Gordon Ross Tobin, MD

Gordon R. Tobin

Title: Professor of Surgery
Company: University of Louisville
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Gordon Ross Tobin, MD, Professor of Surgery at the University of Louisville, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Doctors for dedication, achievements, and leadership in surgical care, innovation and education.

Dr. Tobin is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and Professor at the University of Louisville (KY), with many recognitions for significant surgical discoveries and advances, for humanitarian service, and for education leadership. He has continuing key involvement in research producing major breakthroughs in reconstructive and transplantation surgery. He was a co-founder and co-principal investigator of the Louisville Hand, Craniofacial and Vascular Composite Allograft Transplantation project that achieved the World’s first successful skin-bearing transplant, a hand replacement in 1999. He is the Director of Craniofacial Transplantation at the University since 1995, where he is also Director of Pelvic Reconstruction for advanced cancer resections, and Director of Cardiac and Thoracic Reconstruction. Dr. Tobin served as Chair and Program Director of Plastic Surgery from 1995 to 2005.

Recognized as a member of the team that achieved the world’s first long-term successful hand transplant, Dr. Tobin is also the originator of the rectus abdominis-based vaginal and pelvic reconstruction techniques, improved cardiac and thoracic infection resolution techniques and many original tissue transfer advances. He co-founded and served as Medical Co-director of the Vietnam Burn Care missions that introduced modern burn care to Vietnam in the 1990’s. He was a team co-leader for the Operation Smile World Journey of Hope mission to Romania in 2000 and a member of a historic Operation Smile mission to Hanoi, Vietnam in 1989, both focused on children’s reconstructions.

Dr. Tobin has led multiple professional organizations, including Presidencies of the Kentucky Medical Association, the Kentucky Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Greater Louisville Medical Society and the Louisville Society of Plastic Surgeons. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care, and has served on Boards of the Kentucky Medical Association and Greater Louisville Medical Society, including as Board Chair.

Dr. Tobin has often been honored as a visiting professor, keynote speaker or featured lecturer. He was elected to the Plastic Surgery Research Council, American Association of Plastic Surgeons and the Society of University Surgeons. He has authored more than 300 medical and scientific papers and many books chapters, and he is author of “Muscle and Myocutaneous Flaps: Refinements and New Applications”, published in 1986 and “Refinements in Flap Reconstruction”, published in 1990.

Dr. Tobin serves on the Boards of the Center for Interfaith Relations, Healing the Children, the University of Louisville Kornhauser Library and The Healing Place recovery program. He serves on the Environmental Health and the Policy Committees of the Medical Society, and is a committed advocate for ensuring health care for all citizens. In youth, he enjoyed many outdoor sports, musical performing and Boy Scouts of America activities, achieving the Eagle Scout Award, Explorer Silver Award, God and Country Award, and Order of the Arrow Camping Honorary. He continues to love the outdoors, fly fishing and campfire cooking.

Receiving many humanitarian, service and teaching honors throughout his career, Dr. Tobin was named the 2017-2018 Ephraim McDowell Kentucky Physician of the Year. He also received a 1999 and 2010 President’s Award for Distinguished National and International Service from the University of Louisville and a 2011 O. Leonard Tow Award for Humanism in Medicine. He is named to numerous Best Doctors/Best Surgeons publications, including Best Doctors in America, Top Doctors by Castle Connolly, Best Doctors by U.S. News and World Report and Who’s Who’s Top Doctors. Dr. Tobin has also been cited in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, and Who’s Who in the World.

He graduated as valedictorian at Twin Falls High School (ID) in 1961. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Whitman College in 1965, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. He became a Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in 1969, before training and Board Certifications in both Surgery and Plastic Surgery at the University of Arizona. He is married to Elisabeth Tobin, PhD, a microbiologist. Their children are Christopher Tobin and Anne-Elise Tobin, PhD, and their grandchildren are Pierson Tobin and Garnet Tobin (Christopher’s children). He and Elisabeth find life’s greatest blessing in their family.

For more information, please visit:

Lifetime Achievement

Press Release

gordon tobin
(Second Picture from the left) Kentucky Physician of the Year (2017-18) Award ceremony, with wife, Dr. Elisabeth; daughter, Dr. Anne-Elise and son, Christopher.

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