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Beth Brickner, M.D.
Beth Brickner, M.D.

Beth Brickner, M.D.

  • Distinguished Teaching Professor
  • Charles B. Mullins, M.D. Professorship in Clinical Practice and Teaching in Cardiology
  • Internal Medicine - Cardiology
  • Congenital Heart Disease Management
  • Pediatric Transitioning to Adult Congenital Cardiac Care

Biography

Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Brickner, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She holds the Charles B. Mullins, M.D. Professorship in Clinical Practice and Teaching in Cardiology.

Dr. Brickner is a clinical cardiologist who specializes in echocardiography and adult congenital heart disease.

She received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati and earned her medical degree at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She completed internal medicine training at the University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then performed her cardiology fellowship training at UT Southwestern. She joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1991.

Dr. Brickner is the Medical Director of the Cardiovascular (Echocardiography) Laboratory at Parkland Health and Hospital Systems, the Co-Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic at UT Southwestern, and the Director of the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Center for Cardiovascular Disease Research.

Her clinical interests focus on congenital heart disease in adults, valvular heart disease, and heart disease in pregnancy.

Dr. Brickner works extensively with first- and second-year medical students at UT Southwestern and has twice received the Outstanding Teacher for Medical Students award, as well as the Socrates award for her excellence in medical instruction. 

She is an ad hoc scientific reviewer for Circulation, the American Journal of CardiologyAmerican Heart Journal, and the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

In 2018, she was named a Super Doctor by Texas Monthly.

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Meet Dr. Brickner

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Specialist

Beth Brickner, M.D., Co-Director of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, loves deciphering the unique heart anatomies of her patients.

A skilled clinical cardiologist with advanced training in echocardiography, Dr. Brickner is an expert at interpreting images of human hearts that did not form the way "normal" hearts do.

Like fingerprints, no two hearts with congenital abnormalities are the same. That’s why Dr. Brickner and her colleagues craft blueprints of her patients’ hearts before deciding the best course of care. She determines where each component of the heart is connected, and how the blood moves within the structure.

Many adult congenital heart disease patients and their doctors mistakenly believe surgical interventions they received in childhood were a cure.

"The reality is that congenital heart disease is a lifelong disease," Dr. Brickner says. "It is not something people grow out of because they had one or more surgeries in childhood."

Depending on the treatments they received as children, adult congenital heart disease patients can be at risk for arrhythmias, heart failure, or sudden death if they are not monitored over time.

According to Dr. Brickner, patients with congenital heart disease who have survived into adulthood may not have a clear understanding of their defect or their risk for future problems. That’s why it is so important to monitor congenital heart disease patients throughout childhood and then transition them to a skilled adult congenital heart disease clinic as they get older.

"We have wonderful collaborative relationships with adult and pediatric care teams across our affiliated centers," Dr. Brickner says. "This allows patients to get the best surgery for their defect by the most experienced surgeon at the institution that's right for them."

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (1988-1991), Cardiovascular Disease
  • Medical School - The Ohio State University (1981-1985)
  • Residency - University of Michigan Medical School (1985-1988), Internal Medicine
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Member, International Society for Adult Congenital Cardiac Disease
  • Member, American Society of Echocardiography
  • Member, American Heart Association
  • Member, American College of Physicians
  • Fellow, American College of Cardiology
Honors & Awards
  • UT Southwestern Distinguished Clinical Educator Award 2016, Recognizing excellence and contributions to medical education at UTSW
  • UT Kenneth I. Shine, MD Academy of Health Science Education 2016, Distinguished scholars recognized for their teaching excellence and commitment to enhancing health science education
  • University of Texas Regent's Outstanding Teacher Award (ROTA) 2017, UT Board of Regents' highest honor rewarding outstanding faculty performance
  • Socrates Award 2008, Medical Student Teaching Award
  • Member of Southwestern Academy of Teachers 2009, Membership
  • Charles B. Mullins, MD Professorship in Clinical Practice and Teaching in Cardiology 2010, Professorship
Books & Publications
Research
  • Echocardiography
  • Congenital Heart Disease in Adults

Clinical Focus

  • Congenital Heart Disease Management
  • Pediatric Transitioning to Adult Congenital Cardiac Care
  • Cardiac Evaluations in Congenital Heart Disease
  • Adult Congenital Heart Defects
  • High Risk Pregnancy in Congenital Heart Disease

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Q&A by Beth Brickner, M.D.

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