The Surgical Legacy of Randolph Lee Clark Jr, MD: First Surgeon-in-Chief and Director of University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center I. Training and Surgical Practice Before Recruitment to University of Texas MD Anderson Hospital

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Abstract

Dr R. Lee Clark Jr was the first Surgeon-in-Chief and permanent Director of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, leading the institution from 1946 to 1978. He is known for his visionary leadership as President, but much less about his prodigious activity as a general surgeon and for his academic contributions as a clinical researcher and surgical educator. His general surgery training at the Mayo Clinic from 1935 to 1939 was extensive, having been involved in over 2000 operations. Dr Clark then began a prodigious surgery practice for 2 years in Jackson, MS. He described his clinical practice: “I have done more than 600 major operations a year, of all types—from the brain to the colon”. He was commissioned into the Army Air Force in 1942, as Chief of Surgical Services, with 30 surgeons at a 1000-bed hospital in North Carolina. In 1944, he transferred to Wright Patterson Field in Dayton, OH, as Chief of the Experimental Surgical Unit. He published numerous articles about surgical problems in aviation medicine and edited the journal Air Surgeon’s Bulletin. His final assignment in 1945 was Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Randolph Field in San Antonio, TX. On 12 July 1946, after a rather turbulent and vacillating recruitment process, Dr Clark received a unanimous vote by the University of Texas Board of Regents to become the first permanent Director and Surgeon-in-Chief, and so, Randolph Lee Clark Jr began the most productive and impactful phase of his career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Ernst Bertner
  • John Spies
  • MD Anderson Cancer Hospital
  • R. Lee Clark jr
  • Surgical Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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