Frederick B. Parker, MD

Frederick B. Parker, MDFrederick B. Parker, MD, joined Upstate in 1971.

A cardiac surgeon, Dr. Parker was chief of cardiopulmonary surgery from 1977 until 1993. He became chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1990, until his retirement in 2001.

A pioneer in the fledgling specialty of cardiac surgery, Parker was among the first generation of cardiac surgeons who built the specialty and was instrumental in training those who followed.

"Those of us in the field owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude," says Charles J. Lutz, MD '93. "He was and is a valuable mentor."

Frederick B. Parker, MDA surgeon with a heavy operating schedule, Parker frequently taught students and residents in the operating room. "They learned by observing and assisting," he says. "There was a new challenge almost every single day and I enjoyed having the students and residents participate in those challenges."

As an educator, "Dr. Parker always kept the medical students and residents in the front of his consciousness and made sure we got the experience we needed," says Leslie Kohman, MD, HS '85. "And he was always there to help anybody out of trouble at any level—medical student, resident, or attending. If you needed him, he would come down and help you solve your problem."

Parker says the opportunity to work with students and residents was what attracted him to a career in academic medicine. "Seeing young people mature, become good surgeons, and go on to become leaders in medicine was something of which I am very proud."

Says Parker, "I always truly enjoyed my work. If you enjoy what you do, it makes teaching others much easier and more rewarding."