Curtis P. Artz MUSC Surgical Society
Paul H. O'Brien, MD
The Paul H. O'Brien, MD, FACS
Endowment in Surgical Oncology
The Department of Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina announces the Paul H. O’Brien, MD, FACS Endowment in Surgical Oncology in honor of the accomplished surgeon’s numerous contributions to the field. The endowment will serve as a permanent legacy to Dr. O’Brien who dedicated more than thirty years of his life to the Medical University, the patients he served and the students he mentored. An outstanding leader, surgeon and trusted mentor, Dr. O’Brien died in 2001 at the age of 70 and was well known among his peers for being “highly intelligent, spirited and incredibly effective.” He was South Carolina’s first professor of Surgical Oncology and was instrumental in establishing MUSC’s Cancer Clinic, now known as the Hollings Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center.
The Paul H. O’Brien, MD, FACS Endowment in Surgical Oncology is the vital first step toward an endowed chair in his name and was made possible by a generous gift from Mrs. Paul H. O’Brien, also a physician, and their children. David J. Cole, MD, FACS, McKoy Rose Professor and Chairman of MUSC’s Department of Surgery noted: “Dr. O’Brien was a leading member of the Medical University community and we are honored that his family has paid tribute to his dedicated service in this way. Such a generous gift from Mrs. O’Brien and her family not only permanently recognizes the outstanding contributions her husband made to the Medical University, but it also will allow us to support our work in surgical oncology that was his life-long passion.”
The endowment serves as the essential foundation for what is planned to become the Paul H. O’Brien, MD, FACS Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology. The development office in the Department of Surgery has initiated a program to establish the endowed chair and is engaged in securing the additional funding required to support the objective. Endowed chairs are elite faculty appointments that carry a stable, guaranteed source of funding to support the chair holder’s work. It is the most prestigious honor the university confers upon a faculty member.
Dr. O’Brien received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1950 and Medical Degree in 1954 from Northwestern University. After his internship he served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and from 1957-62 he was a Surgical Resident at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. After receiving specialty training in cancer surgery at Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York, he returned to Chicago and Northwestern Medical School where he was named Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. O’Brien’s reputation as a leader in surgical oncology spans the entire nation. He held positions of leadership with the country’s top surgical organizations including: the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, Executive Council of the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Cancer Society and others.
In 1970, he moved his family and practice from Chicago to Charleston. For the next 30 years, he was a member of the faculty of the Department of Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. He established and was director of the first Cancer Clinic from 1970-1976 and was Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery from 1981-1988. He retired from MUSC in June 2000 as Emeritus Professor of Surgery but remained active in resident and student teaching. His son, Paul E. O’Brien, MD is currently a member of the Medical University faculty in the Division of Hematology and Oncology and his daughter, Dr. Jennifer Williams, is an anesthesiologist in private practice in Salem, Oregon.
To support the initiative for the Paul H. O’Brien, MD, FACS Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology, please call Vera Ford at (843) 792-1840