May 01, 2012

Jimmy Lu, MD: Pediatric cardiologist and Chicago sports fan

Jimmy Lu, MD
What do you do at UMHS?

I’m a pediatric cardiologist with a focus on non-invasive imaging. I use echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to make diagnoses and to figure out how best to care for children and adults with congenital heart disease.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I’ve always enjoyed puzzles, so I enjoy the challenge and complexity of figuring out each child’s heart, deciding what to do, and trying to make it all make sense to the family. Each heart is different, just as each child is unique, and I find that fascinating.

When you’re not working, what do you do?

I love doing anything with my wife Andrea and my two precious girls, Elena (6) and Elise (4). I am also an avid Chicago sports fan. 

What moment in your work stands out as the most memorable?

This isn’t a single moment, but having been on the other side of a classroom as a high school teacher, I discovered that although I enjoy teaching, I love learning. Medicine is a constant adventure of learning – at a cutting edge institution like the University of Michigan, we frequently encounter issues which even senior cardiologists have never seen before, and we work as a team to find the solution. That’s one of the great strengths of the Michigan Congenital Heart Center.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

My children certainly aren’t accomplishments, because they’re still in progress, and they are more a gift than anything I’ve done. However, helping to raise them is a much greater task than anything I could accomplish in my career. They are kind, loving, sweet, and unique in so many ways.

What was the last book you read?

I recently read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s an amazing story of finding hope in the middle of despair, and not just surviving, but finding peace and healing. Pediatric cardiology can be a difficult field, sometimes with great sorrow and obstacles, and following the struggles of this World War II veteran’s journey to finding meaning and joy on the other end was truly inspiring.

What was the best meal you’ve ever had?

I’m Taiwanese, so food has a very special place in my heart. Choosing from my mother’s dishes would be like choosing one of my children.

What’s the most thrilling or adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

My wife and I have been married for twelve years. Looking back, there were so many things we did not know, but one thing we did. It’s definitely the smartest choice I ever made, as she makes so many things possible, through all the twists and turns of life. There’s not much that I can think of more thrilling or adventurous than this journey together.