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Remembering W. Glenn Hurt: Gentleman, Surgeon, Mentor and Friend

February 26, 2021 01:35 PM

It is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of one of the fathers of modern urogynecology, Waverly Glenn Hurt. Born in Richmond, Virginia, educated at Hampden Sidney College and the Medical College of Virginia, Dr. Hurt was an iconic southern gentleman who dedicated his life to his patients, colleagues and friends in the medical community. After serving as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserves, Dr. Hurt returned to his alma mater, now Virginia Commonwealth University, where he quickly advanced through the tenure tract and practiced as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Section Head of Urogynecology from 1978 until his retirement in 2004. Dr. Hurt was an outstanding pelvic surgeon and educator and shared his knowledge through hundreds of invited talks and his textbook “Urogynecologic Surgery: The Masters Techniques in Gynecologic Surgery.” While his formidable standards for performance extended well beyond the operating room, he always served as a model for patient care excellence and professionalism.

While Dr. Hurt was known most widely for his surgical acumen, he was known most intimately for his deep value for human connection, relationships, and “your people.” Dr. Hurt was married to the practice of female pelvic medicine and he considered many other giants in our field as his extended family: Bob Shull, Rick Bump, David Soper, Peggy Norton, Mark Walters, Dee Fenner, Mickey Karram, Ray Lee, Ann Weber, John Gebhart, Linda Brubaker, Leo Dunn, and Gunner Lose, to name a few. Edward Gill, Denise Elser, Mike Bonidie, Peter Takacs and Catherine Matthews were all residents and fellows who trained under Dr. Hurt and were recipients of not only his knowledge and surgical skill but also his tremendous network of friends. Dr. Hurt was an outstanding sponsor and mentor and can be credited with many a career success.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Hurt earned many accolades including election as President of the American Urogynecologic Society and President of the South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He was recognized as a noteworthy Obstetrics and Gynecology educator by Marquis Who’s Who. Perhaps his greatest legacy, however, was his ever-present curiosity in knowing the person, and not the performance. This was equally true for anyone who influenced his day, from janitorial staff members cleaning the operating room between cases to department chairs. In Dr. Hurt's memory, may we follow his example and strive to know a little more about each other as people.

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