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John A Kern, MD

Department: Surgery Division: Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Title: Professor of Surgery ABMS Certification: Surgery, 1996; Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery, 1998; Vascular Surgery, 1999 Other Appointment: Medical Director of Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory

Contact Information

Primary Location:
Heart and Vascular Center
Second Floor 1215 Lee St. Charlottesville, VA 22908 Phone: 434.982.4301 | Fax: 434.244.7588 Other Locations:
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Center


Dr. Kern is originally from Pennsylvania and completed his undergraduate studies at The Pennsylvania State University and medical school at the University of Virginia. He completed his surgical training at the University of Virginia and is board certified in general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and vascular surgery. He joined the faculty in 1998 and is presently chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery, surgical director of the Heart and Vascular Center and surgical director of UVA's Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support programs. He is also medical director of the Physician Assistant Program in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Kern has been awarded the Dean's Award for Clinical Excellence and is a member of the University of Virginia's Academy of Distinguished Educators. He has been voted the Surgical Attending of the Year twice by the graduating surgical chief residents.

He is a member of all of the major cardiac and vascular surgical societies and has active committee memberships with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the South Atlantic Cardiovascular Society, and is a past-president of the Virginia Vascular Surgical Society. Dr. Kern is presently deputy editor for The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and an associate editor for the journal Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Dr. Kern's clinical interests are diverse and include all aspects of adult cardiac surgery including coronary artery disease and coronary artery bypass surgery, thoracic outlet syndrome, aortic and mitral valve disease, heart failure, heart transplantation and left ventricular assist devices, thoracic aortic aneurysms and valve sparing techniques, as well as stent grafting for thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections. He has a particular interest in new therapies for aortic dissections and trans-catheter aortic valve replacement. In addition to his busy cardiac surgical practice, Dr. Kern also cares for patients with all aspects of vascular disease including aortic aneurysmal and occlusive disease, peripheral vascular disease, cerebral vascular disease, renal artery disease, mesenteric vascular disease and median arcuate ligament syndrome. 


  • 2011-2018 Best Doctors in America® List
  • 2014 Socrates Award for best cardiothoracic educator in the country
  • 2013 H-CUP (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project) award for best article of the year


View all publications on PubMed