Professor Emeritus Thomas V. Berne, MD, a respected and beloved member of the Keck Medicine of USC family who had multigenerational ties to the campus, died Oct. 27. He was 81.
Berne was a lifelong member of the USC community. His father, Clarence J. Berne, MD, was chair of the Department of Surgery for 28 years. Thomas Berne graduated from the Keck School of Medicine of USC in 1960 and completed his general surgery residency at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center in 1965. After a fellowship in renal transplantation at Guy’s Hospital in London, he returned to USC to join the faculty. In an interesting parallel, Clarence Berne performed the first surgical procedure at the old L.A. County hospital in 1932; Thomas Berne performed the first surgery in the new LAC+USC facility in 2008, said Thomas Berne’s wife, Cynthia.
Berne became an internationally renowned expert in trauma surgery and surgical critical care, but his primary passion was for teaching. He enjoyed it so much that he continued to do so on a volunteer basis as a Professor Emeritus well into this year.
A memorial service for Berne will be held Jan. 6 at Mayer Auditorium on the Health Sciences Campus. In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations be made to The Berne Professorship Fund. Checks can be mailed to USC Department of Surgery Development, 1975 Zonal Ave., KAM-B37, Los Angeles, CA 90033.
— Lex Davis