Skip to Content

School of Medicine Greenville

Faculty Profile

Faculty and Staff

Robert L. Ricca, Jr

Title: Clinical Associate Professor
School of Medicine Greenville
Phone: 864-797-7400
Office: 48 Cross Park Court
Greenville 29605


Background: CAPT Ricca was born in Rota, Spain and traveled extensively as a child due to his father’s military service. He attended Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, earning a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Ricca attended the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, earning a Doctorate of Medicine in 2000.

CAPT Ricca completed a General Surgery Internship at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. He was selected for training as an Undersea Medical Officer at Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, CT. He served as Undersea Medical Officer at Sewell’s Point Medical Branch Medical Clinic, where he assumed the role of Department Head of Aviation Medicine/Physical Exams. He supported the Naval Submarine Support Command and earned his coveted “Dolphins”.

CAPT Ricca completed General Surgery Residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in 2009. During his residency he completed a fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at Boston Children’s Hospital. He served his general surgery utilization tour onboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) where he earned his Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer warfare device. He completed his training in Pediatric Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital in 2012.

CAPT Ricca held numerous leadership roles during his career culminating as the Specialty Advisor to the Navy Surgeon General for General Surgery. He previously served as the Associate Director and subsequently Director, Surgical Services at NMCP from 2013-2018. He is board certified in General Surgery, Surgical Critical Care and Pediatric Surgery. He maintains an academic appointment as Associate Professor of Surgery at USUHS and the USC School of Medicine, Greenville. He completed a tour as the OIC and Trauma Surgeon of the Forward Surgical Element, Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He participated in Continuing Promise 18 as senior surgeon and pediatric surgeon. He has completed the Navy War College, Joint Professional Military Education, Phase 1. He is an author on numerous publications and book chapters and he serves on several national surgical committees. He recently served as the senior editor on a textbook devoted to the management of critically injured pediatric patients.

CAPT Ricca is excited to be a member of the Pediatric Surgery division at Greenville Memorial Hospital and to be a faculty member of the University of South Carolina, Greenville. He remains committed to caring for pediatric patients and to the education of residents and medical students who will be the foundation of medical care not only in the Upstate of South Carolina but nationally. He currently serves as the Trauma Medical Director of the Level 2 Trauma center at Greenville Memorial Hospital. He is an active member of the research team in the Department of General Surgery and recently was named Director of Research.

CAPT Ricca’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (Three awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Three awards). He was selected to join Alpha Omega Alpha.
Teaching Interest(s): Dr. Ricca enjoys teaching residents, medical students and college students. He has worked with both Clemson and Duke engineering students to develop and design new devices to manage surgical issues. This allows him to utilize his background in engineering and foster a positive relationship with students who will either seek to join the surgical field in the future or who will work in industry designing tools and instruments that will positively impact the care of patients in the future. His goal is to promote a collaborative team environment that allows for collegiality and mutual respect.

Dr. Ricca has been active in medical student education on the hospital wards and in the operating room. Dr. Ricca enjoys the opportunity to not only work with medical students who rotate on the pediatric surgery service but also enjoys collaborating and interacting with residents on other teams such as the pediatric ward team or the emergency room team. Communication of treatment goals to the patient as well as consulting services allows for improved patient care and improved partnership between services. In this capacity, he believes that he can provide both direct and indirect mentorship to resident physicians and medical students.

Dr. Ricca has developed a passion for clinical research and has worked to develop a curriculum that allows for students and residents to better understand the goals and processes of clinical research. While many of these individuals may not ultimately participate in research following graduation, he strongly believes a thorough understanding of the research process from development of a clinical question to appropriate research methodology ultimately leading to a podium or poster presentation and manuscript publication will allow all medical providers to better evaluate the current medical literature and apply it to their own patient population. Dr. Ricca looks forward to the opportunity to work with college students every summer as part of the SPURS program.
Research Interest(s): My research interests relate to healthcare delivery for pediatric surgery patients. I especially am interested in the provision of healthcare in rural and suburban populations that may lead to decreased access to care for many patients. I am excited to be a member of the faculty in Greenville where we serve a diverse population of both urban and suburban patients. I am currently completing my Masters in Public Health with a certificate in Healthcare Ethics. My goal is to use the tools I have developed during my education to improve my research methodology and impact positive change in the care of pediatric patients in the Upstate of South Carolina. I believe in a multi-disciplinary collaborative approach that utilizes experts from different areas including public health, pediatrics, demography, computer science and analytics to improve the care that we provide.
Honors & Awards: Alpha Omega Alpha
Master Clinician Award
John S. Jordan Surgery Attending of The Year Award
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Sharpshooter Pistol Qualification
Sharpshooter Rifle Qualification
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Surgery Intern of the Year
Battle “E” Award
Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Unit Commendation
National Defense Service Medal
Navy Commendation Medal
Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
Professional Affiliations: American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Surgeons
American Pediatric Surgical Association
Association for Academic Surgery
Southeastern Surgical Congress

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.