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The Wheelock Society

 Faith  •  Reason  •  Vocation  •  Service ⊱

Ralph Aye

D'72 MD


After struggling with the "Meaning Of Life" during his Dartmouth years—including dropping out for a year to search for answers—Dr. Aye pursued a career in surgery.  Following general surgery residency he studied thoracic and esophageal surgery in Bristol, England, before beginning private practice at Swedish Hospital in Seattle.  During the early years of his practice he was privileged to study under Lucius Hill MD, a world-renowned thoracic and esophageal surgeon, and participated in the transition of Dr. Hill's operation for gastroesophageal reflux from an open to a minimally invasive approach. In 2004 he became an employee of Swedish Hospital and co-founded the largest most successful thoracic surgical practice in the Northwest.  He has held positions as Chief of Surgery at Swedish Hospital, President of Seattle Surgical Society, and Secretary/Treasurer of the national Fellowship Council.  He is currently chair of the Cancer Committee as well as the Swedish Cancer Institute Quality Committee and is on the Executive Committee at the First Hill Campus.  His research has led to over 100 publications, including a text book on esophageal surgery and a very promising new antireflux operation, and he has given numerous presentations at national and international meetings.

Dr. Aye came back to his Christian faith during surgery residency and points to his relationship with Jesus Christ as the foundational guiding strength in his life. He has led a medical team on several missions to western Kenya and is active in a local Covenant Church where he leads a prayer team and sometimes participates in leading worship.  He is greatly privileged to be a member of the board of the Eleazar Wheelock Society and rigorously embraces its union of faith and reason as being mutually essential to each's full understanding and experience. After many years of estrangement, through EWS he has happily reconnected with the Dartmouth family and thrilled to support the vibrant Christian community there.

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