Dr. Mary Fitzsimons's Story

Dr. Mary Fitzsimons is an emergency physician at Sutter Delta Medical Center who is board certified in both internal and emergency medicine. She earned her medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and completed a combination emergency and internal medicine program there as well. After practicing for a number of years, Dr. Fitzsimons participated in a medical executive MBA program at the University of California-Irvine that gave her excellent training for later leadership posts at the hospital.

Dr. Fitzsimons has been at Sutter Delta since 1985, watching it transform from a tiny community hospital to a major medical center. “It hasn’t lost its community feel, which I love,” she says. She sometimes has adult patients who first came to see her as little kids. Dr. Fitzsimons has served on the hospital’s board of trustees and worked as a medical director and regional director for the organization. In 2019, she was named Physician of the Year, an honor that brought her much pride.

Medicine has been part of Dr. Fitzsimons’ life since she was a little girl. Growing up outside Chicago, Dr. Fitzsimons was part of a big family with nine brothers and sisters, and she remembers often riding the elevator in the hospital to wave to her mother in the labor and delivery ward. Her father was a clinical biochemist at Northwestern’s medical center, and she and her siblings would visit and sometimes play in the lab. “I kind of grew up in a hospital,” she says. Her parents encouraged her to go into medicine at a time when few women were doing so.

In her spare time, Dr. Fitzsimons enjoys rowing and keeps up with fellow alumnae of the rowing crew at Notre Dame University, where she did her undergraduate work. Over the years, various groups of alumnae have gotten together for races at the school or in Boston, Philadelphia or Vero Beach, Florida. When events were cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, she missed the camaraderie of the other ladies but found great stress relief in her at-home rowing machine.

Dr. Fitzsimons has had the good fortune to be able to travel to many places in the world and particularly loved a trip to China and Japan with her husband and now-grown son. At home, Dr. Fitzsimons spends time with her two dogs and “very spoiled” parrot, who often sits on her lap during video conferences. She loves listening to opera and jazz from the 1930s and 1940s and eating the delicious meals prepared by her husband, a retired nurse-turned chef.