Randy Sherman, MD, Surgical Innovator, Compassionate Physician
Over the course of four decades, Randy Sherman, MD, earned a reputation as an internationally renowned surgical innovator who built premier plastic surgery programs in Los Angeles and traveled the world caring for children with hard-to-treat deformities.
Sherman was a pioneer in the field of microsurgery, a prominent expert in hand surgery and breast and limb reconstruction. His many innovative surgical techniques led to remarkable outcomes for reconstruction of previously untreatable birth defects and traumatic injuries.
Sherman died Tuesday, July 18, in an air traffic accident in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Over a long and distinguished career, he developed highly regarded clinical, research and training programs in plastic surgery in Los Angeles, first at the University of Southern California and, since 2015, at Cedars-Sinai. He held several distinguished positions at Cedars-Sinai, including vice chair of the Department of Surgery and director of the Division of Plastic Surgery.
“Randy was a loyal and generous friend and teacher,” said Cristina Ferrone, chair of the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai. “He will be missed for his contributions to the field of surgery and for his impact on so many of us who benefitted from his great talent, leadership and compassion.”
Sherman’s leadership and dedication to patient care earned him the William and Willa Dean Lyon Family Chair in Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery in Honor of Randolph Sherman, MD.
His influence was felt beyond Cedars-Sinai: Sherman mentored, taught and impacted many of the microsurgeons around the world. He also played a role with Operation Smile, a surgical charity that cares for children with congenital and acquired deformities in disadvantaged countries.
“Randy was dedicated to improving the lives of his patients, including children around the world through his selfless participation with Operation Smile,” said Bruce L. Gewertz, MD, Cedars-Sinai surgeon-in-chief and vice dean of Faculty Affairs and Clinical System Development. “His international surgical work was truly a reflection of his deep caring and compassion for his patients.”
Sherman was board certified by the American Board of Surgery, which also certified his expertise in hand surgery. He earned his medical degree at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1977, followed by residency programs at the University of California, San Francisco and the State University of New York, and a fellowship at USC Keck School of Medicine.
Aside from his love for surgery, Sherman also greatly enjoyed flying. He was a commercial pilot and flight instructor who served as an FAA-designated senior aviation medical examiner. He was a member of the board of directors for the Santa Monica Museum of Flying, the Lyon Air Museum and the American Air Museum.