James Finklea, M.D.

James Finklea, M.D.

  • Internal Medicine - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
  • Lung (Pulmonary) Disorders
  • Lung Transplant Medicine


James David Finklea Jr., M.D., is a pulmonologist and Associate Professor in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine. He focuses on cystic fibrosis, general pulmonology, and critical care medicine.

Dr. Finklea graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He then completed his internal medicine residency at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas.

Dr. Finklea continued his education with a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Emory University in Atlanta. He joined UT Southwestern in 2012.

Dr. Finklea is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Meet Dr. Finklea

Pulmonology Specialist

Pulmonologist James David Finklea Jr., M.D., takes care of patients in many stages of health.

Dr. Finklea specializes in the care of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients as well as general pulmonology and liver critical care patients in the intensive care unit. In all of his roles, he sees patients with different needs, each of which require his help in different ways.

"I take care of patients in their greatest time of need.”

Because cystic fibrosis presents ongoing challenges, he sees his CF patients regularly throughout the year to maintain their health.

“I want these young patients to lead normal lives, and, as newer medicines become available, I hope our patients can achieve a normal life span,” Dr. Finklea says.

CF affects not only patients’ lungs, but also their pancreas, liver, and other organ systems.

“Cystic fibrosis is a very difficult disease to treat because it’s a multisystem problem,” he says. Dr. Finklea and the team that makes up UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program treat all problems related to CF.

His liver critical care work presents more immediate needs. He sees some of the sickest patients in the hospital during a period of time  when they need the most  help.

“Their condition can change in minutes,” he says.

It’s the job of the liver critical care team to get patients to the ultimate treatment they need: a liver transplant. As part of the team, Dr. Finklea takes care of patients on a ventilator and manages the various infections that can arise, before and after transplant.

Regardless of the setting, Dr. Finklea’s goal remains the same for each patient: to help them resume their lives with the best possible health.

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Education & Training
  • Residency - John Peter Smith Hospital (2004-2006), Family Medicine
  • Fellowship - Emory University School of Medicine/Grady Memorial Hospital (2009-2012), Pulmonary Diseases & Critical Care Medicine
  • Residency - Scott and White Memorial Hospital (2006-2009), Internal Medicine
  • Medical School - University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (2000-2004)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Medical Association (2005), Member
  • American College of Chest Physicians (2009), Member
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine (2010), Member
  • American Thoracic Society (2011), Member
Honors & Awards
  • Most Active Student Award 2001, St. Vincent's Clinic
  • Gold Headed Cane Award Finalist 2004, UT Medical Branch, Galveston
  • 3rd Place 2008, Poster Presentation, Internal Research Day, Scott and White Hospital
  • Will Rogers' Institute Fellow 2010
Books & Publications

Clinical Focus

  • Lung (Pulmonary) Disorders
  • Lung Transplant Medicine
  • Cystic Fibrosis

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Q&A by Dr. Finklea