OBITUARY: Frank Spencer Cole, MD

OBITUARY: Frank Spencer Cole, MD

The Departments of Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at NYU Langone Health are deeply saddened by the loss of Frank Cole Spencer, MD.
Dr. Spencer was accepted to medical school at age 17 and proceeded to complete his surgical training at Johns Hopkins. During the Korean War, while still in his 20’s, he revolutionized the surgical repair of battlefield vascular injuries.

In 1966, at age 41, he was appointed as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at NYU. He served in that capacity for 32 years, producing one of the great surgical departments in the nation. Dr. Spencer was a Master Surgeon, whose clinical expertise and contributions to the field of surgery and in particular to cardiac surgery saved tens of thousands of lives.

His influence in the training of hundreds of surgeons was legendary, many of whom went on to assume Department Chairmanships throughout the country. Among his peers he was considered “one of the most important surgeons of the 3rd quarter of the 20th Century.”

In a microcosm, Frank Spencer was dramatic, intense, educational, data driven, but more importantly, he imbued his trainees with a sense of responsibility and ownership of the patient, a quality so deeply embedded in their DNA that it would last a lifetime. That commitment bonded the surgeon with the patient through the course of their illness and beyond. Some individuals rise above others, there will never be another like him.

H. Leon Pachter, MD George David Stewart Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery Aubrey C. Galloway, MD Seymour Cohn Professor and Chair, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Reprinted in The New York Times, July 25, 2018

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Larry Storer

Larry Storer

Larry Storer has been editor of Vein Therapy News for 10 years. He has edited computer, shelter and medical publications at Publications & Communications LP for 30 years. He was also a corporate vice president and editorial director before retiring. Larry graduated from Baylor University with a BA in journalism and an MA in communications; and from Lamar University with a MED in school administration. He taught beginning and advanced reporting, beginning and advanced editing and editorial writing at Baylor University. Larry was a reporter, and city and news editor of the Beaumont Journal, and opinion editor at the Beaumont Enterprise and Beaumont Enterprise-Journal. He was also the founding managing editor of the Yuba City (California) Daily Independent-Herald.