Kenneth Swan



Kenneth G. Swan, M.D., a beloved faculty member at New Jersey Medical School for more than 40 years, passed away suddenly on March 22, 2014. We, at New Jersey Medical School, mourn his passing and dedicate this page to the commemoration of his life.



Message from the Dean

March 24, 2014

Dear Members of the NJMS Community:

It is our sad duty to inform you that Dr. Kenneth Swan, Professor of Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, passed away suddenly on Saturday, March 22, 2014.

Dr Swan had a long and distinguished career as a surgeon, scientist, and educator for over forty years at New Jersey Medical School.  He held a national reputation as a trauma, thoracic and vascular surgeon.  Revered by all as a gentleman, scholar, and talented surgeon, he is perhaps most remembered for his devotion to teaching and mentoring the future generations of physicians at New Jersey Medical School.

Dr. Swan joined the faculty of New Jersey Medical School in 1973.  He earned his undergraduate degree in 1956 from Harvard University and his medical degree in 1960 from Cornell University.  He went on to complete an internship and residency in General Surgery at Cornell, a Fellowship at UCLA, and returned to Cornell for further training in General and Thoracic Surgery.

Following his training, Dr. Swan served in active duty with the US Army Medical Corps in Vietnam, and was awarded the Bronze Star 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, Combat Medical Badge in 1969, and Airborne Wings in 1970.  In 1991, Dr. Swan was awarded the Bronze Star, 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster for his service in the Persian Gulf.  In 1998, Dr. Swan was awarded the Legion of Merit, a military award of the United States Armed Forces, given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

Throughout his years at New Jersey Medical School, Dr. Swan contributed to the School in so many ways, including serving as Chief of the Section of General Surgery for more than two decades, Director of Surgery, first at Martland Medical Center and then at University Hospital, and Director of the Surgical Residency Program for 16 years.  At the time of his passing, Dr. Swan served as the Director of the Surgery Clerkship, a position he held for the past several years.  A day before his passing, Dr. Swan participated in the NJMS Match Day celebration, one of the most memorable moments in a medical student’s life.  Dr. Swan exhibited a dedication and a passion for our students that is rarely witnessed, and those who encountered Dr. Swan were indeed enriched by knowing and working with him.  He was loved by the faculty, students and staff at New Jersey Medical School.  Many expressed shock of the news of his passing, having participated the day before in our Match Day festivities.

The faculty, students and staff of New Jersey Medical School sends our deepest condolences to Dr. Swan’s wife of 49 years, Betsy Swan, and to their children, Stephanie, Deborah and Kenneth, Jr.

To learn more about Dr. Swan please visit his memorial page here.