As one of the initial students in the Tougaloo-Brown Early Identification program, Dr. Burton started his medical school studies at Brown University in 1979. He remained at Brown University for residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine.
In 1987 with developing research interests and with grant funding, he entered Pulmonary / Critical Care Training at Harvard University (Massachusetts General Hospital). After completing the fellowship in 1991, Dr. Burton joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the staff at Mass General Hospital (MGH) in the Pulmonary Critical Care Division, where he had additional specialized involvement in MGH Sleep Program and neuroscience research, resulting in authorship in more than 30 original publications advancing the understanding of how the brain controls breathing from a physiologic level to the genetic level. As assistant director of the pulmonary research training program, director of the bronchoscopy service and attending physician in the ICU and the Pulmonary Service, Dr. Burton played a major role in pulmonary/critical care training and the delivery of this specialized care at MGH for 8 years.
In 1999, Dr. Burton relocated to Hawaii (Maui) and began work at its only acute care hospital. Maui's first Sleep Medicine Program was created. Teaching began in the critical care unit and clinical protocols were developed. In 2004 Dr. Burton was elected Chief of the Medical Staff. A mentorship in medicine program was developed for local students as a pathway into health careers under his leadership. The Medical Staff Bylaws were revised, a new administrative team was empowered and the foundations for building new clinical services were put in place. Interventional Neuroradiology and Neurosurgery programs were developed and supported. More recently Cardiothoracic Surgery and Trauma Surgery programs have come on-line.
Currently Dr. Burton has been certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases, Sleep Medicine, Critical Care and NeuroCritical Care. He serves as the Chief of the Medical Staff and the Medical Director to the Critical Care Units at Maui Memorial Medical Center.