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UCSF Mourns Loss of Former Medical Center CMO Theodore R. Schrock (1939-2016)

The UC San Francisco community is deeply saddened by the passing of Theodore R. Schrock, MD, the former chief medical officer of UCSF Medical Center and a renowned endoscopic surgeon who pioneered the use of colonoscopy as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool.

Portrait of Theodore Schrock
Theodore R. Schrock, MD

In his 33-year career at UCSF, Schrock developed an international reputation for excellence in the surgical management of inflammatory bowel disease, serving as a guest lecturer and visiting professor around the globe.

“Unquestionably, Dr. Schrock embodied the best of UCSF’s values in his relentless pursuit of excellence, in his collegiality and in his humanity,” said Nancy Ascher, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Surgery, and Mark Laret, chief executive officer and president of UCSF Health, in a letter to faculty and staff.

Schrock first came to UCSF as a medical student after graduating from Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and named “Premed Student of the Year.”

Upon graduation at UCSF in 1964, Schrock received the Gold Headed Cane, which signifies the student who most exemplified the qualities of the true physician. He served as president of the Gold Headed Cane Society for 12 years.

Schrock entered surgical residency at UCSF and spent two years as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, completing his residency in 1971. He immediately was recruited to the surgical faculty at UCSF.

He was a founding member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons and became its president in 1988. That same year, he was instrumental in organizing the First World Congress of Surgical Endoscopy in Berlin. He was the first surgeon to become president of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and delivered the Distinguished Lecture at their annual meeting in 1993.

In 1993, Dr. Schrock was appointed interim chair of the Department of Surgery at UCSF. In three short years, his effective leadership culminated in his permanent appointment as chair of the department in 1996. Two years later, he became chief medical officer for UCSF Medical Center, remaining in that position until his retirement 2004.

Among his numerous roles at UCSF Medical Center and UCSF School of Medicine, Schrock was chair of the Credentials Committee, president of the Medical Staff and president of the UCSF Howard C. Naffziger Surgical Society.

His academic milestones included nearly 200 articles, book chapters and abstracts; membership in 16 professional societies; editorship of two journals; and several distinguished service awards.

After retirement, Schrock and his wife bred Arabian horses in Montana, later moving to Scottsdale, Ariz., where they resided at the time of his passing.

For more campus news and resources, visit Pulse of UCSF.