Emory University's internal medicine residency program is named for John Willis Hurst, MD (1920-2011), a devoted medical educator and an international leader in cardiology. Dr. Hurst began teaching at Emory in 1950, believing that his interests in teaching, writing, and research could best be pursued in the setting of academic medicine. He served as chair of the Emory University Department of Medicine for almost 30 years (1957-1986), and he authored or edited more than 450 scientific articles and 74 books. The most famous of his scholarly writings is The Heart, the most widely used cardiology textbook in the world, first published in 1966 and translated into five languages.

Dr. Hurst is widely remembered for his love of teaching. "I think teaching is the greatest profession there is," he once said. "I've always found it exciting to try to create an environment where young trainees, students, house officers, and fellows can learn. That's what I've tried to do." In his 55-year career at Emory, he taught more than 5,000 medical students and 2,500 residents and fellows – roughly a fifth of all doctors currently practicing in Georgia. He received the highest teaching awards from the American College of Cardiologists and the American College of Physicians. At Emory, he was a past recipient of the Crystal Apple teaching award, and, in 2002, the residency training program in medicine was named in his honor.

Learn more about our "House Leads," named in honor of Emory Department of Medicine icons.