Read on November 16, 2014 in Bolinas, California
Dr. Thomas Russell is that once in a lifetime person and personality.
The 1 in a billion person.
And it was my great luck to be associated with him.
It is virtually impossible properly thank Dr. Russell for all of the teaching and mentorship he has personally provided me and all the hundreds of UCSF medical students and surgical residents who have had the privilege of working with him.
You have had a career and family that every surgeon aspires for.
Dr. Russell served as a US Navy surgeon during Vietnam, finished as Chief Resident in surgery at UCSF under Dr. William Blaisdell and Dr. JE Dunphy, recruited to join Dr. Peter Volpe in practice of colon and rectal surgery in San Francisco at age 33, succeeded Dr. Carlton Mathewson as Chairman of Surgery at California Pacific Medical Center at age 37, and left his surgical practice in his absolute prime at age 59 as he was recruited to become the Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago succeeding Dr. Samuel Wells.
But to me, even more important than what you accomplished as a surgeon, was how you treated all people, whether they were patients, students, nurses, doctors, or even complete strangers.
…with respect, kindness, and compassion.