May 28, 2019
William Lynn Weaver, MD, FACS (1949-2019)
The Surgical Section of the National Medical Association recognizes the recent passing
of one of our organization’s strong voices, long-term member, and former Chairmen.
Dr. Weaver was a member of the NMA and our Section since his residency. On May 26,
2019 William Lynn Weaver MD, FACS, retired Surgeon-in-Chief of the Fayetteville, North
Carolina Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 2017, departed this world.
Dr. Weaver was a native of Knoxville, Tennessee where he was born at Knoxville General
Hospital and attended West High School. He was one of 14 African-American students
to integrate West High in 1964, standing up to racism and bullying. In a piece for
StoryCorps in 2017, he stated “You must know your history so that you don’t repeat
mistakes”, wanting the young people of today to understand that segregation really
happened. “You must know separate is never equal.”
He received his undergraduate education at Howard University in Washington DC (majored
in pharmacy) and then matriculated to medical school at Meharry Medical College in
Nashville, Tennessee (President of the Senior Class of 1978). He served in the United
States Army from 1974-1987 (Military Health Professions Scholarship to medical school)
and, during this time on active duty, completed his residency in general surgery at
both Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington and at the Fitzsimons Army
Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. His final U.S. Army duty was as Chief of Surgery
at the hospital of Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1987 following which his academic surgical
career began back at his alma mater—the Department of Surgery at Meharry Medical College
under Professor and Chairman Eddie Hoover, MD, FACS who was to become a career-long
friend and mentor. As a medical student at Meharry Medical College he was taught and
influenced strongly by the legendary Matthew Walker, MD, FACS (1906-1978) distinguished
Professor and Chairman of Surgery with whom he produced a historic final taped interview
While a member of the surgical faculty at Meharry Medical College (1987-1990), Dr. Weaver
was appointed by his chairman Dr. Eddie Hoover to be a principal in the discussions
along with Dr. David Satcher, Dean of the School of Medicine, to consider moving the
clinical campus of the medical school to Brooklyn, New York (Brooklyn Jewish Hospital
and St. John’s Catholic Medical Center) during the period of downturn of George W.
Hubbard Hospital (now the Metropolitan Nashville General Hospital) on Meharry’s campus
during the rapid rise of managed care in the Nashville market which strongly impacted
the choice of Nashville’s employed black citizens for their healthcare. When the surgical
residency program closed at Meharry in 1990 Dr. Weaver moved to Brooklyn, New York
where he practiced from 1990 to 1992 at which time he was selected as Chief of Surgery
at the Buffalo, New York VA Medical Center. After 4 years there, he was appointed
to the faculty of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia in June,1996 as
Chairman of the Department of Surgery where he served until February, 2009. At Morehouse
he was greatly admired and respected by his faculty and is credited with establishing
and moving forward the Morehouse programs in trauma, surgical oncology, and breast
surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital through the recruitment of core faculty for Morehouse
services and undergraduate and graduate surgical education. It was during his tenure
at Morehouse School of Medicine that he served as the Chair of the Surgical Section
of the National Medical Association (2005-2006) as well as the 15th President of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons.
Dr. Weaver subsequently was recruited to Ross University School of Medicine as Senior
Associate Dean in 2013 and later served as Chief of Surgery at Ross. He returned to
the mainland to take his final job as Chief of Surgery at the VA Medical Center in
Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2017, serving until earlier this year when he retired
due to an acute illness.
Amongst the many professional organizations and societies in which he held membership
are included the Southern Surgical Association, the American Surgical Association,
the American College of Surgeons, the Southeastern Surgical Congress, and the Surgical
Section of the National Medical Association.
Dr. Weaver was a loving father, grandfather, and devoted husband to his wife Kay.
He loved children and he devoted much of his life to lending assistance to under-represented
students with interest and desire to attend medical school, likely related to his
desire to see young students have better opportunities and a kinder, gentler path
to the profession he loved than he had along his journey. He was the founding Course
Director for the American College of Surgeons High School Student Program held annually
at the Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. He served as
President of the Georgia Surgical Society.
Professor Weaver will be remembered, in particular, for his important roles at Morehouse
School of Medicine, Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Meharry Medical College, the
Surgical Section of the National Medical Association, American surgery, and the Society
of Black Academic Surgeons.
The hearts, thoughts, and prayers of the Surgical Section are with Dr. Weaver’s family.
Frederick D. Cason, MD, FACS
HCA-West Florida Division/University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
Graduate Medical Education Consortium—Tampa, Florida
Historian and Archivist
Surgical Section of the National Medical Association