A FITTING TRIBUTE: From left, Lillemoe, Flier, Cambria and Slavin. Photo by Suzanne Camarata.
“More than anything else, to achieve good results, you must do it right!” once said the late Robert R. Linton, MD, the first vascular surgeon at the MGH and a national and international leader in the field. In recognition of his dedication to his students and the field of vascular surgery, MGH and Harvard Medical School (HMS) faculty gathered Sept. 14 at the Harvard Club of Boston to celebrate the newly established Robert R. Linton, MD, Professorship in Surgery in the Field of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at HMS and its first incumbent, Richard Cambria, MD, chief of the MGH Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and co-director of the Thoracic Aortic Center.
“Dr. Linton was innovative and independent, devising new surgical methods that today are taken for granted but were transformative when vascular surgery was in its infancy,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “It is a fitting tribute that this professorship bears his name.”
Linton, who died in 1979, served as chief of Vascular Surgery from 1946 until his retirement in the 1960s. He was known to insist on perfection and enthusiastically take on the most complicated cases. In 1973, he published one of the most respected texts in the field, An Atlas of Vascular Surgery. In 1976, W. Gerald Austen, MD, now chair of the MGH Chiefs Council, helped establish a fellowship in Linton’s name, and a conference room in the Bigelow Building was dedicated in his honor in 1990. The New England Society for Vascular Surgery (NESVS), which Linton co-founded, established the Robert R. Linton Distinguished Lecture in 1989.
In addition to Slavin, MGH Surgeon-in-Chief Keith D. Lillemoe, MD, and HMS Dean Jeffrey Flier, MD, also spoke at the event. “This professorship will ensure that, at the Mass General, there will forever be a vascular and endovascular surgeon of the caliber of Robert Linton,” said Lillemoe. “It is fitting and appropriate that Dr. Richard Cambria is named the inaugural Linton Professor.”
Cambria trained at the MGH from 1977 to 1984 and joined the staff in 1986. He currently has the largest practice of aneurysm and carotid artery surgery in Massachusetts, and his division has performed more stent graft repairs of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms than any institution in the Northeast. Cambria is a past president of the NESVS and immediate past president of the Society for Vascular Surgery. He is associate editor of the Journal of Vascular Surgery and has published more than 265 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.
"Establishment of the Linton Professorship is a sentinel event at the MGH, nearly 100 years after the first Vascular Clinic was created at MGH in 1928," says Cambria. "Dr. Linton began modern vascular surgery in New England in the 1950s and thereby established the leadership role of MGH in vascular disease management. The professorship in his name is a fitting, and for me humbling, tribute to this legacy.”
Read more articles from the 9/28/12 Hotline issue.