Philip E. Oyer, honored cardiothoracic surgeon and pioneer in artificial heart assist device development, retires after 51 years

by Roxanna Van Norman
November 16, 2021

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery expresses deep gratitude to Philip E. Oyer, MD, PhD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, for his 51 years of distinguished legacy and service at Stanford School of Medicine, who retired on August 31.

World-renowned for his technical expertise in clinical cardiovascular surgery, Dr. Oyer’s accomplishments include developing an artificial heart assist device, research on heart and heart-lung transplantations, and innovative approaches to complex surgeries. Dr. Oyer has led a successful career in the operating room, helping patients receive specialized treatments for aortic diseases, heart valve conditions, and thoracic aortic aneurysm. He was named the first Roy B. Cohn-Theodore A. Falasco Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery in 2011.

Further into his career, Dr. Oyer co-developed and implanted the first mechanical ventricular assist device as a bridge to transplantation for patients. He has produced over 260 articles in peer-reviewed publications, including research on implantable heart assist devices, heart and heart-lung transplantation, and valve replacement studies.

After receiving his medical degree in 1969 and a doctorate in biochemistry in 1970 from the University of Chicago, Dr. Oyer came to Stanford and completed his residencies in cardiovascular surgery and general surgery. Dr. Oyer became a faculty in the department in 1976, later serving as the associate chair for the department in 2003 and acting interim department chair from 2012 to 2013.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Oyer for his scientific contributions, leadership, and commitment to excellence in patient health.

Dr. Philip E. Oyer