American Surgical Association Transactions

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1928 - 2015

THOMAS A. STAMEY, M.D., 1928 - 2015

Thomas A. Stamey, MD, Professor and Chair Emeritus of Urology at Stanford University, died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 87 on September 4, 2015. Born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, he attended Virginia Military Institute for 2 years and then graduated from Vanderbilt University. He received his medical degree in 1952 from Johns Hopkins where he also did his internship and urology residency under the tutelage of William W. Scott, MD. After service as a urological consultant for the U.S. Army in the United Kingdom, he joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 1958. He left Hopkins in 1961 to become Chief of the Division of Urology at Stanford University, and, in 1990, he was appointed the Founding Chair of the newly created Department of Urology at Stanford, a position that he held for 33 years. One of the true giants in Urology, he achieved success and notoriety in a number of fields in which his expertise and contributions were acknowledged: renal vascular hypertension and renal physiology, urinary tract and prostatic infection, urinary incontinence in both men and women, and, his final field of interest, testing for and managing prostate cancer. He was one of the first individuals who acknowledged that over treatment of prostate cancer and not necessarily overdiagnosis had developed into a significant problem. As fits his stature, he was the first urologist ever elected to the Institute of Medicine. He was honored with multiple other awards, including the Hugh Hampton Young Award and the Ramon Guiteras Award from the American Urological Association, as well as an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. Early on, Tom introduced a mandatory research year into the residency program at Stanford, and many of the over 100 then residents and fellows who trained under his tutelage went on to successful academic careers using him as a role model for the true surgeon scientist. He authored more than 225 scientific papers, 30 textbook chapters, 7 monographs and published 4 texts, as well as being associate editor of the gold standard textbook in Urology, Campbell-Walsh Urology, for 3 editions. Tom Stamey will be remembered as one of the few individuals who was able to make significant contributions in not one but a number of fields. Urology will long remember the legacy he leaves behind.