Mercer School of Medicine Names Dean


MACON – Mercer University President and CEO R. Kirby Godsey announced today the appointment of Martin L. Dalton Jr., M.D., FACS, as the dean of the School of Medicine. Dalton currently serves as professor and chair of Mercer’s Department of Surgery and is chief of surgery and program director of the surgery residency at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon. Dr. Ann C. Jobe, dean of the Mercer School of Medicine since 2001, is on sabbatical the remainder of the academic year.

“During her four years as dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Jobe made significant contributions to the School and has worked to assure that the School of Medicine remains focused on its core mission. We are grateful for her able service and leadership,” said President Godsey.

“Dr. Dalton brings to this leadership position a wealth of research, teaching, clinical practice and administrative experience,” President Godsey continued. “He has an unwavering commitment to quality rural health care and Mercer’s mission to prepare physicians to practice in medically underserved areas of Georgia. We look forward to the ideas and initiatives that Dr. Dalton will bring to the School of Medicine and the University through this new role.”

Born in Columbus, Ga., Dalton grew up in Eufaula, Ala., where he was educated in the city school system. He received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University in 1953 and his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham in 1957. After a rotating internship at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, his surgical residency was accomplished at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, as was his residency in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. Upon completion of his residency training, he entered the U.S. Army and for two years was chief of the thoracic section of the Department of Surgery of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C.

Following military service, he accepted an appointment as assistant professor in the Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. In 1966, he began the private practice of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in Lubbock, Texas. From 1973 to 1983, he was clinical professor and chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine.

In 1983, Dalton returned to the University of Mississippi as professor of surgery under James D. Hardy and served in that capacity until 1990 when he became professor of surgery at the Mercer University School of Medicine. In 1991, he became chairman of the Department of Surgery of Mercer University School of Medicine and the chief of surgery and program director of the surgery residency at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon.

“Located within a first-class university, the School of Medicine has achieved national and international recognition for its innovative faculty research, for exceptional family medicine education and for providing physicians to rural areas,” said Dalton. “I look forward to continuing Mercer’s strong tradition of educating physicians and health care professionals to serve the needs of Georgia’s citizens, and to forging stronger partnerships in research and education across the university and with our affiliated hospitals.”

Dalton is a member of the American Surgical Association, the Southern Surgical Association, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the International Surgical Society, the American Association for Vascular Surgery and the Southeastern Surgical Congress. He is past-president of the Georgia Surgical Society, Georgia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and the Atlanta Vascular Society. He is a member of the James D. Hardy Surgical Society and a founding member of the Will C. Sealy Surgical Society.

He is the author of 120 publications in journals, two books and four book chapters. Current interests include the history of lung transplant surgery, as he was a member of the team that performed the first successful human lung transplant on June 11, 1963. Other interests include surgery for cancer of the esophagus, surgery for cancer of the lung, penetrating heart trauma and the value of an in-house trauma surgeon in a Level I trauma center.  

About Mercer University and the School of Medicine:

Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. The School only accepts Georgia residents into its medical degree program. Students entering Mercer University School of Medicine will be graduated from a school that utilizes a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School has two teaching hospitals: Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.

Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.