Dr. Seymour Schwartz, Distinguished Alumni Professor for the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester and author of the Principles of Surgery, passed away last Friday at age 92 while at his son’s residence in St. Louis, Missouri.
Schwartz was highly regarded for his textbooks used by medical students across the nation. An accomplished surgeon, he held the position of Vice Chairman at the American Board of Surgery from 1977 until 1979. Schwartz was additionally president of the Society for Clinical Surgery, the American Surgical Association, and the American College of Surgeons.
A native of New York City, Schwartz was a talented actor whose father encouraged him to pursue a career in theatre during high school. Instead, he focused on becoming a surgeon but could not afford his acceptance to Yale. Instead, he received a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin and acquired his pre-medical degree after two years. Schwartz began his career in 1950 at the University of Rochester where he would later teach.
It is evident that Schwartz was immensely passionate about his work and took great pride in his abilities. In a 2018 interview, he spoke of his confidence.
I was happiest in the operating room. I prepared for every operation. I have an ego. And I felt I could operate as well, if not better than, most of the surgeons I was around.
Dr. Schwartz will forever be honored for his surgical prowess and contributions within the medical field. His texts have bred generations of successful surgeons and will continue to lend knowledge to aspiring medical students of the present and future.