Leachman Cardiology
Physician's Bios
D. Richard Leachman, M.D.
Roberto Lufschanowski, M.D.
Paolo Angelini, M. D.
Zvonimir Krajcer, M.D.
Alberto Lopez, M.D.
Stephanie Coulter, M.D.
Eduardo Hernandez, M.D.

Robert Dewitt Leachman (1927 – 1996)

Bob Leachman was born in Amarillo, Texas on March 18, 1927. Always interested in science, he first experienced the frontiers of medicine as a teenager, when he performed surgery on the family cat. His future wife was the scrub nurse, and he, of course was surgeon-in-chief. Like any good surgeon, he would later unwaveringly claim that the operation was a success-and the cat survived.

As he grew older, his interest in science continued to grow. He would ultimately enter Baylor College of Medicine and graduate with honors among a distinguished class.

At first, Dr. Leachman was intrigued with infectious diseases, but the exciting new field of cardiovascular disease and cardiac surgery was gaining prominence in Houston with the arrival of Dr. Michael DeBakey and, of course, Dr. Denton Cooley. He always liked being at the forefront of emerging medicine, be it the advent of a new surgical procedure or a piece of equipment, or devising a new theory about disease. Cardiology and cardiac surgery offered all of that, and he poured himself into it.

One of his inventions would help launch cardiac surgery at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston. In 1954, Dr. Leachman and Dr. Joe Latson began developing a heart-lung machine. In April 1956, while the Leachman and Latson device was still being refined, Dr. Sidney Schnur of St. Joseph Hospital in Houston called Dr. Cooley to request his help with a 46-year-old patient who was near death from cardiogenic shock. Dr. Schnur wanted to know whether the pump oxygenator was ready for use. Before admitting that the research team had had no success with the device in animals, Dr. Cooley asked about the severity of the patient’s illness. According to Dr. Schnur, the situation was desperate. The patient had pulmonary edema and circulatory failure and would probably not survive more than a day. “In that case,” responded Dr. Cooley, we’re ready. The patient survived the surgery and lived another six weeks, only to die of a second heart attack.

Dr. Leachman went on to become the first chief of cardiology at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and held the position from 1964 to 1971. He was also the first medical director of the cardiac catherization laboratory. As the program grew, a training program was developed, and most of the early cardiology fellows came from Latin America.

Unfortunately, the end of his tenure as chief or cardiology resulted in a shift in the training program, in favor of American trainees. International fellows were no longer encouraged to come to the United States. Dr. Leachman, however, over his lifetime, trained hundreds of foreign cardiologists, treated thousands of foreign patients, and received awards from virtually every Latin American cardiology society and from many European countries.

All of the foreign doctors who had become his friends eventually would return to their home countries, but they always sent patients to him and invited him to visit them. All of his friendships, travels and language skills resulted in a huge international practice, which is carried on today by those still practicing at Leachman Cardiology Associates, P.A.
Medical Center Location
Leachman Cardiology
6624 Fannin
Suite 2780
Houston, Texas 77030


(713) 790-9401

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