John Rutherford, M.D., serves as Vice President for Clinical Operations at UT Southwestern Medical Center and is holder of the Jonsson-Rogers Chair in Cardiology at UT Southwestern. As a cardiologist, Dr. Rutherford has held academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, where he was the Co-Director of Clinical Cardiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Rutherford completed medical school at Otago University Medical School in New Zealand, followed by a residency and fellowship in cardiology at Auckland Hospital/Board Teaching Hospital. He finished a research fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Rutherford joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1993 as holder of the Gail Griffiths Hill Chair in Cardiology, a title he held until 2004. At that time he became the holder of the Jonsson-Rogers Chair in Cardiology. He has been the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and was promoted to his current position as Vice President for Clinical Operations in 2001.

Dr. Rutherford has published more than 100 articles, books, chapters, and abstracts on cardiology and heart care. His research interests have included myocardial infarction and the surgical and medical management of coronary artery disease.

He was also involved in research that studied the advantages of lowering cholesterol after heart attacks and the benefits of using angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) intervention to reduce the load on the heart after a heart attack.

Dr. Rutherford is a frequent guest lecturer at medical conferences around the world. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, an International Fellow in the Council on Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association, a Fellow of the American Heart Association, and a member of the Dallas County Medical Society, American Clinical and Climatological Association, Association of University Cardiologists, and Association of Subspecialty Professors.

He serves as reviewer for many distinguished scientific periodicals, including the International Journal of CardiologyCirculationAmerican Journal of CardiologyNew England Journal of MedicineMayo Clinic ProceedingsJournal of the American College of Cardiology, and the American Journal of Medicine.

A New Zealand native, Dr. Rutherford enjoys photography, golf, independent cinema, cooking, and spending time with his family, which includes several other physicians. His daughter and son-in-law are on staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his wife is the first holder of the Cynthia and John Rutherford Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Oncology at UT Southwestern.

Meet Dr. Rutherford


John Rutherford, M.D., is a trusted name in heart care. A cardiologist for more than 40 years – half of them at UT Southwestern – he is an expert on the surgical and medical management of coronary artery disease and also the benefits of lowering cholesterol after a heart attack. In addition, he treats patients with heart disease in pregnancy. He also practices general cardiology, treating atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, irregular heartbeats, and other forms of cardiac disease.

“We’re continually working to improve the patient experience and optimize the way we operate, providing better access and the best care available anywhere.”

Dr. Rutherford sees patients at UT Southwestern’s Clinical Heart Center as well as the Medical Center at Park Cities. He considers himself a compassionate caregiver who understands his patients’ needs.

“I’ve had a few illnesses myself, and being a patient has helped me see things from their point of view,” says Dr. Rutherford, holder of the Jonsson-Rogers Chair in Cardiology.

Dr. Rutherford splits his time between seeing patients and serving as Vice President for Clinical Operations. In that role, he says his key concern is patient satisfaction, improving their experiences, and optimizing the way doctors and caregivers do their jobs. Further, he works on improving new patient access through Patient and Physician Referral Services at UT Southwestern.

“Our end goal is to have happy patients who have excellent outcomes and who are seen in an efficient manner,” Dr. Rutherford says. “That benefits not only patients but providers, as well.”

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital (1976-1978), Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Fellowship - Auckland Hospital/Board Teaching Hospital (1973-1975), Cardiology
  • Residency - Auckland Hospital/Board Teaching Hospital (1971-1972), Cardiology
  • Internship - Auckland Hospital/Board Teaching Hospital (1970-1970), Cardiology
  • Medical School - University of Otago
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (1984)
  • Dallas County Medical Society (1993)
  • American Clinical and Climatological Association (ACCA) (1994)
  • Association of University Cardiologists (1999)
  • Fellow of the American Heart Association (2001)
  • Association of Subspecialty Professors (2001)
Honors & Awards
  • NZ Heart FoundationTraveling Research Fellowship 1976, Ivan and Maud St. Romain / NZ Heart Foundation
  • NZ Medical Research Council Overseas Research Fellowship 1977, NZ Medical Research Council
  • George W. Thorn Award - Brigham & Women's 1988, Outstanding Contribution to Clinical Education
  • Distinguished Physician Award Parkland 1995, Outstanding Individual Contribution to Parkland Hospital
  • UT Southwestern Health System IR Founders Award 2010
  • Gifted Educator Award of the American College of Cardiology 2011
  • Best Doctors in America 2012, 2001 - 2012
Books & Publications
  • Surgical and medical management of heart disease
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Heart disease in pregnancy

Clinical Focus

  • Women's Heart Disease
  • General Cardiology

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Q&A by Dr. Rutherford