Honoring Dr. Watts Webb

It is with pleasure that we have an opportunity here to honor Dr. Watts Webb, who is a friend of Andean Health and in whose honor AHD has received donations for the Hesburgh Hospital in Santo Domingo, Ecuador.  Many medical students and residents for decades have been under the tutelage of this legendary surgeon, one of the pioneers in transplant surgeries, and an inspiring mentor

Dr. Webb was born in Columbia, Kentucky and then later grew up in Mississippi where he graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in English.   He received his M.D. Degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School in Maryland at the onset of World War II.  After completing four years in the army as staff surgeon at VA hospitals and surgical residency at Barnes Hospital of St. Louis, Missouri, he served in various academic appointments with professorships in University of Mississippi, UT Southwestern, Syracuse, Tulane, LSU, and surgical chairmanships at Syracuse and Tulane.

Dr. Webb is married to his high school sweetheart, Frances Cooke, and recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary.  They have raised four sons and now have six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  One of his hobbies includes waterskiing, at which he is still an active participant.  The Webbs enjoy traveling, ballroom dancing, and hosting friends and families.  Many students and residents can remember special times at the Webbs’ home where Mrs. Webb hosted monthly dinners for them.

Dr. Webb is world renowned for his work in cardiac thoracic research and for his surgical expertise.  His work includes 440 abstracts, 12 authored and coauthored surgical books, and 10 surgical movies.  But closer to home, those who have been privileged to be his medical students and residents have treasured times with him in the operating rooms and rounds.

Dr. David Gaus shares that he has learned not only “bedside manner, cardiac physiology, chest tube placements, extubation criteria, and much more” from him, but most importantly, “how to be a gentleman.”  Dr. Gaus recalls that Dr. Webb regularly danced with his wife and imparted life wisdom, “The couple that dances together, stays together!” Not only is he a mentor, but he is also a father in the medical community.

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Posted by laura in Global Health TopicsStories | 26 Comments  

26 Responses to “Honoring Dr. Watts Webb”

  1. Lily Yang says:

    To Dr. Gaus and AHD:

    Dr. Webb and I are both so honored to be part of your AHD family and feel so privileged to have the opportunity to help support your amazing and impacting work in Ecuador.

    To Friends in the medical community:

    It is such a privilege for us to give in honor of this amazing man who has given so much to the field of medicine and to us whom he has mentored. I just want to encourage all who read this who have known Dr. Webb to share in this comment section fond memories and well wishes with him. I am his neighbor and will make sure he sees them.

    In addition, I just want to also encourage you to join Dr. Webb and me to help AHD with their monumental work in Santo Domingo. Personally I have given “in honor of Dr. Watts Webb.” Would you join me? Every gift- no matter what size is greatly appreciated toward this impacting work to help building this very needed hospital at Santo Domingo that will be self sustaining while serving the poor.

    Thank you for your help,
    Lily Yang, MD

  2. david remedios says:

    It is an honor to know dr.Webb. He is truly a pioneer in medicine and surgery. We totally agree with the statements in this article. The best is yet to come.

  3. Josh Frenkel says:

    It was truly a pleasure and a privilege to meet Dr. Webb and Mrs. Webb, they are both an inspiration to me as a physician and a person. I can only aspire to be as passionate about helping people as he is, and to have the health to practice until 92!

  4. Sarah Medearis says:

    Thank you so much Dr. Yang for introducing us all to such an inspiring and extraordinary physician in Dr. Webb! It was an honor to meet both him and his wife. His humor and dedication can be a lesson to us all. You have both inspired me in my future in medicine. All my love!

  5. Carl Winkler says:

    Great article Dr. Yang! Wishing you, Dr. Webb, and AHD the best in 2014.

  6. Pat Franks says:

    Dr. Webb is a amazing doctor, kind, caring, and highly competent. He always has a smile and always has a kind word for nurses and patients alike. Continuing his practice for so many years is a testimony to his dedication! I am honored to have worked with Dr. Webb.

  7. Sho Shimamoto says:

    It was an honor and a pleasure to meet Dr. Webb and Mrs. Webb during my time in Pineville. Meeting someone who has taken so much pride in his work throughout his career was an inspiration for me and countless others. Thanks for the article, Dr. Yang!

  8. Becky Savoy says:

    It has been an honor and a privilege to know and work with such an amazing physician. His dedication to the medical field is an inspiration to all that work with him. A true gentleman that brought a smile to your face when he deliveried a flower to several departments every morning.

  9. Carol Shih says:

    Congratulations on an amazing and inspiring career, Dr. Webb – it was an honor to meet you and Mrs. Webb. Now maybe you’ll have more time to practice your magic tricks!

  10. Lynne Matthews Burns says:

    It has been a great honor and privilege to know and have worked with Dr. Watts Webb. He is a true gentleman and a great educator. I adore both he and his wife Frances.

  11. Ashwin Ananth says:

    Excellent article about a true living legend! It was really a treat and a memorable part of medical school to meet Dr. and Mrs. Webb.

  12. Caroline Adams says:

    What inspiring lives Dr. and Mrs. Webb are leading! Loved this article and feel so grateful to have been among the many medical students to meet them.

  13. Tracy Stokes says:

    Dr. Yang, what a wonderful article honoring a very special doctor! Dr. Webb is one of the most genuine, compassionate & dedicated physicians that I have had the privilege to get to know and work with. He definitely found his true calling as was evidenced by his outstanding work ethic and the care & kindness he showed his patients and coworkers! All of us from HPL have many wonderful memories:)

  14. C L Lee MD says:

    Dr Webb in my opinion is THE preeminent surgical educator in our country. He exemplifies the classic Christian virtues to a T. For over 30 years he has been a person who inspires me.

  15. Amanda Mayeux says:

    I had the honor and privilege of working with Dr.Webb. In life there are rare opportunities to encounter people like this man, they truly broke the mold! He taught me so much as a person and a caregiver. He was always kind, patient, and compassionate. I will never forget the blessing it was to work with him while I was at HPL. Congratulations Dr.Webb!!! Thanks Dr.Yang for helping everyone celebrate such a wonderful person!

  16. Tina Tullos says:

    It was an honor to work with such a wonderful physician. He was always so humble, happy, respectful, and kind to all he encountered. He gives from the heart and I truly miss him!

  17. D. Barnard says:

    It has been my great privilege to work with Dr. Webb for the past several years. He has been the Indispensable Man of our surgery department, and beyond that a courtly gentleman, consummate clinician, and inspiring personal example. We shall not soon see his like again.

  18. Brenda Mahon-Deri says:

    I first met Dr Webb twenty years ago when he was my attending at the VA in New Orleans. He was wonderful and supportive to his students and residents. He treated his patients with compassion and respect. I can still recall his discussion on how a baloon pump worked. Dr Webb is a true gentleman and I have be honored to have worked with him all of these years.

    Thank you Dr Yang for giving me the opportunity to express my gratitude to a physician who was and still is an inspiration to me.

  19. Emily Oxford says:

    Congratulations on a legendary career Dr. Webb! It was an honor to meet you and Mrs. Webb in Pineville. Thank your for sharing your stories and wisdom with me and countless other students over the years.

  20. Julie McCaw says:

    Since my pre-med days at ND, I have been lucky enough to learn from amazing mentors, from Dr Gauss to Dr Yang and most recently Dr Webb. Each of you has carved your own inspiring path as an individual, even outside of your achievements as MDs, and I aspire to one day serve patients (and students!) with the level of grace and insight that you three share. Thanks for everything!

  21. Carlos Oronce says:

    It was an honor to meet Dr. Webb and hear about some of his accomplishments. His continued service is an inspiration to us students and doctors in training.

  22. Theresa Jill Maneen says:

    Dearest Dr. Webb,
    You truly are one of the finest people I have ever known in my life. I am so honored to have met you through working at Huey P. Long Medical Center. It would be impossible for anyone to follow your path of inspiration that you have provided to me during our association working at Huey P. Long. I am looking forward to planting the cockscomb seeds this spring that you had given me last year. Thank you for being a part of my life.
    Theresa Jill Maneen

  23. Eric Zhou says:

    It is rare to come across such an accomplished individual who maintains a sense of humbleness, charm, and humor. It was an honor to be able to interact with such a distinguished man. For us students, these individuals serve as a daily inspiration and reminder of why we chose to enter the field of medicine.

  24. I second assisted Dr. Webb with the first CABG which he performed at TMC in 1978; his first year of surgical chairmanship at Tulane. Later he assisted me on my first cholecystectomy as second assistant on the liver retractor, at the Charity Hospital in Alexandria, LA. So, we are even.
    I have fond memories of Dr. Webb. He played an important role in my career.

  25. Diana Rhodes says:

    Wonderful article on Dr. Webb. It was indeed a pleasure and honor to work with him at Huey P Long Medical Center. Although we worked together not in the medical field, but in the administrative aspects of the hospital setting, I surely enjoyed his company. He is the definition of gentleman, kindness and thoughtfulness. He would always have a little gift for me when we worked on paperwork together; a hug; and a nice word to say about his lovely wife. I so admire this man!

  26. Tania Smith says:

    Dr Webb, is a very thoughtful person, and has some of the prettiest flowers I have seen.

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