Dr. Ron Lewis may have retired in 2018, but his legacy continues at Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University through his planned estate gift which establishes the Ronald W. Lewis, MD Chair in Urological Education. This endowment will support the ongoing needs of urology residents, including education, research, travel, equipment and more.
“When you’ve been in academics as long as I was, you want to leave a legacy. What better way than to do something that involves continual teaching,” Lewis said. “That’s always been a part of my career.”
Before Lewis came to MCG, he was an internationally recognized expert in sexual medicine and a longtime prostate cancer researcher. He served as co-director of the fertility clinic and male sexual dysfunction clinic at Tulane University School of Medicine; vice chief of the medical staff at two Louisiana hospitals; and chief of surgery professor and consultant in urology at Mayo Clinic and Medical School.
Lewis spent 24 years at MCG, where he helped make the urology resident training program one of the most sought after in the Southeast and beyond. He saw the potential to grow the program and seized the opportunity. His efforts included giving the residents opportunities to conduct research and encouraging them to go into teaching.
Lewis also started a weekly Monday night conference to allow residents and faculty to review surgical cases and determine together the best path of care for their patients. These conferences were so successful and valued that they are still part of the residency program today.
Because of the changes and innovations Lewis made to the urology resident training program, the urology section receives roughly 200 to 300 applications per year and conducts 60 applicant interviews to fill just two residency slots, ensuring that MCG’s program draws some of the top residents in the country.
Given his passion for education and making sure the residents he mentored and encouraged while at MCG had every chance to excel in urology, creating an endowed chair is a way for Lewis to ensure that MCG continues to attract educators just as dedicated to training the residents.
“It’s been a value to me to be able to continue this legacy of education…When Charlie Howell [a 1973 MCG graduate and chair emeritus of surgery] came up with the idea, ‘Why don’t we establish a chair that would just support that educational aspect of residency?’, I just thought it was a super idea, and I said, ‘I’m in.’”