American Surgical Association Transactions

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1929 - 2020

Gershon Efron, M.D., 1929-2020

Dr. Gershon Efron, a Senior member of the ASA, died June 8, 2020. Chief of surgery at Sinai Hospital from 1977 to 1998 and Professor in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine he was known for his masterful skills as a clinician and an educator. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, he earned a medical degree at the University of Capetown, where he was given the university’s gold medal in zoology.

As a young medical student worked in the lab of Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who is credited with performing the first successful human-to-human heart transplant. After completing a residency at Groote Schuur Hospital, he pursued a fellowship at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. While studying medicine there, he met his future wife, Jane Goosey, who was then a nurse at St. George’s Hospital in London.

In 1965 he moved to New York City and joined the surgical faculty of the Albert Einstein Medical College. He was appointed chief of surgery at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. In 1977 he moved to Baltimore when he was named surgeon-in-chief at Sinai Hospital.

He was a true general surgeon treating diverse condtions and had a special affinity for endocrine surgery. He was also a superb teacher, combining his clinical and anatomical knowledge with an uncanny ability to reduce the most complex disease into simple and memorable nuggets. He taught generations of medical students and residents all of whom have fond memories of his unbridled enthusiasm for teaching, his utmost concern for the welfare of his patients and for his many aphorisms. He contributed much to the surgical literature and fostered many academic careers.

He was named multiple times teacher of the year by the Hopkins students and residents. An annual Grand Rounds lecture is given in his name at Johns Hopkins, sponsored by Sinai Hospital.

He is survived by his wife Jane and three sons, all of whom are surgeons and members of the American Surgical Association.