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Zack D. Owens, MD, Distinguished Visiting Professor

Zack Owens, MD
Zack Owens, MD

Dr. Zack D. Owens was a longstanding and distinguished Tarheel surgeon who lived and practiced most of his life in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Dr. Owens obtained his Bachelor of Science and medicine in 1928 at UNC-Chapel Hill when Carolina was a two year medical school. Dr. Owens completed his medical education in 1930 at the University of Maryland then stayed in Baltimore to complete his surgical residency becoming the Chief Surgical Resident at University Hospital from 1932-33.

Dr. Owens then returned to Elizabeth City and worked for many years with his wife Martha, who was a registered nurse, technologist and anesthetist until she died at a young age.

In 1960, Dr. Owens was instrumental in helping renovate the hospital in Elizabeth City which is still open and now known as Sentara Albemarle Hospital.

Professionally Dr. Owens was particularly interested in cancer care and research having served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Cancer Society. Dr. Owens also worked with the National Cancer Institute of Brazil and then became a fellow of the International College of Surgeons. Dr. Owens also was the President of the North Carolina Medical Society and an active member of the Southeastern Surgical Congress.

Of particular note, Dr. Owens was very generous. First, he created the first ICU in eastern North Carolina in 1963 in honor of his wife, Martha. He then created a nursing scholarship in Martha’s name for needy students so they could complete their nursing education and finally, he created the Zack D. Owens Distinguished Surgical Professorship that we honor today and has been held by two Chairs of our Department, Dr. Sheldon and Dr. Kibbe.