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The Richard McCann, MD Surgery Fund

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
By Section of Surgical Disciplines
Dr. Richard McCann

Richard L. McCann, MD, came to the Duke University School of Medicine in 1974 under the direction of David C. Sabiston Jr., MD, Chair of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Sabiston identified Dr. McCann as a talented young surgeon, and after the completion of his surgical residency, hired him as an assistant professor.

During his tenure at Duke, Dr. McCann became recognized as a superb general and vascular surgeon. Technically, he mastered the anatomical exposure of vascular structures in all areas of the body with exceptional skill. No vascular emergency was beyond his capability, and no patient or colleague was ever left without his immediate support. He pioneered complex aortic surgery, using an array of both open and endovascular techniques, highlighting his surgical creativity and technical mastery.

Dr. McCann mentored an entire generation of surgical residents and fellows in the art and craft of vascular surgery. Beloved and deeply respected by his colleagues, trainees, and patients, his own gift for bringing out the best in others helped define his career and his legacy in the field.

Beyond Duke, as an ambassador and humanitarian, he donated his broad medical and surgical talents to care for patients in countries across the world, in particular spending a significant amount of time in rural Haiti, where his general surgery skills were in great demand. Duke Surgery, thousands of patients, and hundreds of surgical trainees have benefited from Dr. McCann’s tireless efforts and surgical excellence. In 2016, Dr. McCann was honored as a Duke Surgery Master Surgeon in recognition of his outstanding clinical acumen, technical skill, and tireless dedication to the provision of the highest level of clinical care for our most vulnerable and disadvantaged patients.

Honoring Dr. McCann’s Legacy

In recognition of Dr. McCann’s contribution to the field of surgery, his outstanding mentorship of young surgeons, and his commitment to surgical equity for all, an endowed fund has been created in the Department of Surgery through the generosity of his family and dear friends.

The Richard McCann Fund will honor Dr. McCann’s legacy of commitment to high quality surgical access for all patients by providing much needed support for Duke Surgery faculty and trainees devoted to the unique needs of underserved communities—close to home and across the globe.

Through his career and volunteer work, Dr. McCann sought to make an impact in addressing the profound disparities of surgical access—locally, nationally, and internationally. Lack of infrastructure and healthcare personnel are prime among the significant factors related to these inequities. The surgical workforce, particularly surgeons with broad general surgical capabilities, is declining in underserved communities across the U.S. and globally. The dearth of underrepresented minority populations in the surgical workforce further contributes to this trend.

Dr. McCann consistently showed a dedicated commitment to addressing these disparities, always a champion of care for the most vulnerable. Duke Surgery believes that Dr. McCann’s pursuit of equitable access and quality care regardless of circumstance is extraordinarily important.

The Richard McCann Fund will leverage the exceptional international reputation of the Duke General Surgery Training Program to train surgeons to better care for clinical problems common to underserved communities. The fund will also provide support for Duke Surgery faculty, focusing on engagement of clinical care, research, and education aimed at addressing healthcare disparities regionally or globally. With your valued support, we anticipate achieving the ultimate goal of growing the endowment to a minimum of $300,000, which will provide annual funding in the department to not only honor Dr. McCann’s memory but to carry on the legacy of his values in this meaningful work.

Please join us in honoring Dr. McCann’s career and his legacy by making a gift to The Richard McCann, MD Surgery Fund.

To make an online gift please click here.

To make a gift by mail please write your check to Duke University and note the Richard McCann, MD Surgery Fund in the memo line. Mail to:

Duke University
Alumni & Development Records
Box 90581
Durham, NC  27708-0581

For questions please contact:

Marcy Romary                                                                   Jillian Ream
Duke Health Development & Alumni Affairs               Duke Health Development & Alumni Affairs
919-748-0745                                                                    919-724-9868                                    


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