Charles E. Chambers, M.D., ’76
Hershey Medical Center
By Beth Eberth
With a surname like Chambers and a pre-med adviser named Hartman, Charles E. Chambers, M.D., ’76, may have been destined for a career in cardiology.
Since 1987, he has been on staff at the Hershey Medical Center of the Penn State University College of Medicine where he has been director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories since 1994, and professor of medicine and radiology with tenure since 2002.
“I thought initially — and still do — that it would be a challenging and exciting career with many divergent opportunities and the potential to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Chambers.
A cardiologist who chose invasive cardiology, Chambers does diagnostic and interventional procedures on patients within their cardiovascular system, predominantly diagnostic heart catheterizations and therapeutic coronary artery procedures such as stents.
As director of the Cardiac Catheteriza-tion Laboratory at Hershey Medical Center, he is in charge of the policies and procedures as well as quality assurance for the laboratory.
A clinical cardiologist with a busy practice, Chamber also spends several days a week in the cardiac catheterization laboratory doing procedures.
He participates in clinical research as well as teaching medical students during their clinical rotations, the internal medicine residents during their cardiology rotations, and the cardiology fellows in preparation to be cardiologists.
He said he has also been fortunate to participate in writing groups and committees for the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention (SCAI), the primary organization for invasive/interventional cardiologist.
“My main interests have been in the quality area and radiation safety,” said Chambers.
Reflecting on his undergraduate years at St. Bonaventure, Chambers described himself as a shy freshman who was drawn into the camaraderie of his 1st Rob classmates. Of the 84 guys on the floor in the fall of ‘72, 36 were freshmen.
“It was a tremendous group of guys … we won freshman basketball (tournaments) and it was a great start and gave me a support group that I really needed for the four years. I knew I needed to study really hard for the grades, and with a job on weekends I was limited with spare time, but the guys in the dorm were always great to me. They made feel good about myself and I will never forget them for that,” added Chambers.
He had similar experiences with SBU faculty and staff.
“Dr. Ronald Hartman was my med school adviser and had a large impact on my career in medicine. Also, Fr. Dan Hurley, O.F.M., was a tremendous mentor. I never would be where I am today without him,” Chambers said.
Chambers said he was quiet during his first two years at SBU, where he “studied my butt off” and worked weekends at the Cattaraugus County Nursing Home. Then he applied for an RA position.
“Fr. Dan took me under his wings and gave me the support and assisted me with the needed self-confidence that was essential not only as an RA but for my medical career,” he said.
Chambers graduated from the University of Maryland Medical School with subsequent training in internal medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and cardiology at the University of Vermont.
He said few patients actually call attention to his last name, “but I frequently tell them how to remember me, as the ‘heart having Chambers.’”
(Beth Eberth, email@example.com, is director of university communications at St. Bonaventure.)