James L Vacek, M.D., M.S.
Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine
Dr. James L. Vacek, M.D., M.S .was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1951. He attended Creighton Prep High School in Omaha where he was class valedictorian. He went to college at Creighton University in Omaha, graduating with a B.S. in Mathematics summa cum laude in 1973. In 1977 he graduated from the Creighton University School of Medicine cum laude. He undertook a residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University in St Louis (Barnes Hospital) from 1977 to1980 and a fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases at the same institution from 1980 to1982. He was on active duty in the United States Air Force from 1982-1986, finishing as Chief of Cardiology at Keesler Medical Center.
He subsequently joined the faculty at the University of Kansas Hospital and School of Medicine where he worked from 1986 to 1989, becoming Associate Professor of Medicine with tenure. He has been a member of Mid America Cardiology in Kansas City since 1989, initially at St Luke’s Hospital and the Mid America Heart Institute; and since 2001 at the University of Kansas Hospital and School of Medicine, where he has been Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. He received a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree with honors from the University of Kansas School Of Medicine in 2010.
Dr. Vacek has held numerous academic positions, hospital staff appointments, and committee memberships throughout his career. He has served as an editorial consultant for several medical journals, and is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Cardiology and PostGraduate Medicine. He has taught postgraduate courses on Cardiovascular Epidemiology.
Dr. Vacek has coauthored over 200 articles in the medical literature as well as over 210 abstracts presented at medical meetings, and several book chapters. He has partnered in the development of medical technology which lead to a U.S. patent and incorporation in modern cardiac arrhythmia management.
Dr. Vacek received the Legacy Award for professional achievement in Cardiovascular Medicine from the American College of Cardiology, Kansas Chapter, in 2016. He was the 2017 James Sullivan Visiting Professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine.
He received The Kansas City Medical Society Exemplary Leadership Award for 2019
Dr. Vacek was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2021 after receiving his Master of Science in Clinical Research degree with honors from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2010
The majority of Dr. Vacek’s medical career has been spent with direct patient care, but the opportunity to participate in clinical research, and in particular to engage in the education and training of medical students, residents, and fellows, has provided rewarding and fulfilling professional highlights, most importantly in regards to the personal relationships developed as a medical educator and mentor.
Education and Training
- M.D., Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE
- M.S., Clinical Research, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Kansas City, KS
- Internship, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, St. Louis, MO
- Residency, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, St. Louis, MO
- Fellowship, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine Division of Cardiology, St. Louis, MO
Licensure, Accreditations & Certifications
- Medical License, Kansas Board of Healing Arts
- Medical License, Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts
- American Heart Association, Member 1981, Fellow 2001
- American College of Cardiology, Fellow, 1984
- American College of Physicians, Fellow, 1985
- Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Member, 1987
- North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (NASPE), Member, 1987
- American Federation for Clinical Research, Representative, Midwestern Region, 1987
- American College of Angiology, Fellow, 1988
- Society of Nuclear Medicine, 1993
- Kansas City Metropolitan Medical Society, 2012
Co-inventor of patented technology: United States Patent 5,057,105
Date of Patent Oct. 15, 1991 Hot Tip Catheter Assembly. David G. Malone, James L. Vacek, G. Scott Smith
Named: Best Technology of the Decade”, KU Medical Center Research Institute, 2002