Former Chair, MSM Department of Surgery Dies

Dr. Weaver photo by StoryCorpsWilliam Lynn Weaver, MD, FACS
Photo by StoryCorps

William Lynn Weaver, MD, FACS. Dr. Weaver served as Chair of the Department of Surgery at MSM from 1996 until 2009. During these thirteen years, he played a key role in the establishment and development of MSM’s programs in trauma, surgical oncology, and breast surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital. 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 also received the 2017-2018 Legacy Award for MSM Department of Surgery.

Dr. Weaver was a frequent contributor to StoryCorps, a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives, leaving a legacy for future generations and to "preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world." StoryCorps and National Public Radio remember and honor his life and contributions.

Please keep Dr. Weaver’s wife Kay and his family in your prayers during this time.

We will share additional information on MSM Care Corner as it becomes available.

  • Eulogy for Dr. Weaver

    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 in 1977.

    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