horowitz LN, eds. Sudden Death. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1985:47–56.

          7. Garson A, Coyner T, Shannon C, Gillette PC. Systemic interpretation of the fully automatic (DDD) pacemaker electrocardiogram. In: Gillette PC, Griffin JC, eds. A Practical Guide to Cardiac Pacing. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1986:181–270.

          8. Garson A, Smith RT, Moak JP. Invasive electrophysiologic studies in children. In: Horowitz LN, ed. Cardiology Clinics: Electrophysiologic Evaluation of Arrhythmias. Philadelphia: FA Davis, 1986;4:551–564.

          9. Garson A. New antiarrhythmic drugs: treatment based upon “mechanism”. In: Doyle EF, Engle MA, Gersony WM, Rashkind WJ, Talner NS, eds. Pediatric Cardiology. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986:411–414.

          10. Garson A. Electrocardiography. In: Anderson R, Macartney F, Shinebourne E, Tynan M, eds. Paediatric Cardiology. Edinburg, UK: Churchill Livingstone, 1987:235–317.

          11. Garson A. Troubles du rhythme et de la conduction apres correction de la tetralogie de Fallot: rapports aves la mort subite. In: Kachaner J, Batisse A, eds. Progres en Pediatrie: Rhythmologie Pediatrique. Paris, France: Doin, 1987:141–149.

          12. Garson A. Experimental and clinical findings in ventricular arrhythmias in the young. In: Aliot E, Lazzara R, eds. Ventricular Tachycardias. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987:134–152.

          13. Garson A. Electrocardiography. In: Cole CH, ed. The Harried Lane Handbook. 11th ed. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publisher, 1987:64–74.

          14. Garson A, Moak JP. Pediatric arrhythmias. In: Zipes DP, Rowlands DJ, eds. Progress in Cardiology. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1988:187–202.

          15. Garson A, Gillette PC, Smith RT, Moak JP. Electrophysiology. In: Adams F, Emmanouilides GC, Riemenschneider TA, eds. Moss' Heart Disease in Infants, Children and Adolescents. 4th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1989:154–156.

          16. Garson A. Ventricular arrhythmias. In: Gillette PC, Garson A, eds. Pediatric Arrhythmias, Electrophysiology and Pacing. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1990:427–500.

          17. Garson A. Chronic postoperative arrhythmias. In: Gillette PC, Garson A, eds. Pediatric Arrhythmias, Electrophysiology and Pacing. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1990:667–678.

          18. Garson A. Chronic arrhythmias in children with a normal heart. In: Gillette PC, Garson A, eds. Pediatric Arrhythmias, Electrophysiology and Pacing. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1990:648–654.

          19. Garson A. Arrhythmias and sudden death. In: Gillette PC, Garson A, eds. Pediatric Arrhythmias, Electrophysiology and Pacing. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1990:630–636.

          20. Garson A Jr. Ventricular arrhythmias after repair of congenital heart disease: Who needs treatment? In: Hess J, Sutherland GR, eds. Congenital Heart Disease in Adolescents and Adults. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992:147–154.

          21. Garson A, Kanter RJ. Rate adaptive pacing in children: requirements and clinical application. In: Benditt DG, ed. Rate Adaptive Pacing. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1993:193–198.

          22. Garson A. Abnormalities of cardiac rate and rhythm. In: Oski FA, DeAngelis C, Feigin RD, McMillan JA, Warshaw JB, eds. Principles and Practice of Pediatrics. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1994;88:1641–1645.

          23. Garson A, Kanter RJ. Arrhythmias in congenital heart disease. In: Podrid PJ, Kowey PR, eds. Cardiac Arrhythmias: Mechanisms, Diagnosis, and Management. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1995:1131–1160.

          24. Garson A. Electrocardiography. In: Garson A, Bricker JT, Fisher DJ, Neish SM, eds. The Science and Practice of Pediatric Cardiology. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins 1998;37:735–788.

          25. Garson A. Evaluation of cost and effectiveness in pediatric cardiology. In: Garson A, Bricker JT, Fisher DJ, Neish SM, eds. The Science and Practice of Pediatric Cardiology. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1998;136:2939–2944.

          26. Garson A. Sudden death. In: Gillette PC, Garson A, eds. Clinical Pediatric Arrhythmias. 2nd ed. Baltimore: W.B. Saunders, 1999:287–292.

          27. Garson. Abnormalities of cardiac rate and rhythm. In: Oski FA, DeAngelis C, Feigin RD, McMillan JA, Warshaw JB, eds. Principles and Practice of Pediatrics. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1999:1428–1432.

          28. Garson A, Pinsky WW. Metrics: an academic report card in evaluating physician performance. In: Pinsky WW, ed. Enhancing Physician Performance: Advanced Principles of Medical Management. Tampa, FL: American College of Physician Executives, 2000:357–358.