Remembering W. Richard "Rick" Webb, MD

Remembering W. Richard "Rick" Webb, MDIt is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that emeritus professor W. Richard “Rick” Webb, MD passed away on Friday, September 30, 2022, at his home in Novato after a long illness. A San Francisco native and world-renowned radiologist who spent the greater part of his illustrious career at UCSF, Dr. Webb retired from the UCSF Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging in 2009 after serving for 37 years on the department’s faculty and transforming the practice of thoracic radiology.

Born October 26, 1945, in San Francisco, Dr. Webb grew up in Kentfield with his parents Wayne and Norma and his sister Judith. He attended Stanford University for his undergraduate degree and then UCSF for medical school, graduating in 1971. At UCSF, he also went on to complete his diagnostic radiology residency, where he served as Chief Resident, and his thoracic imaging fellowship. In the Air Force from 1976-78, Major Webb was stationed at Travis Air Force Base, and upon finishing his military service joined the UCSF radiology faculty. Dr. Webb served as Chief of Thoracic Imaging from 1995 – 2006, a formative period in the section’s rise to national and international eminence in the field.
Dr. Webb’s contributions to thoracic radiology cannot be overstated. His foundational work in high-resolution chest CT underpins the modern evaluation of diffuse lung disease. During his career, he authored or co-authored more than 200 manuscripts, 8 books issued and reissued in new editions and multiple languages, and no fewer than 100 book chapters and other publications. His textbook High-Resolution CT of the Lung, first published in 1992 and now in its sixth edition, is considered the definitive book on the subject.
Dr. Webb’s legacy in radiology includes his mentorship of many of the world’s leading thoracic radiologists in practice today and his genuine passion and penchant for teaching. Over the course of his career, he delivered lectures in more than 35 countries. He was an immensely popular lecturer and course chair in UCSF’s CME programs around the world. He was known by students, residents, fellows, and clinical colleagues at UCSF for his vast knowledge, incredible diagnostic acumen, and "salty” but endearing nature. He was approachable, efficient in highlighting key concepts and teaching points, and highly entertaining in his teaching style. In 2004, he was named the Hideyo Minagi Professor of Radiology at the San Francisco General Hospital.
Dr. Webb was President and Past President of the Society of Thoracic Radiology, a member of he Fleischner Society and a fellow of the Society of Computed Body Tomography, emeritus editor of the Journal of Thoracic Imaging, and served on numerous journal editorial boards in the US and abroad. In recognition of his lifetime contributions to thoracic radiology, he delivered the 2004 Fleischner Lecture and received the Fleischner Medal, the highest honors bestowed by the Fleischner Society. Among many other accolades, he was also recognized in 2013 as Gold Medalist in the Society of Thoracic Radiology, a distinction imparted for his stature and many contributions to the field.
Dr. Webb was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather, and a bon vivant who loved the company of his colleagues and friends. We share our condolences with his wife of 52 years, Teresa, daughter Emma Webb, MD, professor of clinical radiology in our abdominal imaging section, sons Sonny and Andy, sister Judith, and grandchildren Cole, Jack, Teddy, and Cordelia. He is also survived by a large extended family of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers or other physical remembrances, Dr. Webb’s family asks for messages or stories about Rick to be shared at: