Lorrel Toft, M.D.

Associate Professor Cardiologist



Lorrel Brown Toft, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and is a practicing clinical cardiologist at Carson-Tahoe Medical Center.

Dr. Toft is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a BS in Biology (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2007 (Alpha Omega Alpha). She completed her internal medicine residency training at Johns Hopkins in 2010 and was selected to serve as Assistant Chief of Service/chief resident. She then completed her cardiology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins and joined the faculty at the University of Louisville in 2014.

At University of Louisville, she served as the Cardiology Fellowship Program Director as well as the Clinical Director of the medical student cardiovascular curriculum. She won many local and national teaching awards, including the Stuart Urbach Award for resident teaching (2015), the Golden Apple award for medical student favorite (2018), the Dean's Outstanding Educator Award (2018), the Kentucky ACP teaching award (2017), the University of Louisville Trustee's Educator Award (2018) for most outstanding educator at the University, and the Young Leader to Watch in Residency Education from the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (2016). She developed a cardiology critical care core lecture series (www.LouisvilleLectures.org) with over 430,000 national and international views.

Her clinical expertise is in cardiac critical care, including post-cardiac arrest care. She currently practices as a general cardiologist.

Contributions to Science

Dr. Toft's research career was born out of her clinical work. Her cardiovascular intensive care unit was filled with patients who suffered cardiac arrest but had not received bystander CPR. Out of this frustration was born her passion for teaching CPR to the public. In 2016 she won the American College of Cardiology Young Investigator Award for her work on a novel, 5-minute method to teach CPR to the public. Through that campaign, over 3 million people were reached in the Louisville, KY area with the life-saving knowledge of CPR. In the wake of 38 states passing laws to require CPR training prior to high school graduation, Dr. Toft published work on the variability in state law requirements, and their implementation. This work was awarded the prestigious Stamler Award as the winner of the Northwestern Young Cardiovascular Investigators' Forum in 2017. With the grant funds provided from this award, Dr. Toft developed a novel method for teaching CPR in high schools, called "HEART CLASS" (www.Heart-Class.com). This interactive film has become the cornerstone for her current work to create more engaging and effective methods to teach CPR to the public, and to save lives.


  • Medical School: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Residency: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Internal Medicine)
  • Chief Residency: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Internal Medicine)
  • Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Cardiology)