Julio E. Pérez, MD
Julio E. Pérez, MD, professor of medicine, is one of the nation’s premier experts on echocardiography — ultrasound of the heart — and its use for tissue characterization.
During his 32-year tenure at Washington University, he has been a leader in both clinical care and education. He has been director of echocardiography at Barnes-Jewish Hospital since 1985 and assistant medical director of the Cardiac Diagnostic Laboratory since 1980. As an attending physician and in the echocardiography laboratory, Pérez demonstrates exceptional skill and compassion for patients and their families. He has been named in Best Doctors in America every year since 2005.
As one of the nation’s most experienced echocardiographers, Pérez has amassed an unparalleled knowledge base, which he gladly shares with students, trainees and faculty colleagues. He has taught fourth-year students in the echocardiography elective, been course master for cardiovascular pathophysiology and trained more than 300 cardiology fellows.
But, trainees say, it is his gentle, respectful and caring manner that sets him apart — and that they themselves strive to emulate. Many describe him as simply the best teacher they have ever had. His particular talent is simplifying complex concepts and explaining the physiology and physics behind the images; trainees come away with a clear understanding of why they see what they see on their patient’s echocardiograms.
The cardiology fellows have honored him as Teacher of the Year numerous times. He received Washington University’s Distinguished Educator Award for Clinical Fellow Mentoring in 2012 and received the American College of Cardiology 2013 Gifted Educator Award in March.
Also an accomplished scientist, Pérez has published more than 180 scientific papers on the application of echocardiography for studying left ventricular function in ischemic and valvular heart disease and cardiomyopathy.
Pérez’s influence extends internationally; his reputation draws trainees from around the globe, and he is a frequent speaker at scientific meetings across the country, throughout Latin America and beyond.
Pérez earned his bachelor’s degree in 1970 and his medical degree in 1973 from the University of Puerto Rico and completed residency training at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Juan.
He came to St. Louis in 1978 for a cardiovascular research fellowship at Barnes Hospital, then joined the Washington University faculty in 1980.
The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Faculty Achievement Award to Dr. Pérez.