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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 09/13/05
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Surgeon, Nationally Recognized Professor and Mentor, Dies

UC surgeon Robert Bower, MD, vice chair of education in the Department of Surgery, died Sept. 11 of cancer.

Dr. Bower, 56, led the general surgery residency training program at UC for nearly 20 years and was chief of the surgical service at Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“Dr. Bower profoundly influenced the careers of generations of trainees, balancing roles as professor, coach, colleague, father-figure and friend,” said Jeffrey Matthews, MD, chairman of UC’s Department of Surgery. “He was the consummate gentleman surgeon, who led the surgery training programs at UC with an abiding passion for education in the art and science of surgery.”

Dr. Bower was a member of more than 13 national surgical organizations—including the American College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine of Cincinnati and Association for VA Surgeons—and served in a leadership capacity.

An active clinician and nationally recognized expert in gastrointestinal surgery and nutrition, Dr. Bower received the Association for Surgical Education’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2004.

“Dr. Bower combined a deep respect for surgical traditions, while embracing rapidly changing paradigms in surgical education,” said Dr. Matthews. “The Department of Surgery at UC has lost a pillar and a role model for courage, compassion, professionalism and citizenship.”

Dr. Bower was a member of the Editorial Board of Contemporary Surgery and author and co-author of nearly 100 original publications and book chapters. A native of Omaha, Neb., Dr. Bower completed his training at Grinnell College and the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie, children Conrad, Harvey and Frances, his father and a sister. 

Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Elden A. Good Funeral Home. The funeral will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Robert H. Bower, MD, Memorial Fund of the UC Department of Surgery, Knox Presbyterian Church or Boy Scouts of America.

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