Richard McCann Oral History Interviews, 1994-2020

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Restrictions:
No release form for the July 14, 1994 interview. For further information consult with the Medical Center Archivist.
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Summary

Creator:
McCann, Richard L.
Abstract:
Dr. Richard Lucas McCann, MD, a vascular surgeon, Duke Professor of Surgery, and Duke Surgery Master Surgeon, joined Duke in 1974 as a Resident and joined the faculty in 1983 after completing his general surgery training. McCann is recognized as a superb surgeon in every domain. Technically, he mastered the anatomical exposure of vascular structures in all areas of the body with exceptional technical speed and efficiency. This collection contains 2 oral history interviews conducted on July 12, 1994 by Dr. James Gifford and April 29, 2020 by Taylor Patterson as part of the Dr. David Sabiston Oral History Project. In the July 14, 1994 interview, McCann discusses the origins and work of the Vascular Surgery Lab, his background, and his research interests. In the April 29, 2020 interview, McCann discusses his early life, education, decision to enter the medical profession, how he came to Duke, meeting Sabiston for the first at his interview to be a Resident, Sabiston's Monday Conferences and his teaching method, Sabiston's traditions, how Sabiston kept track of all his Residents, and other memories of Sabiston and his wife, Aggie.
Extent:
2 Interviews (2 transcripts, 1 master audiocassette tape) and 13.4 MB
Collection ID:
OH.MCCANNR

Background

Scope and content:

Includes 2 oral history interview with Dr. Richard L. McCann conducted on July 12, 1994 by Dr. James Gifford and April 29, 2020 by Taylor Patterson as part of the Dr. David Sabiston Oral History Project.

In the July 12, 1994 interview, McCann discusses the origins and work of the Vascular Surgery Laboratory, as well as his background and research interests.

In the April 29, 2020 interview, McCann discusses his early life, education, decision to enter the medical profession, how he came to Duke, meeting Sabiston for the first at his interview to be a Resident, Sabiston's Monday Conferences and his teaching method, Sabiston's traditions, how Sabiston kept track of all his Residents, and other memories of Sabiston and his wife, Aggie.

Biographical / historical:

Dr. Richard Lucas McCann, MD, was born in Portland, Maine, in 1948. He received his undergraduate degree in 1970 from Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont and his medical degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1974. That same year, McCann became an intern at Duke University under the direction of Dr. David C. Sabiston, Jr., Chair of Surgery. During his surgical training at Duke, he spent three years as a cardiovascular research fellow and finished his general surgery training in 1983. After the completion of his surgical residency, Sabiston identified McCann as a talented young surgeon and hired him as an Assistant Professor.

During his tenure at Duke, McCann became recognized as a superb surgeon in every domain. Technically, he mastered the anatomical exposure of vascular structures in all areas of the body with exceptional technical speed and efficiency. No vascular emergency was beyond his capability, and no patient or colleague was ever left without his immediate support to save both life and limb. He mastered the art of renal transplantation and participated in the first liver transplant at Duke with Drs. William Meyers and R. Randal Bollinger. In the late 1990s, when endovascular techniques revolutionized conventional vascular surgery, McCann reinvented his skills and implanted the first aortic endograft at Duke for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm. He pioneered complex aortic surgery, using an array of both open and endovascular techniques, highlighting his surgical creativity and technical mastery.

Academically, he published more than 150 articles covering nearly every topic in vascular surgery. He served as the first chief of vascular surgery at Duke and the first program director of the Vascular Surgery Fellowship program. He mentored an entire generation of surgical residents and fellows in the art and craft of vascular surgery. As a role model with outstanding clinical judgment, he consistently provided the highest level of clinical care for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged patients. As a man of few words, he made every spoken word important. Beyond Duke, as an ambassador and humanitarian, he donated his medical and surgical talent to care for patients in Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam, and Haiti. Duke Surgery, thousands of patients, and hundreds of surgical trainees have benefited from McCann's tireless efforts and surgical excellence.

McCann rose to the rank of Professor of Surgery, and by virtue of his exceptional contributions to Duke Surgery, he is recognized as a true Master Surgeon. This honor is bestowed to establish a living memory of an individual who has embodied the ideals of Duke Surgery, with the expectation that reflection on this illustrious career will serve as a guidepost for those aspiring to a life in the art and science of surgery.
McCann married his college sweetheart, Margaret, who was an epidemiologist. McCann died on February 5, 2021.

Acquisition information:
Accession A1994.016 (transferred by James Gifford, 1994), Accession A2021.017 (transferred by Mary-Russell Roberson, February 2021)
Processing information:

Processed by Archives staff: date unknown; updated by Lucy Waldrop: February 2021

Arrangement:
Organized into the following series: Interview, July 12, 1994; Interview, April 29, 2020.
Rules or conventions:
DACS

Contents

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Restrictions:

No release form for the July 14, 1994 interview. For further information consult with the Medical Center Archivist.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Richard L. McCann Oral History Interview, Duke University Medical Center Archives.