It is most difficult to put into words the many feelings that one has about a man such as Dr. Womack… Words expressing his broad intellectual background, his complete integrity, and his complete devotion to the teaching of medical students and house staff. He had one of the rare qualities of being able to stimulate young people to think and to work… He has done more to bring a high level of surgical care to the people of North Carolina than any other man in its history.
Samuel G. Jenkins, Jr., MD
Chief Resident, General Surgery, 1962-1963
Nathan Anthony Womack, MD, first Chairman of the Department of Surgery, was a recognized leader with a sound philosophy for patient care, surgical education, and clinical investigation. A 1922 graduate of the University of North Carolina with a BS in Medicine, Dr. Womack received his MD degree from Washington University at St. Louis in 1926. His postgraduate education was under the direction of Dr. Evarts Graham, and following completion of his residency, he visited the medical schools of Europe as a Traveling Fellow. He was invited to return to Washington University in 1930 as an Assistant in Surgery and was named Professor of Clinical Surgery in 1947. At Washington University he made many contributions to the science, art, and craft of surgery. From 1948 to 1951 he was Professor and Head of Department of Surgery at the University of Iowa.
As Professor and first Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Womack served with distinction from 1951 to 1966. He was an exemplary role model for colleagues, residents, and students, and had an extraordinary ability to direct and motivate his faculty.
Reference: Kagarise, MJ, Thomas, Colin CG. LEGENDS AND LEGACIES - A Look Inside Four Decades of Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Surgery, Chapel Hill, NC. February 1997.