Dr. Stephen Sinatra realized his calling to medicine from an early age. As a boy growing up in New York, he was greatly affected by his mother's painful battle with diabetes, glaucoma, and eventual blindness. Though helpless in alleviating her suffering, he felt that as a doctor, he might be able to help others. He credits her illness with causing him to look deeper into himself, and helping him become the kind of doctor who truly cares about his patients.
Dr. Sinatra freely admits that early in his career, he took pride in how busy he was admitting patients to the hospital. But while caring for those people, he began taking note of something more important than their symptoms. The frequency with which he saw them—often to "fix" the same old problems—was humbling. Slowly he realized that even though he was a highly trained cardiologist with the ability to save people who were a heartbeat from death, he didn't have a clue about how to actually keep them healthy.
That epiphany led Dr. Sinatra to begin studying heart disease from nontraditional perspectives. Because so many of his patients had high-achieving Type A personalities, for example, he took courses in bioenergetic analysis (a field that examines the relationship between the mind and the physical body). He also immersed himself in nutrition, learning how vitamins and minerals influence cardiovascular health.
At first, Dr. Sinatra recommended supplements and lifestyle improvements sparingly. But as patients responded with speedier recoveries and improved health, he quickly expanded his arsenal of therapies. He followed a strict process for doing so, first thoroughly researching the nutrients or activities, then trying them himself, and ultimately recommending them to others. (Even after 35 years of practice, Dr. Sinatra will not promote a nutritional supplement that he hasn't tried. He also regularly takes the supplements that he encourages others to make part of their daily routine.)
Today Dr. Sinatra describes himself as an integrative cardiologist. That is, he prefers to treat heart disease by using the best of both conventional and alternative medicine. Sometimes that means relying on pharmaceutical drugs and high-tech equipment—but it's just as likely to include mind-body activities that reduce stress and nutritional therapies that enhance cell metabolism. Dr. Sinatra strongly believes that the more efficient your body's cells are at creating and burning energy, the better your overall health will be. This is especially true of the heart, which uses more energy than any other organ in the body.
In his writing, Dr. Sinatra sometimes refers to his unique brand of cardiology as preventive or metabolic. But no matter what it's called, it can always be summed up in a single word—effective.
Like all physicians, Dr. Sinatra is committed to a lifetime of learning about the human body and the newest medical discoveries. But rather than pursuing ever-narrower areas of expertise within cardiology, Dr. Sinatra has broadened his knowledge by earning additional credentials in fields that support his integrative approach to health and healing.
Dr. Sinatra began his medical training at Albany Medical College in New York, and graduated from the school in 1972. He was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1975 after completing medical residencies at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, and St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. Two years later, following a cardiology fellowship at St. Francis, Dr. Sinatra received his certification from the American Board of Cardiovascular Disease. In 1977, Dr. Sinatra became a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the organization's highest level of recognition.
Dr. Sinatra has also studied bioenergetic analysis and anti-aging medicine, receiving certifications from the Massachusetts Society of Bioenergetic Analysis (1992) and the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (2000). He also holds the distinction of being a fellow of the American College of Nutrition, having received his board certification in that specialty in 2000.
Though Dr. Sinatra is now active primarily as an author, speaker, and advisor for the research and development of nutritional supplements, his distinguished career in interventional and preventive cardiology has earned him much respect from his patients and his peers.
From 1977 through 2007, Dr. Sinatra was an attending physician at Manchester Memorial Hospital (Eastern Connecticut Health Network), where he performed both invasive and noninvasive cardiac procedures. His career at ECHN included nine years as chief of cardiology, 18 years as director of medical education, seven years as director of echocardiography, three years as director of cardiac rehabilitation, and one year as director of the weight reducing program. During his tenure at the hospital, he also developed and facilitated “Healing the Heart” workshops that educated patients about the mind/body/spirit aspects of heart disease.
Dr. Sinatra has also devoted a significant amount of time to teaching others about heart health. For 17 years, he served on the Connecticut State Medical Education Committee, and he currently works with medical students as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Connecticut's School of Medicine. Additionally, he has used his experience and knowledge to help educate his peers, both as a frequent speaker at medical conferences and as a section editor with the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine (1999–2004).
In 1987, Dr. Sinatra founded the New England Heart Center. Through it, he became a well-known advocate of combining conventional medical treatments for heart disease with complementary nutritional, anti-aging, and psychological therapies. As interest in his treatments grew, Dr. Sinatra launched his monthly newsletter, Heart, Health & Nutrition, as well as his own supplement line.
Because it represents outstanding commitment to learning and teaching, Dr. Sinatra is proud to have received the American Medical Association's Physician Recognition Award not just once, but three times. This award recognizes physicians who meet annual association requirements for studying, applying, and advancing scientific knowledge; maintaining a commitment to medical education; and making relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public. Dr. Sinatra received this award in 1979, 1989, and 1996.
In April 2008, Dr. Sinatra received the Harold Harper Award at the spring conference of the American College for Advancement in Medicine. This special recognition award was presented to Dr. Sinatra for his pioneering efforts in alternative medicine.
He also received the Alumni Citation Award from Franklin & Marshall College in June 2008, for professional accomplishments, leadership, and community service.
Dr. Sinatra has written or contributed to more than a dozen books, and for 14 years has published the monthly newsletter Heart, Health & Nutrition. He has also contributed to several prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Heart Disease, CT Medicine, and the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.
His book titles include Reverse Heart Disease Now (Wiley, 2007), The Sinatra Solution (Basic Health, 2005, 2008), Lower Your Blood Pressure in Eight Weeks (Ballantine, 2003), Heart Sense for Women (Plume, 2000), and Heartbreak & Heart Disease (Keats, 1996). These and other books by Dr. Sinatra are available at www.amazon.com.
For a complete list of Dr. Sinatra's published works, view his curriculum vitae.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a physician, educator, and author who created Heart MD Institute (heartmdinstitute.com) as an educational platform focused on prevention and proactive lifestyle changes to live a healthier life.
The information and suggestions he offers on Heart MD Institute are based upon his work as a board-certified cardiologist, certified nutrition specialist, certified bioenergetic psychotherapist, and an anti-aging specialist. The site also features articles from various contributing editors with philosophies that are complimentary to Dr. Sinatra's.