Robert A. Palermo, DO, FACC, is a pediatric cardiologist in the Cardiac Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As a doctor of osteopathy, he is trained to take a more holistic approach to medicine. “I recognize that a physical abnormality or injury to one part of the body can affect many other parts of the body,” he explains, “so I look at the patient as a whole and don’t just focus on the heart or a single symptom.”
Dr. Palermo says he chose his area of specialty because of his interest in the physiology of the heart. “With the heart, I love that you can think through where the blood is going and where it’s supposed to go and figure things out from there. My brother is an engineer, so I think I was instilled with that kind of mindset.”
He also enjoys pediatric cardiology because of the opportunity it affords to develop long-term relationships with his patients and their families. “In other fields, you might just see a patient once,” he explains. “In the case of a patient with a congenital heart defect, I get to see a very sick baby recover, go to preschool and high school. It’s very rewarding to help them lead relatively normal lives.” He also points out that he is a native of Philadelphia, so he has a natural connection to the neighborhoods many of his patients are from and the schools they attend.
In addition to treating very young children, Dr. Palermo also specializes in treating children with high cholesterol and hypertension. “It’s the opposite end of the spectrum, working with older children,” he says. “It’s sad how many children today are overweight and obese. We see children as young as 12 years old with high cholesterol, so my focus is on addressing issues related to and resulting from that.”
Dr. Palermo is optimistic about the future of cardiology, particularly as it relates to technological advancements. “Technology is advancing so quickly these days, I envision a lot less invasive procedures for our patients in the future.” He also notes the shift that has taken place in recent years. “In the past, a lot of the focus was on how to keep patients alive,” he explained. “We’ve gotten really good at that and are now focused on what to do when they are 20, 30 and 40 to impact their overall quality of life.”
Education and Training
DO - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Pediatrics - Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE
Pediatric Cardiology - Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)Basic Life Support (BLS)Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)Pediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics
Titles and Academic Titles
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Palermo Robert A, Palac Hannah L, Wald Eric L, Wainwright Mark S, Costello John M, Eltayeb Osama M, Backer Carl L, Epting Conrad L: Metabolic Uncoupling Following Cardiopulmonary Bypass. Congenital heart disease 10(6): E250-7, Nov-Dec 2015.
Gidding Samuel S, Palermo Robert A, DeLoach Stephanie S, Keith Scott W, Falkner Bonita: Associations of cardiac structure with obesity, blood pressure, inflammation, and insulin resistance in African-American adolescents. Pediatric cardiology 35(2): 307-14, Feb 2014.
Perez, Yalile and Palermo, Robert A: Coarctation of the Aorta. The 5-Minute Clinical Consult 2018. Domino, FJ (eds.). Wolters Kluwer, 2018.
Palermo RA and Grasso F. Anatomy and Preoperative Physiology of Common Single Ventricle Lesions. In: Jones M, Klugman D, Fitzgerald R, Kohr LM, Costello JC, Berger, JT, Bronicki R ed. Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Handbook. 1st ed. Washington DC: Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Books;2015:132-136.
Palermo RA and Zinn M. Patent Ductus Arteriosus In: McMahon MC and Stryjewski GR ed. Pediatrics A Competency-Based Companion. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier;2011:552-556.
Posters and Presentations
Palermo Robert A. "Syncope and POTS", Pediatric Grand Rounds, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA. Oct 2019.
Palermo Robert A. "The Abnormal Fetal Heart", Lehigh Valley Health Network Annual Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology Symposium, Allentown, PA. Oct 2019.
Palermo Robert A. "Complex Congenital Heart Disease Screening", Osteopathic Medical Education Conference (OMED), Baltimore, MD. Oct 2019.
Palermo Robert A. "Fetal Cardiac Embryology", Lehigh Valley Health Network Annual Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology Symposium, Allentown, PA. July 2019
Palermo Robert A. "Syncope and POTS", Pediatric Grand Rounds, Grand View Hospital, Sellersville, PA. Dec 2018.
Palermo Robert A. "The Fetal Heart", Lehigh Valley Health Network Annual Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology Symposium, Allentown, PA. Oct 2018.
Awards and Honors
2015-2019, Abraham Jacobi Teaching Award in Pediatrics (Nominee), Lehigh Valley Health Network
2014, Young Investigator Award, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery
2014, Educational Travel Grant, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery
2014, Research Scholar Day Top Clinical Research Project, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
2013, Superstar Resident, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children
2008, Sigma Sigma Phi - National Osteopathic Honors Society
2006, Parkview Hospital Physicians Scholarship
2005, William Goldman Foundation Scholarship
Leadership and Memberships
Memberships in Professional Organizations
2012-present, American College of Cardiology
2011-present, American Heart Association
Patient Experience Ratings
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