This year marks 34 years of extraordinary service at VCU for Todd W. B. Gehr, M.D., tenured professor of medicine. Since 2010 he has served as vice chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and since 2004 as the division chair of Nephrology. He is revered for his decades-long record of clinical leadership and passion for extraordinary direct patient care. Despite his substantial administrative responsibilities, Dr. Gehr is described as the “most active clinician in our division.” He has served as medical director of multiple dialysis units and has provided expertise on many expert panels and committees. He volunteers his time to free clinics, homeless shelters, and organizations supporting those with kidney disease. In all settings, he is valued for his kindness, expansive knowledge, and calm, common-sense approach to challenging situations.
As Patricia Sime, M.D., FRCP, chair, Department of Internal Medicine William Branch Porter Professor of Medicine attests, “His influence has grown far beyond his own patient population as he has excelled in providing substantial clinical administrative service to VCU. As chair of nephrology, he has established multiple dialysis centers to optimize high quality care to patients near their homes (currently dialyzing over 400 patients), and has played a major role in growing kidney transplants. Thanks in part to his work, VCU is now highly ranked on the East Coast and nationally, growing from 100 to over 300 transplants per year. More importantly, he has recruited and grown a talented cadre of nephrology faculty who deliver outstanding care.”
No less important is Dr. Gehr’s influence on his colleagues and students. Faculty member and mentee Jason Kidd, M.D., associate professor of Nephrology, states, “Dr. Gehr exemplifies the joy of the practice of medicine. His excitement is infectious and contributes greatly to the care of our patients and the education of the future physicians in our health system.”
Dr. Gehr has been awarded multiple Internal Medicine Best Faculty Awards and is a yearly Nephrology top voter recipient in Richmond Magazine’s Top Docs list. He served as chair of the Clinical Competency Committee for Internal Medicine Residency program for 11 years. In 2003 he was elected by his students into Alpha Omega Alpha. A distinguished scholar and recognized global expert in nephrology, he has disseminated over 100 publications, sharing important discoveries in the pharmacokinetics of key medications — including loop diuretics, metolazone and fosinopril.
Despite all of these accomplishments, you might most often hear people comment on Dr. Gehr’s steady congeniality, empathy, and support for all those around him. Anna Vinnikova, M.D., associate professor of Nephrology, states, “Dr. Gehr’s charisma is legendary. His infectious laugh and ultimate friendly demeanor has a way of comforting patients, inspiring trainees, and turning all colleagues into dedicated allies.”
We have shared exceptional highlights of Dr. Gehr’s outstanding career. To close, we want to leave you with some defining comments from our most important evaluators, Dr. Gehr’s patients:
“I think that Dr. Gehr is the ideal doctor! He is highly knowledgeable and skilled, but also friendly, caring and helpful. He always is patient with all of my questions and answers them thoroughly.”
“Dr. Gehr is the ideal physician! I feel very fortunate that he is my nephrologist. He is kind, thoughtful, skilled and friendly. He's always concerned about my concerns. I've referred several friends to him.”
“I always feel that this doctor knows me and cares about me. He talks freely and shows me graphs and charts to keep me completely updated. I am a 26-year project in progress! Under his care, I expect to continue!”