Remembering Robert S. Stone, MD

UNM School of Medicine's second dean dies at 94

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s second dean, Robert S. Stone, MD, died Oct. 20, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Stone joined the School of Medicine as the founding chairman of the Department of Pathology in 1963, served as the vice president for health services and became the school’s dean in 1968. He left the School of Medicine to serve as director of the National Institutes of Health in 1973, a position he held with distinction until 1975.

While at UNM, Stone worked feverishly to increase diversity within the School of Medicine by hiring minority faculty members and appointing a woman, Diane Klepper, MD, to a key leadership role – associate dean. Stone recognized the absence of Hispanics applying to the School of Medicine and appointed a faculty member to recruit minority applicants through a newly created Director of Minority Programs position.

“Dr. Robert Stone was a visionary who recognized the value of diversity in medical education and the importance of financial stability for the UNM School of Medicine,” said Paul Roth, MD, MS, chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UNM. “He brought much-needed order and organizational structure to the medical school.”

Stone was born in Manhattan, N.Y., on Feb. 10, 1922. He received his BA in 1942 from Brooklyn College and his MD from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in 1950. Stone was an instructor in pathology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1950 to 1952, and acted as an intern for his assistant residency in pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

In 1952, Stone moved to Los Angeles and joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology in UCLA's School of Medicine. As part of his academic duties at UCLA, he served as the deputy coroner at Los Angeles County Coroner's Office and as a pathologist for the Los Angeles Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children.

Stone also served as the chief of research in pathology for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission from 1959 to 1960 and a collection of his speeches is held at the National Library of Medicine.

Stone also served as dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center and vice president of the Health Sciences Center, and as dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Stone, and other relatives.

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