R. Carl Bunts was born on April 19, 1907 in Pulaski, Virginia. After spending two years at Hampden-Sydney College, he matriculated to the Medical College of Virginia and finished in 1931. Having completed his urology residency at the University of Wisconsin, he was established in private practice when the country went to war. During World War II, Dr. Bunts became a Lt. Colonel and Chief of Urology at 147th General Hospital - a 2,000 bed hospital in Honolulu. In 1946, Dr. Bunts became Chief of Urology at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital where he developed a residency program.
Dr. Bunts is world renowned for his work with the neurogenic bladder. He published over 70 papers, most of which concerned spinal cord injury urological problems. He and Dr. John Hutch developed the first anti-reflux procedure. The original paper was submitted for the AUA residents prize essay contest and, in those days, the attending physicians’s name was not allowed on the paper. It did win first prize. Dr. and Mrs. Bunts never had any children and they essentially looked on the residents as part of their family. He continues to be honored because of his honesty, warm heartedness, teaching abilities and leadership. Dr. Bunts passed away in 1975.
Robert H. Hackler was born on January 8, 1934 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His father was a physician and practiced in Walnut Grove, North Carolina. He received an AB in Chemistry and a MD from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He served his internship at George Washington University Hospital and was an assistant resident in General Surgery at the District of Columbia General Hospital.
Dr. Hackler joined Dr. R. Carl Bunts and began his residency in Urology at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital. During Dr. Hackler’s residency, the urology program under the leadership of Dr. Bunts merged with the Urology program at the Medical College of Virginia under Dr. George R. Prout, Jr.. Dr. Hackler was one of the first residents to finish the combined urology program in 1965. Dr. Hackler served a four-month fellowship in the Division of Renal Medicine before becoming Chief of Urology at the US Air Force Hospital in Orlando, Florida.
After spending two years as Chief of Urology at the 1360 USAF Hospital in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Hackler went into private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. He became an Assistant Professor of Urology at the Medical College of Virginia and Staff Urologist at the McGuire VA Hospital in 1970. In 1973, after Dr. Bunts’ retirement, Dr. Hackler became Chief of Urology at McGuire VA Hospital. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Urology in 1976 and served as Interim Chairman of the Division of Urology at the Medical College of Virginia from 1998 through 1999.
Dr. Hackler’s research interests followed his mentor Dr. Bunts in the urological and medical treatment of the spinal cord injured patients. Dr. Hackler has more than 60 publications and most have been investigations in neurourology.
Dr. and Mrs. Hackler have two daughters. After his family, his church, and his profession his passion has been golf and collecting antiques, especially clocks.