SVS honors Robert Smith with 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award

July 2020

Dr. Robert Smith

Distinguished vascular surgeon and Emory professor emeritus Robert B. Smith, III, MD, has received the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor the SVS can bestow on one of its members. Selection for this award recognizes an individual's outstanding and sustained contributions to the profession and the Society, along with exemplary professional practice and academic leadership.

"Beyond receiving this award as a personal honor, I consider it a tribute to the entire Division of Vascular Surgery at Emory," says Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith began his surgical training before the emergence of vascular surgery as a specialty, and went on to combine administrative roles with clinical duties throughout a notable, Emory-based career that spanned almost four decades.

Dr. Smith received his MD from the Emory University School of Medicine in 1957, and completed his general surgery residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in 1965. Shortly after joining the faculty of the Emory Department of Surgery in 1966, he participated in Georgia's first successful renal transplant with the late Garland Perdue, MD, chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at the time.

Dr. Smith served as chief of the surgical service at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 1969-1988, and chief of the Emory vascular service from 1984-1998. By the time he retired in 2006, he had served 11 years as medical director of Emory University Hospital and 15 years as associate chairman of the Department of Surgery.

Throughout his career, Dr. Smith also served presidential terms for the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery-North American Chapter, Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, Georgia Surgical Society, and Atlanta Vascular Society. He has previously been honored with the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of VA Surgeons and was the first recipient of the Georgia Vascular Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Robert B. Smith, III, Visiting Professorship was inaugurated in 2006 at Emory University to recognize Dr. Smith's many years of impressive service to his chosen field, to the Emory community, and to his patients and students.