Since realising that education was the vehicle he could use to change his own circumstances as well as those of others, Dr James Fortein has been following his dream of treating patients with heart conditions. He is also passionate about education and early disease detection.
To him as a “heart doctor”, making hearts better by diagnosing and treating heart-related conditions and saving a patient’s life is very fulfilling. Improving the quality of a patient’s life by prescribing disease modifying medicine or doing a procedure that changes the trajectory of a patient’s life, is what it’s all about.
Dr Fortein has also taken great strides to pursue his medical career after overcoming many obstacles in life and says the best decision he has ever made, was to keep trying even after multiple failures. “A positive attitude and a future-focused mind-set carried me through school, varsity and post-graduate studies. I always try to see the positive side to everything.”
Born in Cape Town, the cardiologist spent most of his life in the Free State where he attended both primary and high school in Heidedal, Bloemfontein and matriculated in 1999. Growing up in a single parent home with limited resources and role models, Dr Fortein decided to improve his life when, after having an all-inclusive bursary withdrawn due to a D symbol in Mathematics in grade 12, he was forced to work in retail for a year, using the gap-year to improve his marks.
He registered for B.Comm (Human Resource Management), which he enjoyed but later changed his course after being inspired by three medical students whom he had met at the university. With his positive attitude and a future-focused mind-set, he started his journey in the medical field at the University of the Free State in 2002. After qualifying as a medical doctor in 2007, Dr Fortein completed the first half of his internship in Limpopo and the second half in Bloemfontein. After completing his community service at 3Military Hospital in 2010, he went to specialise in Internal Medicine in 2011.
In mid-2016 Dr Fortein started his Cardiology training at the Universitas Academic Hospital where he enjoyed the interventions in the Catheterisation Laboratory and interaction with medical students. He was successful in the examination for the Certificate in Cardiology in September 2020 and graduated virtually in December 2020. He has since joined the specialists at the Life Rosepark Hospital as Cardiologist.
Inspired by Dr Myles Munroe’s life and teachings, Dr Fortein advises that it is important to identify people who are in the field you are planning to pursue. “People who have already achieved what you are planning to achieve. Talk to them informally and identify what helped them to become who they are. Learn from it and apply it in your life. Never stop dreaming. Never stop learning. Never ever give up”. When Dr Fortein takes time for himself, he makes sure to either go for a run, listen to music, play the guitar or travel.
Get in touch:
Tel: 051 492 5422
Text by Pierce van Heerden