Dr. Robert B. Smith III and Dr. Harold Ramos, two longtime physicians who dedicated their lives and careers to the service of others through almost a century of combined experience, are retiring from their posts as medical directors at Emory University Hospital and Emory Crawford Long Hospital effective Aug. 31.
"The debt of gratitude Emory Healthcare and generations of Georgia citizens owe Dr. Smith and Dr. Ramos for their service as healers, scholars, teachers and mentors can never be repaid," said Michael M.E. Johns, MD. CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory University.
"A legion of physicians who trained under and were inspired by these two leaders of medicine will continue to bear the fruits of the seeds Drs. Ramos and Smith planted long ago and over many years. Our society will forever be healthier as a result of their passionate care, love for teaching and dedication to science."
Robert B. Smith III, MD, medical director of Emory University Hospital and associate chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, has led the medical staff at Emory Hospital for the past decade. Under his medical leadership, the hospital has consistently been recognized as one of the top healthcare providers in the country.
A vascular surgeon by trade, Dr. Smith has combined medical administrative roles with his clinical duties throughout his distinguished career.
His career at Emory began almost four decades ago, and he has been involved in many of the medical breakthroughs that have helped shape Emory into a national leader. He was involved in Georgia's first organ transplant, and has been a leader in vascular surgery throughout his career. He is also a distinguished teacher, and in 2004 he received special recognition from Emory's surgical residents for his years of surgical teaching.
A native of Atlanta, Dr. Smith attended Emory College, and received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in 1957. Upon completion of a surgery internship at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for two years. He then completed a general surgery residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and joined the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Surgery in 1966. Dr. Smith rose to the rank of Professor of Surgery in 1977 and currently serves as the John E. Skandalakis Professor of Surgery, emeritus.
His administrative appointments have included chief of the surgical service at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center; head of general and vascular surgery, acting chair of the Department of Surgery, and associate chair, Department of Surgery, all at Emory University School of Medicine; associate medical director and medical director at Emory University Hospital, and member of the Leadership Council of The Emory Clinic.
After completing 19 years as chief of surgical service at the VA Medical Center, Dr. Smith was honored with the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of VA Surgeons. His bibliography includes 218 scientific articles and book chapters and he has co-edited four textbooks. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Vascular Surgery and Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Smith earned certification and re-certification in vascular surgery from the American Board of Surgery and holds membership in a number of professional associations.
Harold S. Ramos, MD, medical director of Emory Crawford Long Hospital and professor of medicine in the Emory University School of Medicine, has served the medical needs of the residents of Atlanta and the state of Georgia with honor and distinction for more than 40 years.
Dr. Ramos entered the Medical College of Georgia in 1950. He joined the U.S. Air Force Active Reserve during medical school, and after graduation pursued his internship and residency at Walter Reed Army Hospital. After one year of fellowship training at the Army Institute of Research, he was assigned to Wiesbaden, Germany, where he established the Air Force Artificial Kidney unit at Wiesbaden Hospital. In 1962, he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Hospital in Biloxi, Miss., where he developed an intern and residency program.
In the fall of 1963, Dr. Ramos joined Emory University School of Medicine when Dr. J. Willis Hurst, then chairman of the Department of Medicine, was in the process of consolidating the post-graduate programs in medicine at Emory University Hospital, the VA Hospital, Emory Crawford Long Hospital and Grady Hospital.
Dr. Ramos developed a medical teaching program at Emory Crawford Long Hospital, where he also was instrumental in establishing a coronary care unit. Additionally, he served on the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Board, and succeeded renowned surgeon Dr. Wadley R. Glenn as medical director of Crawford Long Hospital.
Among his many public service efforts he served as co-chair, with wife Barbara, of the 2003 Atlanta Heart Ball that raised more than one million dollars for the American Heart Association.