Lives Lived

Robert Hayashi, M.D.

Winter 2020
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Robert Hayashi, M.D.Robert Hayashi, M.D. (Residency 1970), a longtime director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Michigan Medicine, died September 2, 2019, at the age of 81. Born in Sacramento, California, in 1938, Hayashi and his family were forced to relocate to Japanese internment camps in California and, later, Idaho during World War II. They eventually returned to Sacramento, where Hayashi became student body president of his high school and later graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Hayashi earned his medical degree from Temple University in 1963 and then served as a U.S. Army battalion surgeon in Germany from 1964-1966. After his residency at the U-M Medical School, he went on to do a fellowship in biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. Hayashi then served as professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Center (San Antonio) and as chief of obstetrics at Harbor Medical Center in Torrance, California. 

In 1985, Hayashi joined the faculty at the U-M Medical School as a professor and director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, where he developed a reputation as an outstanding clinician and a huge fan of U-M sports. He was later named the first J. Robert Willson Professor of Obstetrics, an endowed chair. An expert in high-risk pregnancy, Hayashi performed the first intravenous intrauterine blood transfusion to a fetus in Michigan and was a pioneer in the use of ultrasound. He was also a medical legal expert in the areas of Rh-negative pregnancy, diabetic care, premature labor, and preeclampsia. 


This obituary was adapted from one originally published in the Napa Valley Register