Schwartz Memorial Lecture to address growing shortage of surgeons in America

Click here to access the symposium’s dedicated web page

At the fourth annual Richard W. Schwartz, MD Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, Dr. J. David Richardson, Professor and Vice-Chair of Surgery at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine, will address the growing shortage of general and specialty surgical care in rural and urban centers of America. It is a problem that he will argue has reached crisis levels in certain areas of the country.

Header Schwartz

The Richard W. Schwartz, MD Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium, sponsored annually by the UK Division of General Surgery, focuses on issues in contemporary surgical education and residency training. The endowed lectureship was established in memory of Richard W. Schwartz, MD, by his wife, Janet, and Drs. Andrew Bernard and David Sloan. Dr. Schwartz, an accomplished gastrointestinal surgeon at the University of Kentucky, was well-known as a passionate and influential surgical educator and researcher. His influence touched all who had the honor of working alongside him.

RichardsonJ. David Richardson, MD, FACS, has long been a staunch advocate for improving medical and surgical access to America's underserved rural and urban populations. During his term as President of the American College of Surgeons in 2015-16, he expounded on the problem in an interview with Dr. Mark Puls and suggested ideas to address the issue. The interview was published in the October 2015 edition of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. See pages 34-38.

Originally from Morehead, Kentucky, Dr. Richardson earned his medical degree from the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine in 1970. Following an internship year at UK Medical Center, Dr. Richardson went on to complete general surgery and thoracic surgery residencies at the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio. He returned to practice and teach in the Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine in 1976. He served as division chief of General Surgery from 1983 through 2001 and continues as Vice-Chair for Education and Faculty Affairs, a position he has held for over 30 years.

During his professional tenure at Louisville, Dr. Richardson completed a fellowship in Trauma and Critical Care in 2000. In addition to his responsibilities as Chief of Surgery Service at the University of Louisville Medical Center, he is also Director of Emergency Surgical Services.

He is a prolific author and researcher with well over 350 published articles in a broad range of peer-reviewed surgical and medical journals. Dr. Richardson is editor of the peer-reviewed research journal, The American Surgeon, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and with the International Scholarly Research Network.


In addition to Dr. Richardson’s presentation, the Schwartz Memorial Surgical Symposium will feature special guest speakers Matthew Shane, MD, FACS, a partner in Lexington Surgeons and an alum of the Department of Surgery, and Joseph Iocono, MD, FACS, co-director of the Department of Surgery’s Education office and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery.

An evening reception will follow the lecture at Hilary J. Boone Center.