Lives Lived

Jeremiah Turcotte, M.D.

Fall 2020
Share Email Print
Text: A

Jeremiah Turcotte

Jeremiah Turcotte (M.D. 1957, Residency 1963), professor emeritus of surgery and a transplant pioneer, died February 12, 2020, at the age of 87. In 1964, Turcotte and C. Gardner Child, M.D., performed the first kidney transplant in Michigan. Turcotte went on to lead the team that performed the first liver transplant in Michigan in 1985. He also created the U-M Transplant Center and served as its first director.

Turcotte’s career was focused on advancing care related to portal hypertension, liver surgery, and organ transplantation. Working with Child, Turcotte developed a scoring system in 1964 to predict operative mortality associated with portocaval shunt procedures. The system was modified by R.N.H. Pugh and co-workers in 1973 and became the Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) score, which has been used for decades as a prognostic tool for patients with cirrhosis. CTP also formed the basis of deceased donor liver allocation in the U.S. for many years.

Turcotte was a leader in multiple surgical societies and was a founding member and subsequent president of the Transplantation Society of Michigan (now Gift of Life Michigan). In 2004, he was given the Distinguished Service Award by the University of Michigan Medical Center Alumni Society (now the Michigan Medicine Alumni Society), and in 2006, the Medical School inaugurated the Jeremiah and Claire Turcotte Professorship in Transplantation Surgery.

This obituary was adapted from one published by the U-M Medical School.