In Memorium John W. and William Ertl MD


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John W. Ertl, MD, born Janos Vilmos von Ertl , and Dr. William Ertl was born Vilmos von Ertl in Budapest, Hungary, in 1921 and 1922 respectively. Dr. John Ertl passed away in April 2016, and Dr. William Ertl in 1982.

Both received their medical  training at Pazmany Peter University (now Semmelweis University), Budapest. His education was enhanced by the training he and his brother William , received from their father, Janos Vilmos von Ertl Sr., who was the surgical chief and surgeon general of Hungary at that time. The family was separated during World War II, but they were reunited in Herborn, Germany, as war refugees. In Herborn, Ertl established a surgical practice with his father and brother, where they cared for tens of thousands of war veterans and civilian casualties. This work continued until an invitation from Dallas B. Phemister, MD, at the University of Chicago, brought the family to the United States.

Although an accomplished surgeon, both Ertl’s were  required to repeat their surgical training, at Presbyterian Hospital (now Rush University Medical Center) ; and for William at Hines VA Medical Center as well as the now-closed St. Anne’s Hospital. On completion of that training, they established a surgical practice in Hinsdale, Illinois. It was there that their surgical skills were solidified over 40 years, including the reintroduction of the Ertl osteomyoplastic reconstruction procedure, developed by their father, for individuals with amputations.

Both Ertl’s remained an active member and board member in multiple societies, including the American College of Surgeons, German Medical Society, William G. Barr Foundation, and Hungarian Medical Association of America (HMAA).