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Surgeon Inventors

Many of Symmetry Surgical’s innovations are a direct result of partnering with the industry's top practicing clinicians. We collaborate with our surgeon inventors, as well as our customers, to identify and solve problems they face in their clinical practice – and pride ourselves on bringing the best solution forward.

John R. Bookwalter, M.D., FACS | Surgeon Inventor

Dr. Bookwalter is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the New England Vascular Society, and The New England Surgical Society. Widely recognized as an innovator in the field of modern surgery, Dr. Bookwalter is best known for inventing the Bookwalter® Retractor, the most commonly used table-fixed surgical retractor in use today.

He was born and raised in a small town in Ohio and grew up in a family of doctors – both his father and grandfather were physicians. 

He attended Amherst College undergrad and Harvard Medical School. After completing his residency at Boston City Hospital, he moved to Vermont to open a practice near his father.

Dr. Bookwalter developed the Bookwalter Retractor System as a solution to the lack of help he had access to in his practice. The retractor gained popularity once doctors in teaching hospitals realized they felt better about letting residents participate in more surgeries when the surgical field was cleared.

I. Melbourne Greenberg, M.D., P.C | Surgeon Inventor

Dr. I. Melbourne Greenberg grew up in Hempstead, New York. His educational background includes: B.A. from Hofstra College in 1940, M.A. from Duke University in 1941, M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine in 1944, captain in the U.S. Air Corps in 1946, neurological residency at Presbyterian Hospital in 1950, neurosurgical residency under Dr. Leo M. Davidoff as chief at both Beth Israel Hospital in 1951, and senior neurosurgical residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in 1952.

Dr. Greenberg began neurological and neurosurgical practice in 1952. In the early 1950s he founded the Neurological Surgery & Neurology practice, which is presently known as the Leslie Munzer Neurological Institute of Long Island.

In 1975 he the created the Greenberg Retractor and Handrest 
to reduce tremor, provide more controlled movements, and decrease muscle tension and fatigue. The Greenberg system is now used by surgeons worldwide.

Stephen Staggs, M.D., | Surgeon Inventor

Dr. Stephen Staggs is a native Tennessean and board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). He is also a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG).

He received a B.S. from Lipscomb University in 1975 and his M.D. from the University of Tennessee in 1978. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University. he has been in practice in Brentwood and Nashville, Tennessee, for the past 30 years.

Dr. Staggs was the first obstetrician in the state of Tennessee trained in ultrasonography for obstetrics. In addition, he helped pioneer laparoscopy in gynecology with his mentor, Dr. James Daniell.