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Tributes

ACS Mourns the Passing of Howard M. Snyder III, MD, FACS, Trailblazer in Pediatric Urology

Howard M. Snyder III, MD, FACSHoward M. Snyder III, MD, FACS, a pioneer in pediatric urology and a former American College of Surgeons (ACS) Regent and Governor, passed away June 4 at age 76 from complications of Parkinson’s disease and COVID-19. Prior to his retirement in 2015, Dr. Snyder was a pediatric urologist in the division of urology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA, and professor of surgery in urology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His contributions to the field shaped modern understanding and treatment of many urologic conditions in young patients.

Dr. Snyder trained at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and then spent a year in the U.K. learning from experts in pediatric urology. He returned to the U.S. in 1980 and began to practice at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA, at the recommendation of C. Everett Koop, MD, FACS, then-surgeon-in-chief of the hospital and future Surgeon General of the U.S., and John W. Duckett, MD, FACS, a renowned urologist.

Dr. Snyder’s research and innovation in pediatric urology led to advancements in diverse areas of care, including posterior, prune belly syndrome, ureteroceles, hypospadias, cryptorchidism, management of neuropathic bladder, andrology, and pediatric urologic oncology. Many of his treatments remain the standard of care to this day.

Dr. Snyder was actively involved as a member and leader of many medical societies. An ACS Fellow since 1984, he served as a Governor (2002–2008) and a Regent (2007–2016), chaired the Advisory Council for Urology (2003–2007), and served on several committees. Dr. Snyder also was a member and leader of the American Society of Genitourinary Surgeons; the American Surgical Association; the American Board of Urology, on which he served as a member and examiner; among others. In 2013, he received the American Urological Association’s Urology Medal for contributions to pediatric urology.

Dr. Snyder’s undeniable skill as a surgeon and compassionate demeanor found him many friendships with his surgical colleagues.

Marshall Z. Schwartz, MD, FACS, FRCSEng(Hon), Past-Vice-Chair, ACS Board of Regents, said, “Howard was a multidimensional person who loved to learn and teach. We first met when we were general surgery residents rotating to Boston Children’s Hospital, MA. Ironically, in 1996 we ended up in Philadelphia together living less than one mile apart. Howard was already established in Philadelphia, and he and his wife Mimi took us under their wings and exposed us to the arts, local and regional surgical associations, and so on. He had many diverse interests including art, music, old pocket watch collecting, and gourmet cooking to name a few.”

“Howard and I shared an apartment when we were residents at the Brigham in the early 1970s,” said Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, MPH, FACS, ACS Regent. “It was a pleasure to learn from his wise counsel and thoughtful comments about pretty nearly any subject. He enjoyed fine cuisine and fine wine, and I was able to share in those pleasures. We all had a wonderful time with friends from across the entire spectrum. He also was always open to helping others and to lending a hand to those who needed it.”

James K. Elsey, MD, FACS, ACS Regent, described Dr. Snyder as “a brilliant man, a superb surgeon, and an ACS servant, but, most importantly, he was a warm, caring, compassionate man and my friend. I’ll never forget one night, shortly after I was elected to the Board of Regents, he called me at my home. He wanted to introduce himself as a seasoned member of the Board. He offered to be my mentor in the room to help me get a good start and navigate the complexities of the job. I have never forgotten that act of kindness.”