Family of Former Neurosurgeon Gives $100,000 to Create Award for UAMS Neurosurgery Residents

By Andrew Vogler

Gupta’s wife, Urmil, made the gift to establish the Dr. Surinder Nath Gupta Legacy Endowed Resident Award. The award will support one third-year and one fourth-year neurosurgery resident each year, enriching the resident experience at UAMS and rewarding residents who have a strong desire to develop themselves professionally.

Surinder Gupta was the first neurosurgeon to graduate from the newly created neurosurgery residency program at UAMS in 1973. He was proud of his association with UAMS and its commitment to residency training. He went on to establish a well-respected practice in Hot Springs, where he became actively involved in the community and local hospital. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 42 from complications of a misdiagnosed heart problem.

“We are truly grateful for Mrs. Gupta’s generosity and are so honored that the late Dr. Surinder Nath Gupta was the first graduate of our Neurosurgery Residency Program,” said Susan Smyth, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice chancellor and dean of the College of Medicine. “Dr. Gupta’s commitment to world-class neurosurgical care, compassion for his patients and appreciation for exceptional mentoring and training helped to set the standard for our neurosurgery residency. Mrs. Gupta’s generosity will carry his legacy forward for future generations of Arkansas neurosurgeons and medical students.”

Urmil Gupta created the fund not only to honor her husband’s memory, but also to encourage travel to conferences and other professional development opportunities, which the Guptas benefited from during their time with UAMS.

“One of the experiences we valued was when we were able to travel to medical conferences,” she said. “My hope is that this award will help future residents to benefit from conferences too.”

“Conferences are an excellent environment for physicians to continue their training and network with like-minded professionals,” said J.D. Day, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery in UAMS College of Medicine. “We are thankful that Mrs. Gupta considered this aspect of professional development for the award because it will contribute to the success of our residents.”

In addition to the neurology resident award, Urmil Gupta also created the Urmil and Surinder Gupta, M.D. Scholarship to assist UAMS medical students, especially those who plan to specialize in neurosurgery. The inaugural award was presented in 2021.

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.