It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Stanley Dudrick, one of the most influential physicians in the world. Dr. Dudrick invented the intravenous feeding method known as total parenteral nutrition — credited with saving millions of lives — while a surgical resident at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. His groundbreaking research in the efficacy of intravenous feeding is recognized as one of the three most important advances in modern surgery.
Throughout his long and inspirational life, Dr. Dudrick received more than 100 national and international honors and awards including the American College of Nutrition Goldsmith Award, the AMA Joseph B. Goldberger Award in Clinical Nutrition; the AMA Brookdale Award in Medicine; the Ladd Medal of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and the American Surgical Association’s First Flance/Karl Award in 1997 for his seminal and lifetime scientific contributions to surgery; and the American College of Surgeons Jacobsen Innovation Award in 2005.
A native of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a B.S. degree in Biology with honors in 1957 and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1961. After completing a rotating internship and residency training in general surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Dudrick joined the faculty at U Penn and rose in rank from Instructor to Professor of Surgery within five years.
His distinguished academic career spanned more than 40 years, including his selection as the first Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the then new University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He went on to chair the departments of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania; at Saint Mary’s Hospital, a Yale teaching hospital; and at Bridgeport Hospital/Yale New Haven Health System. He also served as Professor of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine; and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Surgery of Quinnipiac College, Bridgeport Hospital/Yale New Haven Health System. In 2007, Dr. Dudrick was named — and remained active for a number of years — as Chairman Emeritus, Department of Surgery and Director Emeritus of the Program in Surgery at Saint Mary’s Hospital and at Yale. Dr. Dudrick also served as the Director of the Physician Assistant Program at Misericordia University as well as Professor of Surgery at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.
Dr. Dudrick was a treasured colleague and friend to us as a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN) and an esteemed board member of the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) from 2008 until his death. He will be greatly missed by our community. Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg, Chair of ANA and President of BCNS writes, “For those of us who worked with Stan, we knew that the greatness of his scientific accomplishments were equally matched by the generosity of his heart.”
The following tribute is written by Stan’s great friend and colleague over many years, past BCNS President, Dr. Sid Stohs: