Remembering Dr. Richard Swartz, MD

October 14, 2021
Dr. Richard Swartz
Dr. Richard Swartz

It is with great sadness to announce that Richard Swartz, MD, Active Emeritus Professor in the Division of Nephrology, passed away from a bike accident earlier this week.

Dr. Richard Swartz has been a longtime and expert clinical nephrologist for whom all of his patients loved, an outstanding teacher, and a wonderful colleague. As a nephrologist, he was often the clinical interface with transplant, dialysis, and other general aspects of nephrology, and in recent years, had a strong focus on palliative care for kidney patients. Dr. Swartz will be dearly missed.

Dr. Subramaniam Pennathur, Chief and Professor, Division of Nephrology and Dr. Michael Heung, Professor, Division of Nephrology have provided the following words in memory of Dr. Swartz.

"For those of you who may not be fully familiar with Dr. Swartz’s long association with the University and his legacy in nephrology, here is a brief history. Dr. Swartz received his BS and MD degrees from the University of Michigan in 1968 and 1970, respectively. Following an internship and residency at Boston City Hospital, he completed a nephrology fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Swartz was recruited to join the University of Michigan faculty in 1977, and was promoted to Professor in 1987. He transitioned to active emeritus status in 2010, but remained busy clinically, seeing both peritoneal dialysis patients and general nephrology patients in the outpatient setting.

Dr. Swartz is widely regarded for his expertise in CKD/ESRD, and on end-of-life care for patients with these and other conditions. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and has given several presentations at national meetings. Dr. Swartz was on the editorial board of the American Journal of Kidney Disease and served as the assistant editor for Advances in Renal Replacement Therapy.

Dr. Swartz's service within the Division of Nephrology has been invaluable. He was the central foundation of our entire clinical operations for over three decades. Dr. Swartz served as medical director of acute dialysis (1977-2007), chief of clinic (1988-1991 and 2003-2010), director of the inpatient service (1996-2001), and chief of staff (1999-2003). He also contributed significantly as a member of the Medical School's Executive Committee for Clinical Affairs and the Institutional Review Board.

Dr. Swartz is the recipient of numerous awards including the Michigan Medicine Department of Internal Medicine H. Marvin Pollard Award for Outstanding Teaching of Residents and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan's Distinguished Service Award. He has been listed as one of the "Best Doctors in America" every year since 2006.

Dr. Swartz's exceptional commitment to patient care and mentorship to trainees is what truly set him apart. Most of our senior clinical leadership have benefited from his tutelage over the past four decades. Dr. Swartz 's generous gift enabled the establishment of the Richard D. Swartz, MD, Collegiate Professorship in Nephrology, which honors a master clinician/educator nephrology faculty member dedicated to patient care and education."