Seymour I. Schwartz '57 (Res)
Dr. Seymour Schwartz is the distinguished alumni professor of surgery at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and was Chair of the Department of Surgery from 1987 to 1998. He joined the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry faculty in 1957, where he has remained for 60 years. His research focused on liver physiology, portal hypertension, platelet physiology, and the effects of carotid sinus nerve stimulation on hypertension. Although he performed as a general surgeon, vascular surgeon, cardiothoracic surgeon, and a pediatric surgeon, his major clinical impact was in the field of hepatobiliary surgery.
Dr. Schwartz completed his undergraduate studies in 1947 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and graduated from New York University College of Medicine in 1950. That same year, he began his surgical residency at Strong Memorial Hospital, and completed it in 1957, when he joined the surgical faculty. Dr. Schwartz became board-certified by The American Board of Surgery in 1958 and The Board of Thoracic Surgery in 1960.
Dr. Schwartz is best known for his contributions to the field of surgical literature. He has authored over 250 scientific articles in refereed journals and several textbooks including: Surgical Diseases of the Liver, Tropical Surgery, Atlas of Hepatic Tumors and Focal Lesions, and Surgical Reflections. He was editor-in-chief of two editions of Maingot's Abdominal Operations, and seven editions of Principles of Surgery, which sold over half a million copies and was translated into nine languages. Dr. Schwartz was also editor-in-chief of Contemporary Surgery for 28 years, Yearbook of Surgery for 22 years, and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons for 10 years—of which he now serves as editor-in-chief emeritus.
Dr. Schwartz has received numerous awards from surgical societies and surgical departments in the United States and abroad. In 1992 he was awarded the Albert David Kaiser Medal from the Rochester Academy of Medicine. In 2000, Dr. Schwartz received honorary doctorates from the University of Lund, Sweden, Complutense University of Madrid, and an honorary doctorate of science from his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, “in recognition of accomplishments and international eminence in the fields of surgery and cartography,” indicative of his dual roles. In 2005, Dr. Schwartz received the Medal of Honor, bestowed upon him by King Juan Carlos of Spain. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Surgeons in 1986, and The Solomon A. Berson Medical Alumni Award in Clinical Science from New York University School of Medicine Alumni Association in 1996.
He has been elected to honorary fellowships in the major surgical societies in five continents. He has served as president of America’s three most distinguished surgical organizations: the American College of Surgeons, the American Surgical Association, and the Society for Clinical Surgery, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine and The American Philosophical Society. Dr. Schwartz also served as National Consultant for Surgery in the United States Air Force for years.
A veteran who served with United States Navy during the Korean War, Dr. Schwartz has also had a long term interest in the mapping of America and has written five books on the subject, one of which is the standard reference on the subject. In the realm of history and cartography, he served on the Board of the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, and continues to serve as a member of the Philip Lee Phillips Map Society/Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress.