By Matthew Harris
Over nearly four decades, James E. Lingeman, MD’74, has achieved a feat few physicians can claim: changing how medicine is practiced in their specialty. Yet Dr. Lingeman, a professor of urology, has done exactly that since joining the faculty at Indiana University in 1980.
“Dr. Lingeman is indisputably, the most recognized leader in the United States – and perhaps the world – in minimally-invasive surgery,” said Michael O. Koch, MD, who chairs the Department of Urology at the School of Medicine.
In the early 1980s, he was the first physician in Indiana to use high-energy shock waves to break up kidney stones, a procedure that only requires patients to don a hospital gown and be placed under anesthesia for an hour. Later he was a leader in performing and teaching keyhole surgeries, where a small incision of the skin allows a surgeon to treat larger kidney stones by inserting a tube and laser fibers to break up the stone.
Finally, in the early 2000s, Dr. Lingeman pioneered the removal of an enlarged prostate through a transurethral procedure. Using a resectoscope, a physician can trim away tissue that’s blocking urine flow, and it’s now considered the standard of care in the field. “While a difficult technique to learn he has schooled many others in this approach who have themselves become leaders in the field,” Koch said. “Top-tier institutions around the United States send their faculty to train with Jim Lingeman.”
He also balanced innovation with teaching and research. Since 1988, Dr. Lingeman has overseen urology residents at Methodist Hospital, where’s he practiced for the bulk of his career. He has also trained 23 fellows, all of whom currently respected physicians.
As a researcher, Dr. Lingeman has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and 64 book chapters. Meanwhile, his clinical interests helped him embark on a 30-year period of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the development of stones and the effectiveness of lithotripsy.
“Dr. Lingeman is one of our finest faculty members. His dedication to science, medicine, patients, and learners is exemplary,” said Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, dean of the School of Medicine.
Dr. Lingeman was honored during the 71st Annual Strawberry Shortcake Luncheon on Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Indianapolis.