J. Willis Hurst: A legendary clinician, teacher, and writer

hurst2J. Willis Hurst, MD was an outstanding clinician, educator, and writer. He was appointed professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine in 1957, at the age of 56. He remained chair of the Department of Medicine until 1986.

Some of his accomplishments include:

  • Establishing Emory’s continuing medical education program in cardiology, which secured the school’s reputation in teaching and attracted cardiologists from around the world to learn procedures pioneered and perfected at Emory.
  • Playing an integral role in establishing The Emory Clinic.
  • Teaching more than 5,000 medical students and 2,500 residents and fellows – roughly 20 percent of all doctors currently practicing in Georgia.
  • Receiving the highest teaching awards from the American College of Cardiologists and the American College of Physicians.
  • Receiving Emory’s prestigious Crystal Apple Teaching Award.

In 2003, Emory’s internal medicine residency training program was named in Dr. Hurst’s honor. Emory Department of Medicine leadership David Stephens, MDWayne Alexander, MD, PhDNanette Wenger, MD; and Kenneth Walker, MD discuss Dr. Hurst’s legacy in this short video.

Related Links


About the Author

Emory Department of Medicine
Emory Department of Medicine
The Emory University Department of Medicine, within the Emory University School of Medicine, is steeped in a rich tradition of excellence. Through the work of its nine divisions and numerous centers and institutes, the department has pioneered discoveries in medicine, education, scientific and clinical investigation, and clinical care. Emory University School of Medicine's medical school, residency, transitional-year, and fellowship programs offer students the latest knowledge in treatment practices, scientific theories, research, and patient care. The Emory University Department of Medicine is a component of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University, which includes the Emory schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare.