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Joshua Hermsen, MD, is a UW Health Kids pediatric cardiac surgeon and an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Surgery. He treats children born with heart defects, which can range from a hole in the heart to a heart that hasn’t formed correctly or isn’t functioning properly.
Dr. Hermsen’s role is unique in that he cares for patients not only throughout their childhood, but also as they become adults.
His own experience with surgery early in life left Dr. Hermsen fascinated with the idea of becoming a surgeon. He kept that dream to himself and even completed a year of college as a business major before recommitting himself to a career in medicine.
Dr. Hermsen enjoys the unpredictability and problem-solving he faces daily. He finds it rewarding to work with an expert team to help someone feel better. He also recognizes the importance of listening to patients and families and finding ways to connect. This, he says, keeps everyone on the same page.
In his free time, he enjoys seasonal activities like swimming, hunting and skiing.
Sometimes we do planned surgery to prevent a patient’s heart disease from really affecting them. We describe this as ‘preventive maintenance.’ At the other extreme is urgent or emergency surgery to save someone’s life in that moment. Any opportunity we have to give patients back to their families alive and healthy are pretty rewarding.
Education & credentials
- Congenital Cardiac Surgery
- Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery
- Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, Charleston, SC
Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Congenital Cardiac Surgery, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, WI
- University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, WI
Additional conditions and treatments
- Fetal Echocardiography
- Heart Transplant Surgery
- Left Ventricular Assist Device
Research & publications
Dr. Hermsen's research interests include application of 3D printing in surgery for HCM and using simulation to improve training of new cardiothoracic surgeons.