In Memoriam: Dr. R. Michael Scott - A Visionary Neurosurgeon and Mentor
It is with a heavy heart that we remember the life and extraordinary contributions of Dr. R. Michael Scott, who passed away on August 4, 2023, at his home in Mattapoisett, MA. from brain cancer. Dr. Scott, aged 82, was a remarkable neurosurgeon and he leaves an indelible mark in the field of pediatric neuroscience.
Dr. Scott served as Neurosurgeon-in-Chief at Boston Children's Hospital and as a Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School. He was renowned for his groundbreaking work on stroke treatment in children and his expertise in pediatric brain vascular malformations, in particular, the neurosurgical treatment of children with Moyamoya disease; he was recognized internationally for his contributions.
Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Scott's journey was guided by his parents' legacy – his father, a neurosurgeon, and his mother, a child welfare nurse. He pursued excellence in education, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College with a major in English. He obtained his MD degree from Temple University School of Medicine and completed his residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. His dedication to academic neurosurgery led him to a faculty position at Tufts Medical Center from where he was recruited to Boston Children’s Hospital.
Throughout his career, he trained and mentored countless faculty, fellows, residents, and students, and his legacy lives on in having trained more than 25 pediatric neurosurgical fellows who themselves have become leaders in Pediatric Neurosurgery throughout the country.
He exemplified the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie, fostering a respectful dynamic between his neurosurgical team and the neuroradiologists he collaborated with in multidisciplinary patient care meetings and consultations. His kindness, professionalism, courtesy, and patience were modelled by those around him.
Dr. Scott's impact extended beyond his clinical achievements and his professional dedication was matched only by his diverse interests. His love for gardening, literature, opera, classical music, cinema, and jazz enriched his life outside the operating room. In fact, he played in a neurosurgical jazz quintet that performed at neurosurgical meetings across the country, showcasing his unique blend of talents.
Dr. Scott leaves behind his lovely wife, Susan Taylor Scott, and his children, Elizabeth Tervo, Robert and David Scott, and stepdaughter Heather Bliss.
Dr. Michael Scott's legacy will continue to resonate through the countless lives he touched.