Physician of the Year WINNER: Dr. Ron Robertson of UAMS

Physician of the Year WINNER: Dr. Ron Robertson of UAMS
Dr. Ron Robertson
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

No team has victories like the team Dr. Ron Robertson leads at UAMS.

Robertson, medical director of trauma and chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Surgery, receives patients in the most broken and critical moments of their lives. He and the trauma team do their best to make sure those lives continue.

By the Numbers
Years Robertson has been a physician


Year the Arkansas Trauma System was implemented

Physicians Robertson has trained in advanced trauma life support

“I love to see our team in action,” Robertson, 57, said. “Patients arrive to us often on the edge of physiologic exhaustion and death and being able to see our team within a matter of moments reverse this physiology is very rewarding.”

Robertson wanted to be a veterinarian, but, partially motivated by illnesses and health problems throughout his family, he realized he wanted to treat people and fell in love with surgery during his third year in medical school.

“I have always enjoyed caring for ‘sicker’ patients and trauma surgery allowed me to be in the center of their care,” Robertson said. “There is no greater feeling than leading a trauma team that is all singly focused on the best outcomes.”

In his more than 23 years, Robertson has trained more than 4,000 in advanced trauma life support and was a force behind the creation of the Arkansas Trauma System in 2010.

UAMS has the state’s only adult Level I trauma center, which includes a a statewide call center and telemedicine technology, and is the referral source for the significantly injured throughout the state.

Robertson is also responsible for resident, medical student and statewide education, injury prevention, quality improvement and trauma related research. He is state chairman of the Committee on Trauma for the American College of Surgeons and has a large emergency and elective general surgery practice.

“I have spent my life trying to learn and understand from those that I have lost so that others may live.” —Dr. Ron Robertson

Not all patients survive, but Robertson and the team provide them a fighting chance.

Robertson recalled a girl flown in with horrific pelvic and abdominal injuries requiring three teams and 100 units of blood products in a 24-hour period. She suffered cardiac arrest in the operating room but the team was able to bring her back and eventually return her to an active life which included marriage.

“I have never experienced a greater thrill,” Robertson said.

See more of this year's Health Care Heroes.