Meet Dr. John Fitzgerald
ILD Specialist

Holder of the:
Elaine Dewey Sammons Chair in Pulmonary Research, in Honor of John E. Fitzgerald, M.D.

Diagnosing interstitial lung disease (ILD) can be complex. With hundreds of possible disorders, it takes experience to identify the correct disease. Pulmonologist John Fitzgerald, M.D., has the expertise to make the right diagnosis and find the best therapy to help patients.

Many of the patients who come to him have been told they have a particular disease but discover, through the efforts of Dr. Fitzgerald and his team, that they have another, similar disease that needs a much different treatment plan.

"We can radically alter a patient's care based on correct diagnosis," he says.

As Medical Director of UT Southwestern Medical Center's Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Program, Dr. Fitzgerald oversees a group that was the first ILD program in North Texas and features physicians who specialize in a variety of diseases that fall under the ILD umbrella.

Dr. Fitzgerald – a Texas Monthly Super Doctor and D Magazine Best Doctor – believes that educating patients, as well as community physicians, about the complex disorders that make up ILD is a key part of the care he offers. Many patients who’ve been told erroneous information elsewhere feel fear and discouragement, when, in fact, treatments may be available.

We facilitate a deeper understanding of these complex disorders."

Dr. Fitzgerald also helps pioneer new treatments and better understanding of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), one of the more common interstitial lung diseases.

As a principal investigator for IPFnet, a multicenter clinical trial organization, Dr. Fitzgerald oversees UT Southwestern's participation in large-scale trials for the disease. He's also involved in trials researching sarcoidosis and other autoimmune diseases.

"Our goal is to find anything that improves the patient's quality of life, stabilizes or improves lung function, and lengthens survival," he says.

In addition to his work in clinical care and research, Dr. Fitzgerald takes great pride in educating the next generation of ILD physicians.

"We are constantly striving to find new and more effective means for teaching critical skills that lead to better clinical decision-making and overall clinical judgment," he says.

Clinical Interests


  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Autoimmune lung disease
  • Advanced pulmonary disorders