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R. Merrill Hunter, MD, FACS

R. Hunter, MD

Now Welcoming New Patients!

"I am committed to providing the very best medical care and support for my patients. I also take the team approach when providing patient care; my patients and I work together to meet the common goal of improving their health both physically and mentally."

WakeMed Raleigh Campus Heart Center
3000 New Bern Avenue, Suite 1100
Raleigh, NC 27610
Office: 919-231-6333
Request an Appointment


As chief of cardiovascular surgery at WakeMed, Dr. R. Merrill Hunter specializes in adult cardiovascular surgical procedures including coronary artery bypass graft surgery, adult heart valve procedures, mini aortic valve replacements and surgery on the carotid arteries. Patients commonly come to him when dealing with coronary artery disease, angina, aortic stenosis or insufficiency, valvular disease and TIA symptoms.

Born and raised in Sanford, N.C., Dr. Hunter always felt strongly about having a purpose in life and knew that he could fulfill this desire through a career medicine. Upon completion of his cardiothoracic training at Emory University, where he served as chief cardiothoracic resident from 1984-1985, Dr. Hunter joined the WakeMed Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery practice. He continues to be impressed with this organization’s commitment to excellence and innovation in health care as well as the dedication to providing patients with the highest quality care. Dr. Hunter enjoys getting to know each of his patients as individuals, taking the time to hear their stories, learn their backgrounds and answer their questions when providing care.

Married for more than 40 years, Dr. Hunter and his wife have four children. In his spare time, Dr. Hunter enjoys surf fishing on the North Carolina coast and is an avid fan of the North Carolina State University Wolfpack, including the school’s baseball, basketball and football teams.

Internship & Residencies

  • Residency: Emory University Hospital, Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Residency: Vanderbilt University Hospital, General Surgery
  • Internship: Vanderbilt University Hospital
  • Medical Degree: Wake Forest University School of Medicine (formerly Bowman Gray School of Medicine)
  • Bachelor’s Degree: North Carolina State University
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgeons
Professional Memberships
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians
  • Fellow, American College of Cardiology
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Southern Thoracic Surgical Association