Vardaman Moore Buckalew Jr., MD, professor emeritus of internal medicine and physiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, passed away July 17 at age 89. Buckalew was a nationally renowned leader in hypertension, salt and water balance, and dialysis therapies who excelled in academic medicine. He was the medical school’s inaugural chief of the Section on Nephrology, and he remained in that role for an unprecedented 26 years (1974-2000). He recruited exceptional faculty members, and the section rose to international prominence under his leadership. In addition to his many teaching awards and research grants from the National Institutes of Health and industry sponsors, he chaired the North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council and made lifesaving kidney dialysis therapy available to patients with advanced kidney disease throughout the state.
He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency training and a fellowship at Penn, where he served on the faculty. He also served on the faculty of Emory University School of Medicine before joining Wake Forest’s medical school faculty in 1973.
Following his retirement in 2008, his close friends established the Vardaman M. Buckalew Jr., MD, Endowed Chair at the School of Medicine in his honor. Colleagues and former trainees remember Buckalew as a great man and a gracious leader with a long legacy.
Survivors include his wife, Sherry; son Edward and his wife Lisa; and four grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Douglas, his son Jeffrey, Jeffrey’s wife Corinne and their two children.
Memorial gifts may be made by check payable to Wake Forest University School of Medicine and reference the Vardaman M. Buckalew Jr., MD, Endowed Chair in the memo line. Mail to: Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 571021, Winston Salem, NC 27157-1021.