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  In Memoriam - Robert G. Ojemann, M.D.
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Dr. Ojemann was the "neurosurgeon's neurosurgeon" and the teacher
of an entire generation of neurosurgeons currently practicing world-wide.

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we let you know of the death of Robert G. Ojemann, MD, a consummate MGH neurosurgeon, dedicated teacher and prolific researcher. Dr. Ojemann was a part of the MGH Department of Neurosurgery for approximately 50 years. He died March 3 at the age of 78.

Dr. Ojemann was born in Iowa City on May 5, 1931. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa in 1952 and a medical degree from the university's College of Medicine in 1955, graduating first in his class. Later in life, Dr. Ojemann would be honored by the university with its Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement.

In 1957, Dr. Ojemann joined the MGH as a resident in the Department of Neurosurgery, where he would eventually become one of its most respected neurosurgeons. In 1979, he was named a professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School (HMS). He was widely recognized as a superb teacher and mentor to many students.

Brain tumors and cerebrovascular disease were Dr. Ojemann's clinical and research focus. During the course of his career, he published more than 200 articles and chapters on these and other topics and co-authored several books, including the first book on the surgical management of cerebrovascular disease.

Though Dr. Ojemann was known by colleagues and students for his expertise in complex brain surgeries, he is especially remembered for providing the best in patient-centered care. He took personal responsibility for the patient, for the operation and for the outcome – and made sure it was the best it possibly could be.

Dr. Ojemann held leadership roles in the major influential organizations in his field, serving for various periods as president of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) and the Society of University Neurosurgeons. He also served as chairman of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Acoustic Neuroma Association Medical Advisory Board and the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery.

For his exemplary contributions to the field of neurosurgery, Dr. Ojemann received several prestigious honors, including the Cushing Medalist Award from AANS in 1997 and the Distinguished Service Award from SNS in 2001. In 1991, he was the honored guest of the CNS – and just recently, in July 2009, the Robert G. and A. Jean Ojemann Professorship in Surgery in the field of Neurosurgery at HMS was established in his and his wife's name.

Even after he stopped performing neurosurgery later in life, Dr. Ojemann continued to be a source of insight and leadership for the department. His legacy will never be forgotten.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dr. Ojemann's family and his many colleagues and friends.

Peter L. Slavin, MD
President, MGH

David F. Torchiana, MD
Chairman and CEO, MGPO

Robert L. Martuza, MD
Chief of MGH Department of Neurosurgery

[Dr R. Ojemann]


Robert G. Ojemann, M.D.
Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery)
Harvard Medical School
Senior Attending Neurosurgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
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Clinical Background: - Curriculum vitae:

MD Degree: University of Iowa College of Medicine
Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital - Neurosurgery
Board Certifications: Neurosurgery
Surgical Interests:

Brain and spine tumors: acoustic neuroma, vestibular schwannoma, meningioma, hemangioblastoma, von Hippel-Lindau disease, trigeminal schwannoma, glomus tumor, carotid endarterectomy, cranial and spinal cavernous malformations

  • Cranial Base Center
  • Neuro-oncology
    Selected Publication: [Publications via PubMed]
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