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Woods Lecture

About Scott Warner Woods

Scott Warner Woods

Scott Warner Woods
1927–2003

When attending a Midwest Surgical Association meeting, it takes little effort to almost believe that the haunting notes of a bagpipe still echo in the air. For many years, that sound accompanied the sight of a kilt-clad Scott Warner Woods as he stood wearing his trademark hand-tied tartan bow tie and played to announce the beginning of another annual meeting.

Scott W. Woods, except for his brief stint in Korea with the U.S. Army at the end of World War II, was a life-long Michiganian. He was born in Detroit and in 1950 he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. He then attended Wayne State University College of Medicine and graduated in 1954. After an internship at Wayne County General Hospital, he completed a surgical residency at Wayne State University in 1960. That same year, he achieved his second greatest accomplishment when he established his first solo practice in Ypsilanti, MI. By 1964, he managed to attain his life’s greatest accomplishment when he married his beloved Bette.

Second only to his family, Scott loved the Midwest Surgical Association best and served it tirelessly. He was Treasurer of the Association for a decade before ascending to its presidency in 1986. He championed the controversial decision to bring the Annual Meeting to Mackinac Island. Widely questioned at the time due to the island’s remoteness and perceived inaccessibility, this location has easily become the best attended and most well-loved site for the annual conference. In 1987, after a long and successful surgical career as a private practitioner and as Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Wayne State University, Scott retired from active surgical practice in 1987 due to complications from arthritis. Scott and Bette remained together in Ypsilanti for the rest of his life.

Scott viewed retirement as a chance to cut back to only 50 or 60 hours of work each week. He remained an important part of his community in Ypsilanti, where he served on the city council, the board of the Ypsilanti Savings Bank, the Chamber of Commerce (including a term as president), with the Lions Club and as a trustee of Cleary College. He reviewed disability claims for the state and worked for the Michigan Peer Review Organization. Scott received many honors and awards from the numerous professional organizations that were proud to call him a member. These organizations included the American College of Surgeons, the Academy of Surgery of Detroit and the Detroit Surgical Association. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cleary College for his years of service. His highest accolade occurred in 1995 when both Scott and Bette were selected to receive the Distinguished Philanthropist Award from the American College of Surgeons.

Surgeon, teacher, community leader, philanthropist, husband, father and friend – Scott’s death left an empty place in the hearts of all who knew him. He gave selflessly during life and will continue to give in death. Gone is the man, but not the memory.

Previous Lecturers

Beginning in 2015, the video recording of the Woods Lecture is available for viewing by clicking on the name of the speaker.

R. Matthew Walsh, MD 2016
Rahul Vaidya, MD 2015
David B. Hoyt, MD 2014
Christy A. Russell, MD 2013
O. William Brown, MD, JD 2012
David B. Hoyt, MD 2011
David B. Hoyt, MD 2010