Thomas C. Dispenza, MD

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Thomas C. Dispenza, MD
Pediatric Cardiology

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Penn State University
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

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About Me

Born and raised in western New York State, Dr. Dispenza studied undergraduate biology (biochemistry) and philosophy at Cornell University and earned his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine before completing a Categorical Pediatrics Residency at Akron Children's Hospital in Ohio, and a Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. There, he received a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to develop microcomputed tomography as a tool for studying cardiac architecture. Subsequently, Dr. Dispenza accepted his present position at Penn State Children's Hospital with the intention of focusing primarily on clinical medicine and secondarily on clinical research.

Dr. Dispenza practices general Pediatric Cardiology, but with a special passion for providing care to syndromic patients and/or those with lipid (LDL and/or triglyceride) disorders and/or systemic hypertension (high blood pressure). Did you know that more than one in 230 healthy looking teens has a heritable, highly-treatable, and easily-found cholesterol disease that's rarely checked in primary care screenings? Has your 9-11 year old been among the lucky few screened? Decades of lifespan may ride on the answer! Dr. Dispenza has enhanced Preventive Cardiology services at Penn State Children's Hospital. He also collaborates with other Lipidologists through the Pediatric Atherosclerosis Prevention and Lipidology Group of the National Lipid Association.

Dr. Dispenza manages the inpatient services of the Children's Heart Group six weeks a year and sees outpatients four days per week, where his patients benefit from his detailed approach to care. He's active in telehealth. Additionally, he lectures to third-year medical student on Pediatric Cardiology. His academic interests include expanding screening for dyslipidemias in childhood.

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Professional Education

Education

Medical School, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine - 2005

Fellowship

Fellowship, Pediatric Cardiology Indiana University Hospitals - 2012

Residency

Residency, Pediatrics Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron - 2008

Research Interests

  • Dyslipidemias
  • Essential hypertension

Academic Interests

  • High triglycerides
  • Unhealthy weight
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Abnormal lipids, hypertension, genetic disorders - children and teens
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol (LDL)
  • Medical education, research, practice guideline development

Awards

  • 2010-2011 Research Fellowship Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • 2011-2012 Hershey Medical Center Dean's List for Patient Satisfaction