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UCSF Cardiology
Transforming medicine through innovation and collaboration.
Department of Medicine

Fellow Spotlight: Isaac (Ziggy) Whitman, MD

Dr. Isaac (Ziggy) Whitman was born in Philadelphia, where he spent most of his childhood. He admired his father, Dr. Glenn Whitman, a cardiac surgeon now at Johns Hopkins. “I grew up with the idea that the heart was at the center of medicine – isn’t it?” said the younger Dr. Whitman about his decision to become a cardiologist.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, he completed his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

So far, his fellowship experience has been challenging, exciting and varied. “I continue to find the privilege of being in medicine surreal, especially when called upon at 2 a.m.!” he said. “It’s a great system – while we are given a lot of responsibility right up front, we each have a backup second-year fellow the first month who becomes our mentor for the rest of the year. We benefit from the learning of making decisions, without the burden of making them alone.”

He spent the first month at San Francisco General Hospital. “That was a great experience,” said Dr. Whitman. “I saw more heart block in one month than I’d seen during all of residency.” His interest in EKGs, plus his enjoyment of performing procedures which can correct a problem, is leading him towards a career in electrophysiology.

Dr. Whitman is married to Sanja Whitman. Together they have two young children, Natalija and Yannick.