James Hemp, MD

A fellowship-trained thoracic surgeon, Dr. James Hemp specializes in adult cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery. His clinical focus is in minimally invasive procedures, robotically-assisted mitral valve repair, coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG) and pulmonary resections. Dr. Hemp is also expert at using endovascular procedures, such as stent grafts, to treat chest and abdominal aneurysms. He routinely performs lung cancer surgery, including lobectomy surgery, using minimally invasive techniques.

In addition, Dr. Hemp is a member of the Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program, performing robot-assisted surgeries for a wide range of cardiovascular and thoracic conditions including robotic lobectomy surgery.

Dr. Hemp served for more than 20 years in the United States Navy and retired as a Captain. Prior to joining Scripps, he chaired the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and directed Surgical Services at the Naval Medical Center.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Hemp conducts research to improve cardiovascular care and has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals. He has received numerous awards and has been designated a Top Doctor by US News & World Report and has been recognized by his peers as one of San Diego’s Top Doctors in San Diego Magazine.


  • Cardiovascular Surgery

Areas of Expertise

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery, Vascular Surgery, 1995
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery), 1994
  • American Board of Surgery, General Surgery, 1990

Medical Education

  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, MD, 1983


  • Naval Hospital, General Surgery, 1984


  • Rush Presbyterian St Luke's Medical Center, Residency, Vascular Surgery, 1991
  • Naval Hospital, General Surgery, 1989


  • Rush Presbyterian St Luke's Medical Center, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 1993