Robert A. Ratcheson

1985, Honolulu

Robert A. Ratcheson was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 24, 1940. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and received a B.S. degree from Northwestern University in 1962 and a M.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine in 1965. He served an internship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and also took a year of general surgery training at that institution. From 1967 to 1969, he was a clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health-Surgical Neurology Branch. Residency training was with Henry G. Schwartz at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. After completion of his residency in 1972, Dr. Ratcheson was a William P. Van Wagenen fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He spent a year in the brain research laboratory at Lund University with Dr. Bo K. Siesjo. He was assistant professor of neurological surgery at Washington University from 1973 to 1977 and associate professor from 1977 until 1981. He recalls with gratitude his time at Washington University and the influence of Drs. Henry Schwartz, Sidney Goldring, and William Coxe. In 1981 he was appointed Harvey Huntington Brown, Jr. Professor of Neurological Surgery and chief of the Division of Neurological Surgery at Case Western Reserve University Medical School and Director of Neurological Surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland. He was greatly influenced during this period by Dr. Frank Nulsen, the previous chief at Case Western Reserve.

During his tenure as president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), Dr. Ratcheson attempted to address the educational mission of the organization. He, with Dr. Fremont P. Wirth, was responsible for the development of the publication, Concepts in Neurosurgery and during Dr. Ratcheson's term of office, the Professional Conduct Committee of the Congress was established. Of great importance to him were the close and lasting personal relationships which grew from the professional activities on the CNS Executive Committee. Dr. Ratcheson is a member of a number of medical societies and has served as chairman of the Joint Committee on Education of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (1985-1988) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He has served as a chairman of the Cerebrovascular Surgery Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (1989-1990) and is the current chairman of the Society of Neurological Surgeons' Neurosurgical Committee for Resident Selection and Evaluation. Dr. Ratcheson is a member of the National Advisory Council on Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health and of the American Heart Association. He has served on a number of editorial boards, including Neurosurgery, and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha.

His major research interests are in cerebral blood flow and metabolism and various states of neuronal injury. His bibliography lists 63 scientific publications and book chapters. His major clinical interests are in cerebrovascular disease and benign basal skull tumors. More recently, Dr. Ratcheson has served as chairman of the newly formed Department of Neurological Surgery at Case Western Reserve University. In 1964, Dr. Ratcheson married Peggy Steiner, who is a cultural anthropologist. They have three children, Alexey Matthew (21), Rachael Elizabeth (17), and Abigail Marjorie (4).