Ronald Robertson, M.D., Named Chair of Surgery

By ChaseYavondaC

Robertson will assume the role in May upon the retirement of Frederick “Rick” Bentley, M.D., who has served as chair of the Department of Surgery since 2015.

“Dr. Robertson is a fine colleague, superb trauma surgeon and a proven leader who has dedicated his career to UAMS and improving surgical and trauma care in Arkansas,” said Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine and executive vice chancellor at UAMS. “Dr. Robertson’s many prior leadership roles, dedication to our institution and those we serve, and remarkable collegiality will all help him to be an exceptional chair of surgery.”

A UAMS faculty member since 1996, Robertson has served as chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery since 2013. He became vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Surgery in 2018.

Robertson was a driving force in the establishment of Arkansas’ Trauma System in 2010. As trauma medical director at UAMS since 2013, he leads the only American College of Surgeons-verified Adult Level 1 Trauma Center in the state. The center performs in the top 10 percent of Level 1 Trauma Centers nationwide.

Robertson received his medical degree from the College of Medicine in 1989. He remained at UAMS for his general surgery residency, earning the Robert M. Bransford, M.D., Award as Outstanding Chief Resident in General Surgery in 1994. Robertson continued his training at UAMS with a fellowship in trauma, critical care and burn surgery before joining the faculty as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2001 and to professor in 2008. Early leadership posts included director of the Burn Unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital from 1995 to 2005.


UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.