Albert L. Rhoton, Jr.
1993, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Albert L. Rhoton, Jr., was born and raised in Kentucky. He graduated from Washington University School of Medicine, cum laude, with the highest academic standing in the Class of 1959. Afterwards, he served two years at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, one in general surgery and one in neurosurgery. He then returned to Washington University and Barnes Hospital to complete his neurosurgery residency under Dr. Henry Schwartz in 1965. He remained at Washington University for one year as a Research Fellow in Neuroanatomy. It was at this time that he began to use the surgical microscope, immediately noting its usefulness to neurosurgery. In January of 1966, he joined the staff of May Clinic as a consultant and neurosurgeon. There he began his microanatomy studies of the human body, which since have been so widely published.
In 1972, he assumed the position of Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Neurological Surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He organized a microsurgery course in Gainseville, Florida, that has been attended by more than 1,000 practicing physicians and residents. In 1981, the Division was awarded departmental status, and he became the R.D. Keene Family Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery. That same year, the University of Florida recognized his service by giving him the Distinguished Faculty Award.
Subsequently he has obtained funds for nine $1 million endowed chairs in neurosurgery. One of his career-long dreams was realized with the recent creation of a Brain Institute, which will be housed in a new building at the University of Florida. The Institute will be funded by an $18 million federal grant and another $26 million from the University.
Dr. Rhoton has earned numerous honors and awards throughout his career. He became a member of the Executive Committee of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons in 1973, and served as President in 1978. At that same time, he was also the Chairman of the Joint Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery. He served as President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in 1990, Vice-President of the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1991, and formerly as Governor of the American College of Surgeons. He is currently Past-President of the Society of Neurological Surgeons and President of the North American Skull Base Society.
The Washington University School of Medicine recognized his many accomplishments by awarding him an Alumni Achievement Award in 1984. He has been the Honored Guest or Honorary Member of 16 neurosurgical societies throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has served on the editorial boards of six journals and has authored more than 190 articles and book chapters.
Dr. Rhoton has been supported and greatly aided by his wife, Joyce. The Rhotons have two sons who are physicians, one in internal medicine and the other in neurosurgery, and two daughters also in medicine, one as a pediatric nurse and the other as a resident physician in obstetrics and gynecology.