ACS mourns the Passing of J. David Richardson, MD, FACS, ACS Past-President

Dr. Richardson

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is saddened to share that J. David Richardson, MD, FACS, ACS Past-President and Past-Chair, ACS Board of Regents, passed away September 7, surrounded by family. Dr. Richardson was 76 years old.

Dr. Richardson was vice-chair for faculty affairs and Berel Abrams, MD, Endowed Chair of Surgery, University of Louisville, KY. An eminent general, thoracic, and trauma surgeon and surgical educator, Dr. Richardson became an ACS Fellow in 1980. He served the College in various leadership capacities, including as President (2015–2016) and Chair of the Board of Regents (2011–2012). He was a member of the ACS Board of Regents from 2003 to 2011.

Dr. Richardson also played a leadership role on several other ACS committees. He was the ACS Governor from Kentucky (1989–1995) and served on the Governors’ Committee on Surgical Infections (1992–1995). He was Chair of the Research and Optimal Patient Care Committee (2004–2011) and Vice-Chair of the Health Policy and Advocacy Group (2010–2011). He was an active member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), including serving as Chair of the Emergency Services-Prehospital Subcommittee (1992–1999) and as a member of the COT’s Executive Committee (1992), Membership Committee (1993), and Verification/Consultation Committee (1993).

In addition, Dr. Richardson served on the ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery (1997–2002), the Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery as a Regent (2003–2006), and the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery as an Ex-Officio member (2011–2012). He was a member of the ACS Committee on Video-Based Education (1991–1997).

At the state level, he served as Chair (1985–1987) and Vice-Chair (1981–1985) of the Kentucky COT, and as Secretary-Treasurer (1983–1986) and President (1987) of the Kentucky Chapter of the ACS. He served on the Kentucky Committee on Applicants (1997–2002), as well.

“Dr. Richardson was a legend in his own time and an icon of surgery, constantly standing for what is right about our profession and his commitment to sustaining quality and education standards for all who come behind us,” said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director. “Most recently, he fought hard for the rural surgeon and always brought clarity to our thinking in a realistic fashion. His sense of humor and his honest thoughtfulness will be remembered by us all and guide us as we work to uphold his legacy.”

Read more about Dr. Richardson’s life and career in a biography published earlier this year in The American Surgeon, written by longtime friend and colleague R. Phillip Burns, MD, FACS, ACS Past-First Vice-President.

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