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Dr. and Mrs. Rosato

Francis E. Rosato Sr., MD, has had a long and distinguished career at Jefferson. He was the Samuel D. Gross Professor and Chair of Surgery from 1978 through 2000. His career also included four years as the first Chair of Surgery at the then new Eastern Virginia Medical School and 14 years at the University of Pennsylvania, where he attained the rank of professor. At each location Dr. Rosato found his patient practice was always the most important part of his work.

"... I wasn't surprised that they followed me into medicine as well."

Although Dr. Rosato stepped down as chair in 2000, he continues to come in twice a week to the office at 11th and Walnut. He is surrounded by familiar faces there, having created quite a legacy within the department. His son Ernest (Gary) L. Rosato, MD, is currently Jefferson's Director of the Division of General Surgery and his namesake, Francis E. Rosato Jr., MD, joined the faculty in August. His daughter Anne Rosato, MD, is a pediatrician in King of Prussia, PA. "I taught them how to ski, to play tennis, and how to hit a baseball," says Dr. Rosato, "so I wasn’t surprised that they followed me into medicine as well."

A passion for medicine apparently runs both up and down the Rosato family tree. Dr. Rosato's father was a general practitioner who ran his practice out of the family home. Dr. Rosato recalls seeing patients on a day-to-day basis as a child. "I appreciated how happy and fulfilled my father seemed to be," he says.

Dr. Rosato has had the benefit of the long view of the institution over several decades. "When I came in 1978, Jefferson was a number of loosely integrated departments that functioned fairly independently. By the time I stepped down, the administration played a greater role and budgets were much higher, although funds were harder to come by," he recalls.

Dr. Rosato's legacy lives on through the Francis E. Rosato Sr., MD, Surgical Research and Education Fund, supported primarily through gifts from grateful patients and the Jefferson Surgical community. The fund allows residents to present their research at national conferences and pays for essential materials such as journal subscriptions and loupes (high-precision magnifying lenses used during surgery). Contributions to the fund are ongoing.

To make a gift to the Department of Surgery, please contact Diane Calder at 215-955-4126 or Diane.Calder@Jefferson.edu