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R. Edward Newsome, Jr., M.D.
1963 2009

R. Edward Newsome, MD, FACS, Chief of the Section of Plastic Surgery at Tulane University in New Orleans, died as a result of an assault in his home this past October.

Ed received his M.D. from the University of South Alabama and completed his general surgery residency there. He practiced general surgery for a while and then undertook training in plastic Surgery at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. He was certified in plastic and general surgery. He was a member of many organizations, including the Association of Academic Chairmen in Plastic Surgery and the Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Following his training, he joined the faculty at Tulane in 1998. At that time there was not a training program in plastic surgery. Ed dedicated himself to re-establishing the program and worked tirelessly for that goal. I was the program director at LSU at that time he succeeded.

I began working with Ed in an effort to provide a cooperative program for teaching core curriculum, holding joint conferences and courses for the LSU and Tulane programs.

Ed had unparalleled energy which he applied to resident training. He was exceptionally well organized and always optimistic about the future. He was a gentle person who rarely ever raised his voice. Where contention arose, Ed was always there to provide a solution.

He was the master of e-mail communication; with a self imposed time limit of midnight. The morning I arrived at my office after his death I had five new e-mail messages from him.

Katrina devastated both programs. After the panic period of sending residents away, he and I jointly began the process of reestablishing plastic surgery training in New Orleans.

I was indeed fortunate to have Ed as a confidante and fellow program director. In those dark days it was hard to be certain of success, but Ed was always sure that we could pull it off.

It is a tribute to him that we had the programs back in January, six months after the storm.

Ed also assumed the position of Assistant Dean for GME at Tulane, even in the midst of recovery. That is the sort of fellow he was; always giving of himself to help residents.

His memorial service at Tulane was attended by 400 people whose lives he touched. There was not a dry eye in that audience, including mine.

So we say farewell to Ed. He was a decent human being who cared more about others than himself. I will miss him as a colleague and friend.

Charles Dupin, MD

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