With great sadness, ACOG marks the passing of ACOG Past President Charles B. Hammond, MD, FACOG, FRCOG. Dr. Hammond, a well-known and respected educator, researcher, women’s health advocate, and physician, passed on Monday, February 1, 2021.
Dr. Hammond had a long record of dedicated service to ACOG. He served as the president of ACOG from 2002 to 2003. Prior to his presidency, he was District IV chair, chair of the Council of District Chairs, and chair of the Education Commission and sat on the Committee on Nominations, the Health Care Commission, and the Committee on Gynecologic Practice. His involvement in obstetrics and gynecology didn’t end with ACOG: he was recognized in 2010 as the Duke University E.C. Hamblen professor emeritus after 30 years of distinguished service at Duke, established himself as a pioneer in treating gestational trophoblastic disease, and was a nationally regarded expert on menopause and hormone replacement therapy. Over the years, he also served as the president of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the North Carolina Ob-Gyn Society.
Dr. Hammond was passionate about the relationship between patients and physicians and championed tearing down barriers to access to care and establishing connections, honest communication, and respect between patients and physicians. He lauded creating a deep and meaningful relationship with each patient as “one of the most rewarding [investments] you will make” and deeply cherished the trust involved in a good patient–physician relationship. He also believed strongly in ACOG’s ability to make a difference in the lives of patients and physicians everywhere; his 2002 presidential address urged members to join ACOG in advocating for legislative reform for the medical insurance system and medical liability system.
Remembered by colleagues and friends as a perfect gentleman, a legend, and a renaissance man, Dr. Hammond’s legacy reminds us all to focus on and value the patient–physician relationship as the foundation of our practice.